Big second half sends Ennis to next round

Posted Thursday, Dec. 05, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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While other football playoff matchups were put on ice Thursday, Ennis and Mesquite Poteet weren’t scared off by the winter weather.

But it was Ennis that shook off the frost and two early turnovers, created a few of its own against Poteet’s offense and rolled to a 43-21 Class 4A Division II quarterfinal win over the Pirates at Kincaide Stadium.

Ennis (14-0) will face the winner of Aledo and Wichita Falls in a 4A state semifinal at a time, site and date to be determined.

Aledo (13-0) and Wichita Falls (8-5), scheduled to also play Thursday night, postponed their regional final until 5 p.m. Friday at Northwest ISD Stadium. Aledo coach Tim Buchanan said the date could change early Friday.

If Aledo wins, it will face Ennis next week, tentatively at Pennington Field.

Ennis was successful on 3 of 4 fourth down attempts in the second half. Nick Gabriel scored on a 24-yard touchdown run with 9:41 left in the game.

That score helped put distance between Ennis and the Pirates at 25-14 and run off 6:31 from the end of the third quarter through the start of the fourth.

Defensive back Taylor Thompson, who returned two interceptions for touchdowns, delivered the icing blow with a 54-yard interception return for a touchdown.

Ennis ran off 30 consecutive second-half points to put the game away.

The lead changed hands three times and Poteet running back Jaylon Smith was up to the challenge early.

He carried 23 times for 157 yards, 139 yards in the first half, and scored a touchdown in helping the Pirates take a 14-13 halftime lead.

Ennis had a 16-play drive stall in the first quarter and two other possessions that ended in turnovers.

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