Nine Ellis County high school football programs escaped their respective districts to qualify for the bi-district championship. The county is represented across all six classifications
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.”
(6-5) WAXAHACHIE 14, (9-2) Temple 28 — FINAL — 6A DII, RII
THE GAME: Waxahachie scored first and outgained the Temple Wildcats in the first half, yet trailed, 14-7, at Wildcat Stadium.
Both teams were down their starting quarterbacks at one point during the opening half.
Junior running back Iverson Young led the Indians with 12 carries for 136 yards and a touchdown. Waxahachie outgained Temple 185 total yards to 107, though it was the four penalties for 30 yards that told the tale of the first half.
Mikal Harrison-Pilot, who started the game at wide receiver, paced the Wildcat offense with two completions (4 attempts) for 17 yards, two carries for 33 yards and one catch for 11 yards.
Harrison-Pilot also rushed for one touchdown late in the second quarter to take the 14-7 Temple lead.
Dave Campbell’s Texas Football projects Temple as a 20-point favorite. DCTF Insider Matt Stepp tabbed the Wildcats as a 10-point favorite.
KBEC Sports predicts a 6-point Waxahachie victory.
Temple will face No. 4 Rockwall Heath in the area championship.
(7-4) Denison 25, (11-0) No. 3 ENNIS 47 — FINAL — 5A DII, RII
THE GAME: The Ennis Lions turned to the air to build a 19-3 halftime lead Friday against Denison.
Junior quarterback Jackson Gilkey completed 9-of-his-11 passes for 213 yards and one touchdown at Lion Stadium.
That scoring pass went for 31 yards to standout freshman Gracen Harris (3-45) with 52 seconds to play in the first half. It also came on fourth-and-11 from the Yellow Jackets’ 31-yard line and sent Ennis into the locker room leading, 19-3.
Ennis also received a 3-yard touchdown run by Dee Johnson with 4:03 to play in the first quarter.
Ashton Ehly later returned a Denison punt 67 yards to the house for a 13-3 Ennis lead with 3:33 to play in the second quarter.
Denison opened the scoring when Logan Voight split the uprights for a 20-yard field goal on the Yellow Jackets’ opening drive. That kick came with 7:28 to play in the first quarter.
Denison had just 134 total yards at the half.
Dave Campbell’s Texas Football projects Ennis as a 12-point favorite. DCTF Insider Matt Stepp tabbed the Lions as a 17-point favorite.
KBEC Sports predicts a 20-point Ennis victory.
Ennis will face Mansfield Timberview at Stuart B. Lumpkins Stadium in Waxahachie at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
(7-4) MIDLOTHIAN 21, (8-3) Fort Worth Brewer 13 — FINAL — 5A DI, RI
THE GAME: Forth Worth Brewer outgained the Midlothian Panthers 135 yards to 83 in the first half but trailed 7-3 at Bear Stadium.
Midlothian gained 73 of its total yards on the ground behind the efforts of De’ago Benson (10-33), Shane Jackson (4-25) and Kaden Smith (4-20).
Benson scored the lone first-half touchdown when he capped a six-play, 47-yard drive with a 12-yard run. The touchdown came with 4:36 to play in the first quarter and put Midlothian on top, 7-0.
Brewer added a 35-yard field goal as the first quarter closed. Midlothian also missed a field goal attempt with under 30 seconds to play in the first half.
Dave Campbell’s Texas Football projects Temple as a 2-point favorite. DCTF Insider Matt Stepp tabbed the Panthers as a 7-point favorite.
KBEC Sports predicts a 6-point Midlothian victory.
(6-5) Fort Worth Benbrook 20, (8-3) MIDLOTHIAN HERITAGE 49 — (F, Thurs.) — 4A DI, RII
Dave Campbell’s Texas Football projected Temple as a 33-point favorite. DCTF Insider Matt Stepp tabbed the Wildcats as a 42-point favorite.
KBEC Sports predicted a 27-point Midlothian Heritage victory.
(5-6) FERRIS 27, (6-5) Sunnyvale 41 — FINAL — 4A DII, RII
THE GAME: Sunnyvale led 10-7 at the half behind 217 total yards of offense at Memorial Stadium.
Quarterback Rigdon Yates completed 6-of-his-11 passes for 127 yards and a touchdown to Landry Laird (4-119).
All 10 Sunnyvale points came in the second quarter.
Ferris struck first when Kayden Barnes (13-44) capped a drive with a 1-yard touchdown with 9:51 to play in the first quarter. The Yellowjackets had 116 total yards of offense at the break.
Both teams committed a turnover in the first half, with Ferris losing a fumble and Sunnyvale muffing a punt.
Dave Campbell’s Texas Football projects Sunnyvale as a 203point favorite. DCTF Insider Matt Stepp tabbed the Raiders as a 9-point favorite.
KBEC Sports predicts a 6-point Ferris victory.
(4-7) Whitewright 7, (8-1) PALMER 32 — (F, Thurs.) — 3A DII, RII
Dave Campbell’s Texas Football projected Palmer as an 18-point favorite. DCTF Insider Matt Stepp tabbed the Bulldogs as a 4-point favorite.
KBEC Sports predicted a 22-point Palmer victory.
(5-5) MAYPEARL 0, (8-3) Malakoff 59 — FINAL — 3A DI, RII
Dave Campbell’s Texas Football projects Malakoff as a 34-point favorite. DCTF Insider Matt Stepp tabbed the Tigers as a 27-point favorite.
KBEC Sports predicts an 18-point Malakoff victory.
The game was held at at Panther Stadium.
(6-5) Hamilton 13, (9-2) ITALY 44 — (F, Thurs.) — 2A DI, RII
Dave Campbell’s Texas Football projected Italy as a 19-point favorite. DCTF Insider Matt Stepp tabbed the Wildcats as a 21-point favorite.
KBEC Sports predicted a 30-point Italy victory.
(6-5) AVALON 22, (11-0) No. 3 Abbott 67 — FINAL — 1A DI, RIII
Dave Campbell’s Texas Football projects Abbott as a 39-point favorite.
KBEC Sports predicts a 27-point Abbott victory.
The game was held at Eagle Field.
Travis M. Smith, @Travis5mith