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Enterprise earns key region win with rout of Smiths Station

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ENTERPRISE – For the 2022-23 football season, with nine teams in Class 7A, Region 2 competing for four playoff berths, every region game is critical.

Thus, Friday’s 58-14 win for the Enterprise Wildcats against the visiting Smiths Station Panthers snapped Enterprise’s two-game Region 2 losing streak and kept playoff hopes alive almost midway through the season.

The ’Cats improved to 2-2 overall and more importantly to 1-2 in region games with five more region counters left. The Wildcats go out of region play this week, hosting Rehobeth, and are off the following before finishing with the five straight region contests.

In Friday’s rout of Smiths Station, Enterprise scored early and often.

Fifteen seconds into the game, Mykel Johnson scored on a 78-yard kickoff return and the rout was on for the Cats.

Enterprise defenders quickly got the ball back at Smiths Station’s 16-yard line when Fred Vili recovered a Panther fumble.

Two plays later, Aiden White completed an 11-yard touchdown pass to Johnson. Drew Pickard added the first of his seven point after touchdowns, putting the ’Cats ahead 13-0 with 9:31 left in the first period.

EHS defenders quickly forced a Smiths punt, giving Enterprise the ball back at the visitor’s 46.

Two plays later, White hit Tre Kemmerlin on a 31-yard scoring pass, boosting the Wildcat lead to 20-0 with 7:16 left in the first quarter.

Samuel Whitaker recovered an onside kick for the ’Cats, and despite four holding penalties in its ensuing possession, Enterprise used seven plays to score again. Amare Griffin ran 7 yards for the touchdown and EHS led 27-0 with 4:25 still left in the opening stanza.

Two interceptions, one in Smiths Station end zone in the first quarter, kept the score somewhat in reach for the visitors, but the second period dashed all the Panthers’ hopes.

Pickard’s 26-yard field goal with 11:36 to play in the second quarter greased the skids for the rest of the period that saw touchdowns by three different ’Cats.

Raymond McGoley got the first one on a 2-yard run, capping a four-play, 25-yard drive with 9:35 on the clock.

The next score was dramatic as White connected with Kemmerlin on a 70-yard touchdown pass, completing an 85-yard, two-play drive. Enterprise led 44-0 after the PAT kick with 6:20 left in the first half.

Shortly thereafter, Harrison Brown recovered a Smiths fumble at the visitor’s 24 and Enterprise scored again.

Erys Nall had a TD called back by another holding penalty on EHS, but he got the ball on the next snap and dashed 13 yards, putting the’ Cats ahead, 50-0. The PAT increased the lead to 51-0, where it remained until Panthers starters scored against Enterprise reserves and kicked the extra to cut the margin to 51-7 with 4:33 remaining in the third quarter.

Walker Turner got the last Enterprise touchdown on a 20-yard fumble return to end the third quarter, making it 58-7.

Smiths Station’s first team scored again with 6:40 left and brought the game to its final 58-14.

Additional big plays for Enterprise included a punt blocked by Turner and recovered by Max Faught, an interception by Marzavious Reed and a recovered kickoff by Tomorris Green.

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