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Waco pulls away from JV Lions in fourth quarter, 20-6

Ennis plays Waco Lions even through three quarters
Thursday night’s contest might’ve seemed pretty lopsided on the scoreboard when it was all said and done, but the JV Lion football team (2-2, 0-1) had a great opportunity to win in Waco.
Ennis stalled out in the red zone on a couple of first-half drives and still entered the fourth quarter tied with Waco High. The red Lions scored 13 of their points in the final 8:07 of game action to win 20-6.
“Offensively, we didn’t take advantage of some opportunities and it put our defense in some bad situations,” said coach Bryan Clark.
“Instead of putting points on the board, we put our defense back on the field and it wore them down a little toward the end. We did well in the penalty department to only have a couple.
“When we executed well, we moved the ball right down the field. For whatever reason, we were up and down and it wasn’t what Waco was doing to us defensively.”
There weren’t a whole lot of differences on the stat sheet, but Waco was more efficient offensively. The red Lions averaged 5.9 yards per carry and 6.8 yards per pass attempt, while Ennis averaged 3.6 on the ground and 5.1 per pass attempt.
Curtis Tekell threw for 114 yards and also ran for a team-high 53 yards. Adam Jones (3-55-0) and John Cox (3-32-1) each stepped up in the receiving department, while Fred Carroll totaled 41 yards of offense on nine touches.
Defensively, Nathan Puente led the way with a fumble recovery. Danny Manion and Dalton Snyder each delivered a tackle for loss.
Though Waco earned an early first down, sound tackles from Manion and Dylan Johnson helped force a punt. The Lions then worked their way across midfield after earning first downs on a Carroll run and a Snyder reception, but the red Lions soon recovered a Tekell fumble. Five plays later, Puente pounced on a Waco fumble when a pitch went awry.
“Nathan is a fireball and I love that kid because he plays hard on every down,” Clark said.
“He got out there defensively and got after it.”
Ennis proceeded to stage a 10-play drive that lasted into the second quarter. Notching first downs on a Carroll run and a 13-yard screen pass to Zarron Dove, the Lions stalled as they turned the ball over on downs at the Waco 16.
“Fred did a good job of running hard,” Clark said.
“We need somebody to make a big play and I was hoping he was the one to do it.”
Riding the sudden shift in momentum, Waco marched 84 yards in 12 plays to go ahead. The red Lions were very productive on the ground and converted a fourth-and-two before scoring on a four-yard touchdown pass (0-6, fumbled snap on extra-point attempt). Snyder did have a tackle for loss in front of the end zone as he fought to turn Waco away.
“Dalton got thrown in there on defense,” Clark said of the receiver.
“They were running sweep at us and he’s a big, strong guy. He’s played linebacker before and made a good play out there.”
Similar to its last possession, Ennis steadily moved the ball down the field on an 11-play drive late in the second quarter.
Cox and Carroll each caught first-down passes from Tekell, and then Jones made an excellent 18-yard grab as he was hit instantly. The maroon team reached the Waco 19 with time running low, but a dropped pass in the end zone on third down and another drop on fourth-and-short brought a discouraging end to the half.
“It was a little frustrating to go to the half without any points,” Clark said.
“We only had three first-half possessions – a touchdown on one and two stalled drives in the red zone. Dropped passes really hurt us, but the fact that we were moving the ball gave us something to build on at halftime.
“We’re going to throw and catch every day. When you’re running the spread offense, you can’t drop those balls that we did tonight. They throw us off from a down-and-distance standpoint.”
Ennis was at its best to open the third quarter with a 15-play, 83-yard drive. Jones caught a short pass, broke a tackle on the sideline and sped upfield for a 32-yard gain.
Though Tekell ran for three first downs, the Lions would face fourth down from the Waco 19 after a holding penalty. Snyder took the ball on a reverse and then tossed it over the top of the charging defense to an open Cox in the end zone (6-6, Matt French kick wide right).
“We tried to razzle dazzle them a little bit and were able to put some points on the board,” Clark said.
“I felt like it was a good chance for us to take a shot. Adam and John did well tonight. In the end, it’s the drops that we’ll remember most as we try to improve.
“You can’t throw it to the same guys every time. You try not to give Curtis a huge workload on the ground, but he does well to get positive yards and get down.”
The red Lions had an answer with an eight-play drive that lasted into the fourth quarter.
A block in the back prevented a touchdown pass and then Dustin Vasquez made a touchdown-saving tackle, but Waco kept coming. On fourth down, a 12-yard pass got the home team into the end zone (6-13, kick good). Manion did make a tackle for loss on the possession for Ennis.
“Danny has been coming on and he has a great motor to make plays,” Clark said.
Ennis turned the ball over on downs during each of its final-two possessions, while Waco finalized the score with five-straight runs covering 42 yards – including a 21-yard touchdown scamper (6-20, kick good).
“Anytime you let a running team start plugging away, you get a little tired defensively and the opponent starts feeling good about what they’re doing,” the coach said.
“We were better off when we forced them to throw a little bit.”
The JV Lions will now host Waxahachie on Thursday at 7 p.m.
“We just have to focus on the positives and try to get back on track,” Clark said.
“I’m sure Waxahachie will be very tough next week.”

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Posted by on Sep 26 2008. Filed under Editorials. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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