Coming after last week’s 48-14 win over rival Dothan High and a week before their date with another long-time region opponent, Central High/Phenix City, the Enterprise High School Wildcats, the no. 8 team in Alabama’s 7A classification, on Friday night could have easily overlooked the visiting Davidson High Warriors, a team the Cats beat handily, 52-13, in Mobile last season.
But the Cats neither rested on their laurels nor overlooked the Warriors, and claimed a 55-7 win against the 7A Region 1 opponent; Enterprise leads the series. 4-3.
The first quarter removed any doubts about which team would be Friday’s winner.
After receiving the opening kickoff, the Warriors earned a quick first down on a 35-yard quarterback keeper to the EHS 39-yard line.
On the next snap, Enterprise’s Keondre Matthews intercepted a Davidson pass and the Cats went on offense at their 45-yard line with 9:01 to play in the first quarter.
Six plays into the possession, Quentin Hayes ran for a 7-yard touchdown and when Drew Pickard added the PAT, Enterprise led 7-0 with 7:02 left in the opening stanza.
Davidson answered with its biggest play of the night, Justin Poe’s 92-yard kickoff return, which was 7 yards shorter than Davidson’s Vernon Page had in the 1996, 42-17 loss to the Cats in R.L. Bates Memorial Stadium.
The PAT knotted the score 7-7 with 6:47 showing on the first-period clock.
After that, Davidson was toast.
Enterprise needed only two plays to reclaim the lead; Hayes threw to Mykel Johnson for a 20-yard touchdown with 6:13 left in the first quarter.
The score remained 13-7 with the missed PAT.
On the Warrior’s next possession, Enterprise’s Brison Chatman recovered a Davidson fumble and, after only 36 seconds had elapsed since their last score, the Cats increased their lead when Hayes hooked up with Johnson on a 36-yard TD-scoring completion.
Johnson ran for the 2-point conversion, increasing the EHS lead to 21-7, with 5:40 remaining in the busy first quarter that would see Enterprise score yet another touchdown.
After the EHS defense forced a 32-yard Davidson punt, the Cats offense went back to work and needed but two plays to cover 50 yards; the TD came on a 49-yard Johnson run with 3:27 still left in the opening period with Enterprise ahead 29-7 after Aiden White ran for the 2-point conversion.
Enterprise didn’t score again until the 5:34 mark of the second quarter when Hayes capped a 74-yard, 7-play drive with a 19-yard run to paydirt. Pickard’s PAT put the Cats ahead 36-7.
The Cats scored again on their next possession when Johnson ran for a 2-yard TD at the end of a 6-play, 53-yard march with 1:06 remaining before intermission and Enterprise ahead 42-7.
After a rousing halftime performance by the Big Blue Marching Band, the Cats continued along their methodical way to another win.
Enterprise stuck to its ground attack the entire second half after having completed 6-of-7 passes for 107 yards in the first 24 minutes.
The Cats covered 74 yards in five plays to open the third quarter and improved their lead when Amare Griffin dashed 11 yards into Davidson’s end zone with 9:42 left in the third quarter.
Pickard’s PAT increased the lead to 49-7.
Enterprise got its final score on a 4-yard run by Zy’air Boyd, the 11th play of a 62-yard drive with 10:09 left in the game.
Sportingly, Enterprise went liberally to its bench the rest of the way and the Cats improved to 4-0 on the season.
The Cats earned 22 first downs on 38 rushing attempts that added 349 yards to their 107 passing yards for 456 yards, a total that could’ve been much higher.
Enterprise’s defensive unit was equally impressive, allowing only 8 first downs and 80 yards rushing on 26 attempts.
The Warriors completed 6-of-17 passes for 40 yards and got back on their buses after totaling 120 yards, only 25 more yards than the Warriors lost on 11 penalties.
Hayes rushed for a game-high 109 yards on 11 carries. Griffin earned 89 yards on 10 rushes and Johnson totaled 81 yards on his four runs.
Enterprise has now outscored its opponents 188-54 and is one of three undefeated 7A Region 2 teams; Auburn (4-0) walloped Dothan (1-2) 49-13; Central/Phenix City (4-0) wore out Jeff Davis (0-3) 52-6; and Prattville (3-1) beat Smiths Station (1-3) 36-8 Friday.
Four 7A Region 2 teams qualify for the post-season that begins in early November.
Next week, Smiths Station is idle; Jeff Davis hosts Auburn; Dothan entertains Prattville; and Enterprise hosts Central Phenix City for the 34th meeting between the Cats and Red Devils.
Central holds a decided edge in the series; the Devils are 22-10-1 against the Cats whose last win in the series was in 2015.
This year’s game is Friday.
This morning, the Cats can relish the win over Davidson.