The last time Cedar Park and Ennis met, it was in the state title game in 2014. The seniors this season were freshmen in that game. The title game this season is a long way off, but the memory from that year still lingers.
The Timberwolves and Lions face off for the first time since then Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the Waco ISD Stadium in the area round of the playoffs.
“Nothing that we do this week is going to change that (result), Cedar Park head coach Carl Abseck said. “Our goal is to win and advance to continue playing this year.”
Cedar Park scored 21 unanswered points int he second half to come from behind and beat Magnolia 24-20 in the first round last Friday night. Ennis throttled Waco 48-7, rushing for a combined 30 yards and five touchdowns in the first round win.
Ryan Fiala threw for 178 yards and three touchdowns with one interception in the win with Brant McDonald catching two touchdown passes and Carlos Woolery catching a 76-yard score to give Cedar Park the lead in the third quarter. Will Lipscomb rushed for 95 yards
Zach Taylor led the defense with 14 tackles and had three sacks. Senior Levi Russo-Bell had a team-high four sacks and the Timberwolves brought down the Magnolia quarterback a total of 1 times.
Abseck said the message at halftime was simply if they wanted to keep the season going.
“It’s that point of the year where it’s all about trying to keep the family together and try and play another week,” he said. “We came out in the second half and made some plays and put some points on the board. That helped us relax a little bit and play.”
Offensively, Ennis puts up big numbers in just about every category.
Junior James Harris and senior Tycen Thompson individually have more than 1,000 yards and at least 15 touchdowns on the ground while quarterback Kademon Graff has thrown for 1,220 yards and eight touchdowns.
The Lions, who have won at least a share of the district title all but once since 2012, have allowed just 10.4 points per game during their undefeated District 17-5A title campaign.
They started the season with three straight losses, losing to Dallas South Oak Cliff, Tyler and Waxahachie to start the season. But since they’ve rattled off eight straight wins and scored fewer than 34 points just once.
Abseck knows early losses don’t mean a thing. The Timberwolves lost their first game this season and haven’t lost since and dropped their first two with they won the state title in 2012.
“Those games are preparation for the games that matter and they’ve obviously made changes,” he said. “We’ve got to have to play better for all four quarters for us to advance.”