By Travis M. Smith | KBEC Sports
Five of the nine Ellis County high school football programs escaped their respective bi-district championships to qualify for the area round of the Texas high school playoffs. The county began the playoffs by being represented across all six classifications, though only four remain.
Previews, score predictions, stats, standout players and recaps will be added throughout the weekend. All computer projections are compiled by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football.
As always, fans can catch a full recap of all things Ellis County athletics every Monday night from 6-7 p.m. on KBEC 1390AM/99.1FM and online at sports.kbec.com during “The Press Box.”
(8-4) Mansfield Timberview 42, No. 3 (11-1) ENNIS 21 — FINAL — Stuart B. Lumpkins Stadium, Waxahachie — 5A DII, RII
Dave Campbell’s Texas Football projects the game as “too close to call.” DCTF Insider Matt Stepp tabbed the Lions as a 2-point favorite.
KBEC Sports predicts a 13-point Ennis victory.
LAST TIME OUT: Ennis defeated (7-4) Denison, 47-25.
THE GAME: The Timberview defense dominated all but the first snap from scrimmage during the first half Friday.
Ennis quarterback Jackson Gilkey connected with TT Cox on a short pass that the running back turned into a 64-yard touchdown. That score came with 10:39 to play in the first quarter and would prove to be the lone lead for the Lions in the opening half.
Timberview went on to score from 16 and 17 yards out to cap the first quarter with a 14-7 lead.
The Ennis offense capped its first drive of the second quarter with a 3-yard Dee Johnson touchdown run to tie the game at 14-all.
The Wolves eventually tacked on a 5-yard Jaeden Marshall touchdown run with 1:13 to play in the second quarter for a 20-14 halftime lead.
Timberview outgained Ennis 298 total yards to 147. Sixty-four of those Lion yards came on the first snap of the game.
The Wolves picked up 16 first downs to Lions four and held the potent Ennis rushing attack to 15 yards on eight carries.
Timberview built a 28-14 lead with 4:00 to play in the third quarter and then 35-14 by the 11:01 mark of the fourth.
The Wolves were in complete control with a 42-14 lead with 6:41 to play in the fourth quarter.
(8-4) MIDLOTHIAN 21, (7-5) Lubbock Coronado 17 — FINAL — Hugh Sandifer Stadium, Abilene — 5A DI, RI
A fast start followed by a stellar defensive effort catapulted the Midlothian Panthers into the third round of the football playoffs for the first time since 1988.
To read the full recap, stats, historic info and more, click on this handy, dandy link!
(8-4) MIDLOTHIAN HERITAGE 41, No. 4 (10-2) Melissa 50 — FINAL — Dragon Stadium, Southlake — 4A DI, RII
No. 4 Melissa led Midlothian Heritage 21-14 at the half. The Jaguars knotted the game at 21-all with 8:56 to play in the third quarter. The game remained tied, this time at 28-all, with 3:05 to play in the third quarter.
Heritage broke the tie with a touchdown as the clock dipped toward 11 minutes to play in the fourth quarter.
The Jaguars blocked a punt with 10:23 to play in the fourth quarter. Temerrick Johnson was credited with the block and Ben Eskins was the Jaguar left celebrating in the end zone with a 35-28 Heritage lead.
Midlothian Heritage blocked a field-goal attempt with 6:21 to play, only to have the Melissa kicker scoop the loose ball, run over a Jaguar defender and score a **-yard touchdown. The Cardinals then added a two-point conversion for a 43-41 lead.
Dave Campbell’s Texas Football projects Melissa as an 11-point favorite. DCTF Insider Matt Stepp tabbed the Cardinals as a 13-point favorite.
KBEC Sports predicts a 6-point Heritage victory.
LAST TIME OUT: Midlothian Heritage defeated (6-5) Fort Worth Brewer, 49-20.
(9-3) Dublin 41, (9-2) PALMER 35 — FINAL — Owl Stadium, Joshua — 3A DII, RII
The Dublin Lions led 6-0 with 5:39 to play in the second quarter. Palmer scored on the opening kickoff of the second half to pull within two scores, 27-14, with 11:47 to play in the third quarter.
That score held as the game turned toward the 8:30 mark in the third quarter.
Palmer inched closer, pulling within 27-21 with 4:46 to play in the third quarter. Dublin added on to its lead with 3:31 showing on the third-quarter clock for a 35-21 advantage.
Dave Campbell’s Texas Football projects the game as “too close to call.” DCTF Insider Matt Stepp tabbed the Dublin Lions as a 10-point favorite.
KBEC Sports predicts a 6-point Palmer victory.
LAST TIME OUT: Palmer defeated (4-7) Whitewright, 32-7.
(8-4) Alvord 21, (10-2) ITALY 56 — FINAL — Birdville ISD Athletic Complex — 2A DI, RII
Italy led 42-21 at the half. That lead grew to 56-21 by the 7:19 mark of the fourth quarter.
Dave Campbell’s Texas Football projects Italy as a 16-point favorite. DCTF Insider Matt Stepp tabbed the Gladiators as a 4-point favorite.
KBEC Sports predicts a 13-point Italy victory.
LAST TIME OUT: Italy defeated (6-5) Hamilton, 44-13.
Travis M. Smith, @Travis5mith