FORNEY, Texas — Friday night the Jackrabbits faced the Ennis Lions and fell 52-0. The Lions were ranked #16 in the state and undefeated so far in District 8 5AII. In an attempt to keep the high-powered Ennis offense off of the field, the Jackrabbits departed from the usual Shotgun/Spread offense and put Quarterback Campbell Anderson under center with an “I” backfield. The attempt at a ball control offense proved to be for naught as Ennis simply over-powered the Jackrabbits in every aspect of the game.
Center Hunter Flaishans and QB Anderson clearly had their struggles simply with the snap of the ball. Fumbles by RB Josh Stephens and QB Anderson and a blocked punt gave the Lions excellent field position on multiple occasions. In an attempt to run a ball-control offense, mistakes like these will be devastating. However, several new faces emerged in this game as the Jackrabbit coaches simply tried to find anything that would work.
The most exciting aspect coming into the game was the return of Senior LB Grayson Burriss. Burris was injured in Week 1 against Richardson Berkner and returned Friday night to reprise his role as the captain of the defense. Jackrabbit fans were also introduced to Sophomore RB Jon’Richard Washington. Jon’Richard has been running wild against Junior Varsity’s all season and was given an opportunity at the Varsity level after Jayln Phillips was injured during practice this week. While Jon’Richard was unable to escape the Lions defense, he certainly showed quick feet and explosiveness that will certainly be useful to the Jackrabbits in the future. Sr LB Kurtis Rush was given the chance to play in the backfield for the Forney offense. The son of long time Forney Head Coach Kevin Rush, Kurtis has been the inspirational leader of this team for years and certainly deserving of the opportunity he was given. Also Senior QB Vinnie Sulejmani came in late in the game going 2 for 2 for 54 yards. He connected with Nick Newville on a one handed grab for 18 yards and a 41 yard completion to Senior WR Sam Ford. Ford and Newville (who both measure around 6’5”) made extremely athletic catches on Vinnie’s drive.
Multiple players for the Jackrabbits found themselves playing positions they do not typically play. Junior TE Zachary Brown was moved to the fullback position splitting time with Tayton Auldridge. Junior TE Chase Berg and Sophomore RB Josh Stephens got the opportunity to play on the defensive side of the ball. Josh even got himself a tackle for loss. Braden Benjamin was moved from WR to Cornerback considering the Jackrabbits were not planning on throwing the ball much in this game. Joshua Webb and Cameron Wright played multiple series on the offensive line, Junior DB Jett Smith broke up a few passes in the secondary, and Senior LB Bobby Enriquez got his fair share of playing time as well.
The loss puts Forney at 2-5 on the season and 1-4 in district play with just 3 games left on the year, 2 of which will be against playoff bound opponents.
The Jackrabbits will host the Corsicana Tigers this Friday night at City Bank Stadium. The Tigers are 6-2 on the season and 5-1 in district play. This will be another difficult test for the Jackrabbits as they beat Forney 63-24 just a year ago.
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