Home | Ennis High School | State-ranked Midlothian Heritage holds on in OT against surging Ennis, climbs 5A DII polls

State-ranked Midlothian Heritage holds on in OT against surging Ennis, climbs 5A DII polls

By Travis M. Smith | Ellis County Sports

ENNIS — An overtime field goal moved the Midlothian Heritage Jaguars past the rival Ennis Lions and up the Associated Press 5A Division poll. 

The second big-cat rivalry along US Highway 287 saw the Jaguars stave off the Lions in a 38-35 overtime win Friday. The score was the exact same as the first-ever meeting between the two Ellis County programs in 2022.

The game at Lion Memorial Stadium very likely decided the District 5-5A DII title, though both teams still have three games to play. Midlothian Heritage (7-0, 4-0) officially clinched a playoff spot with the win. Under second-year head coach Eric Edwards, the Jaguars also moved up one spot from No. 4 to No. 3 in the 5A Division II rankings, produced by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football and accepted by the AP. 

Ennis, meanwhile, had its 3-game winning streak snapped and now sits at 3-4 overall and 3-1 in 5-5A DII. Hall-of-fame head coach Sam Harrell also remains at 199 career victories.

The Lions (3-4, 3-1) will secure a 5-5A DII playoff spot with either 2 wins or 1 win and an Arlington Seguin loss over the final three weeks. 

DCTF computers projected the district showdown as a near coinflip, favoring Midlothian Heritage by just 2 points and in 53.0% of the contests simulated. That math obviously played out.

Ennis led Midlothian Heritage 21-19 at the half, outgaining the Jaguars 221 total yards to 134. The Lions led by as large as 21-9 with 8:12 to play in the second quarter.

Heritage closed the half with a 31-yard Jordan Soto field goal and a 1-yard run by quarterback Carter Rutenbar. 

Rutenbar completed 5-of-his-15 passes for 43 yards and a touchdown to Freeman Robinson (26yds, 7:48 1Q). Rutenbar (11-28, 105) added just 62 yards on 6-of-13 passing in the second half. Two of those completions went for touchdowns to Landon Wright and Ryan Satterwhite.

Rutenbar also led all Jaguar ballcarriers with 87 yards on 12 carries and one first-half score (1yd, 4:27 1Q). 

The Jaguar defense also forced 3 first-half turnovers. The Lions did not turn the football over once in the second half, which allowed Ennis to maintain its lead and ultimately force overtime despite a less-than-stellar offensive half.

The first of the two second-half touchdowns went to Wright with 6:52 to play in the third quarter and put the Jaguars on top, 25-21. The two-point conversion attempt failed.

Ennis’ Jamarion Wafford then returned a Rutenbar interception 30 yards for a 28-25 Lion lead with 37 seconds to play in the same frame.

Rutenbar redeemed himself roughly 4 minutes of game time later when he connected with Satterwhite for a 21-yard touchdown with 8:06 to play in the fourth quarter. The pitch and catch put the Jaguars on top 32-28.

Ennis began running a two-quarterback offense three weeks ago. The adaption has helped to ensure more touches for 4-star junior wide receiver Gracen Harris. It has also paid off.

Friday’s contest against Heritage saw Wondame Davis Jr. (4-12, 59yds, TD, INT) and Harris (4-8, 42yds, 2TD, INT) combine for 3 touchdowns through the air, 1 on the ground and 1 receiving.

A 30-yard Harris to McGowan touchdown pass pushed the Lions ahead 35-32 with 1:37 showing on the fourth-quarter clock. 

Heritage’s Jayce McCoy returned the ensuing kickoff 42 and into Ennis territory. Three medium runs and one Ennis penalty later, and the Jaguars were set up inside the Ennis 10-yard line. 

With Heritage down 3, Soto drilled the 22-yard field goal to tie the game with 2 seconds to play in regulation. He promptly added a 39-yard field goal to put the Jaguars ahead 38-35 on the first possession of overtime.

Ennis’ Jax Bishop missed a potential game-tying 38-yard field goal on the Lions’ fourth snap of overtime, capping the Jaguars’ 38-35 come-from-behind victory.

Ennis ultimately outgained visiting Midlothian Heritage 338 total yards to 285. Both teams had 95 or more penalty yards. 

Ennis running back Jeremy Brown Jr. rushed 10 times for 102 yards in the first half to pace the Lions’ offense. He added 34 rushing yards in the second half. 

This game ultimately came down to turnovers (3 Ennis, 1 Heritage) and overtime playcalling.

Neither team will be an easy out in the 5A Division II playoffs.


No. 3 Midlothian faces (2-5, 0-4) Corsicana on the road at 7 p.m. Friday. Ennis will travel to (4-3, 2-2) Arlington Seguin for a 7 p.m. Thursday showdown at Arlington Wilemon Field.

A Lion win would clinch a coveted 5-5A DII playoff berth for a Lion side that is on quite the uptick. It would also make a little bit of Texas high school football history. Here’s to 200, coach Harrell! 


All photos by Kirk Holt/Ellis County Sports


Travis M. Smith, @Travis5mith


About Travis M. Smith

Travis M. Smith is the owner and content director of Ellis County Sports and has over a decade of award-winning sports coverage. He most recently served as the digital sports director for KBEC 1390AM/99.1FM. He is the former managing editor of the Waxahachie Daily Light, Midlothian Mirror and Glen Rose Reporter.

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