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Tiger offense disappears versus visiting Lions, 21-7

With its season on the line, Corsicana had to find a way to conquer the visiting Ennis Lions on Friday night.
Although Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner, those stingy Lions (6-2, 4-0) were in no giving mood as they stymied the Tigers (5-4, 2-3) down the stretch of a commanding 21-7 victory. Corsicana fans realized how tough points were to come by on this night because when Ennis went up 14 midway through the fourth quarter, it became a race to the home parking lot for many in blue and gold.
“The defense played absolutely great tonight,” said coach Sam Harrell.
“To hold Corsicana to seven points and keep their explosive players from making big plays was outstanding. It wasn’t the prettiest of wins, but that’s how tough games are going to be. Big plays in the second half put us at 4-0.”
In what was statistically an off game for the Lion offense these days, Ennis still piled up 287 rushing yards at a clip of 6.3 yards per carry. Deonte McDade ran for 122 yards and a score, Lee King added 81 yards and his own touchdown while Kelvin Pace (6-51) and Kyle Guinyard (1-33) also delivered.
Ennis won the turnover battle 2-1 as the Lion defense held Corsicana to 50 percent passes completed and 3.7 yards per carry. Sam Pettigrew (two sacks, tackle for loss) and Lee King (three tackles for loss) feasted in the Tiger backfield while Andy Laza added his own sack. Randall Tarrant snagged a huge interception late in the first half and Reagon Walker forced a monumental fumble at the Ennis 1 that resulted in a touchback, a play Pettigrew also had a hand in.
Special teams were rock-solid as Ivan Solis coolly drilled field goals of 41 and 45 yards in the first half while punter Colby Threet placed a 39-yard effort out of bounds at the Tiger 6.
A preview of things to come, the Ennis defense opened with a three and out on a Pettigrew sack and a Lee King tackle for loss.
“At practice, Coach [Gary Jessie] had me working on my moves and he said ‘when it’s a pass play just go [get the quarterback],’” Pettigrew said.
“Their offensive line was too slow for me and I attacked.”
Ennis’ lone turnover came quickly as the Tigers recovered a McDade fumble at midfield, yet the maroon defense would answer. Corsicana marched down to the Lion 3, but star receiver Omarius Hines fumbled the ball at the Ennis 1 when Walker and Pettigrew put their hats on him. The ball rolled out the side of the end zone for a huge touchback.
“It looked like they were sure to get some points, but Reagon made him fumble out of the end zone and that’s an enormous play for a guy who played really well,” Harrell said.
Ennis moved quickly up the field on a 19-yard McDade run and then a 33-yard Kyle Guinyard run before Solis was true on a 41-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead late in the first.
“I had a good warm-up tonight with Colby and D.J. [Betik] has gotten a lot better at holding the ball, plus [center] Kory [Bragg] never fails to give us a great snap,” Solis said.
Corsicana was able to answer with a marathon 14-play, 69-yard scoring march that extended into the second quarter. Quarterback Ethan Bryant, who led the game in rushing at halftime, converted a fourth down by the tiniest of margins and running back Scotty Bryant was able to score from two yards out for a 7-3 lead (kick good).
Ennis staged a 15-play drive of its own – kept alive by a late hit penalty – to reach the Tiger 13, but McDade was stopped for a gain of one on fourth and two. While Corsicana appeared content to run the clock out, Bryant went to the air and Tarrant picked him off at midfield with a return to the Tiger 30.
Solis soon returned to the field and drilled a 45-yard field goal with one second left in the half for a 7-6 ballgame. Between the interception and the long kick, Ennis was obviously inspired heading to the locker room.
“I saw the ball in the air and I don’t know who [Bryant] was throwing to, but he threw it right to me,” Tarrant said.
“It was a momentum boost for Ivan to hit that field goal to put us right with them. It feels great to get this win.”
“I thought about the Cowboy kicker [Nick Folk] making those two field goals in a row to win the [Buffalo] game, so there was no reason I couldn’t make another long one for us,” Solis said.
“I told myself it was going in.”
“That was a huge kick by Ivan,” Harrell added.
“We got the turnover without much time and it seemed to be in Ivan’s range from what he always does in practice. He stepped up there and nailed it.”
The Lions were unstoppable to open the second half on an eight-play, 61-yard drive. McDade and King took turns shredding the Tiger run defense before King hit paydirt from two yards out for the game-winning score. McDade then found Guinyard on the conversion pass for a 14-7 lead.
“I was really excited going into the third quarter because we had a game on our hands,” King said.
“I told everybody to keep their head up because we had to go out here and win.”
The Tigers put together a 13-play drive that saw Solis called for a questionable pass interference penalty on fourth down. Tackles for loss by Pettigrew and King brought about a 42-yard Tiger field goal attempt that bounced back off the left upright.
“Things are going really good for me and every game I’m getting at least one sack,” said Pettigrew.
“I really like defense and I appreciate being moved over there to get some playing time.”
“Lee played big snaps on offense and defense,” Harrell said.
“We wish he could be on the field for every snap.”
Midway through the fourth quarter, a Pettigrew sack deep in Tiger territory brought a punt that Guinyard returned to the Corsicana 31. Two plays later, McDade made a great fake handoff to Guinyard and sped the other way – diving into the end zone on a 29-yard run to finalize the score (Solis kick good).
“In the fourth quarter when people get a step slow, Deonte hasn’t lost any speed,” Harrell said.
“He made some big runs for us late.”
A Laza sack killed the final Tiger drive while runs from Pace and McDade iced the road victory.
“Red Oak is definitely a good team and that’s our most important game [next Friday] because it determines what seed we are in the playoffs with Waxahachie going Div. I, which is what it’s all about,” Harrell said.
“It’s hard to express how proud we are of these kids and I like our chances because they believe in each other.”

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Posted by on Oct 28 2007. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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