Ennis, Ohatchee run past Geraldine

Geraldine’s Cody Satterfield (2) escapes an Ohatchee defender during the first round of the AHSAA Class 3A state playoffs on Friday night.

Everyone on the Geraldine side of the stadium knew the key to winning Friday night’s first-round playoff game was containing Ohatchee’s Eli Ennis.

The Bulldogs just didn’t have an answer.

Ennis, a senior quarterback with college options he’s holding close to the vest, rushed for 307 yards and five touchdowns as the Indians ran past the Bulldogs 34-13 in the Class 3A playoffs.

As usual, for the Indians, it was just a matter of time before Ennis broke out and in the second half it was basically all Ennis all the time. Whenever the Indians needed a play, they gave it to him and he always delivered.

The Indians (9-2) ran 31 plays in the half — all on the ground. Ennis had 25 of them and ran for 180 yards and four touchdowns — three in the fourth quarter.

He scored on runs of 2, 11, 18, 23 and 2 yards.

“He’s an incredible player,” Bulldogs head coach Michael Davis said. “We’ve just got to get off blocks at the point of attack and make tackles. There’s no secrets behind stopping (Ennis); you’ve got to tackle. It’s that simple.”

Not only were the Indians dominant on offense in the second half, their defense held the Bulldogs (7-4) to 32 net yards in the third and fourth quarters.

Given Ohatchee’s ball-control approach, possessions were going to be at a premium in this game and it was important to convert when you had them.

Geraldine scored on two of its first three possessions to open a 13-7 lead early in the second quarter, but turned over its next two possessions in Ohatchee territory.

The first of the turnovers was particularly painful. Jaxon Colvin completed a pass to Colton Lusher and with Lusher was on his way to the end zone to give the Bulldogs a potential two-touchdown lead Ohatchee’s Troy Galloway batted the ball free at the 3 and recovered it in the end zone for a touchback.

The second came right after the Bulldogs held Ohatchee on downs inside the 40 in the final minute of the half. Carlos Mann was separated from the ball and Ohatchee recovered it again.

“When you get in the playoffs especially you can’t have mishaps like that,” Davis said. “You have to capitalize on your opportunity ahead and we didn’t. It came down to that.”

The Bulldogs opened the scoring on Colvin’s 44-yard pass to Lusher over the middle. Ohatchee answered with a 13-play drive capped by Ennis’ 4-yard run.

Ennis had 54 yards in the 59-yard drive.

Geraldine took the lead early in the second quarter on Caleb Hall’s 4-yard run. The Bulldogs missed the extra point.

Colvin was 6-of-8 passing for 113 yards in the first half.

“We came out and battled and gave ourselves a chance,” Davis said. “We had a lot of guys go down, some other guys come in. I’m proud of our group.”

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