By Travis M. Smith | KBEC Sports
A three-touchdown explosion in the second quarter Friday night propelled the Ennis Lions past previously undefeated Royse City.
The Lions offense roared to 429 total yards while the defensive unit limited the Bulldogs to 158 in the 38-21 win.
Ennis improved to 5-1 on the season and 4-0 in District 8-5A, while Royse City fell to 4-1 on the year and 2-1 in 8-5A.
The Lion offense got the scoring started on its opening drive when Jarius Jones rushed home from 4 yards out on just the group’s fifth snap. Jones’ score was set up by a 29-yard completion from Collin Drake to Laylon Spencer and a 26-yard rush of his own.
The Bulldogs promptly returned the ensuing kickoff over 90 yards to the Lions 3-yard line. Royse City running back Payton Petroff rushed across the goal line on the first snap from scrimmage for the first of his three rushing touchdowns on the evening.
The score put the Bulldogs on top, 7-6, with 8:21 to play in the first quarter.
That’d be it for the scoring until Drake capped a 7-play, 72-yard drive with a 34-yard touchdown scamper with 7:57 remaining on the first-half clock. The touchdown gave the Lions the lead, 13-7, but it was short-lived.
The Bulldogs offense followed with a 14-play, 85-yard drive that was capped by an 8-yard Petroff touchdown run to retake the lead, 14-13, with four minutes and change to play in the half.
Drake began to heat up on the Lions next offensive possession, completing a pair of first-down passes to Spencer for 10 and 14 yards to move into Bulldog territory.
A 15-yard personal foul on Royse City and two short runs then led to Devion Beasley’s first rushing touchdown of the game. Beasley rushed in from 16 yards out and Drake followed by finding Clayton Jenkins on the two-point attempt for a 21-14 Ennis lead.
The Lions defense then forced a quick three-and-out and Drake and company capitalized.
The quarterback completed three passes and rushed once to cover 61 yards in a little over one minute for a 28-14 Ennis lead. Spencer was on the receiving end of the 37-yard Drake touchdown pass.
Drake added a third passing touchdown in the fourth quarter— this time to Jenkins from 4 yards out — to cap the scoring and 38-21 Ennis victory.
Angel Aguilar also connected on a 27-yard field goal for the Lions in the third quarter.
BY THE NUMBERS
Drake finished the game 13-of-23 through the air for 160 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed a game-high 18 times for 137 yards and one score.
Spencer again turned in quite the performance out wide, hauling in nine passes for 145 yards and one touchdown.
Beasley added seven carries for 71 yards and a score, while Jones had 12 rushes for 54 yards and one touchdown.
The Ennis offense had 22 first downs to the seven gained by Royse City.
The Lions did, however, lose two fumbles while unable to force any by the Bulldogs.
The Lions return to action at 7:30 p.m. Friday on the road against (1-4, 1-2) Sulphur Springs.