By Mike Hastings
In the battle of the big cats of local high school football, the Ensworth Tigers overwhelmed the CPA Lions on their home turf 43-0 Friday night.
The young Lions, who lost their starting quarterback, backfield and receivers to graduation after a three-year run at state titles, were simply over-matched against an Ensworth team who went through the growing pains last year and seem poised to return to the dominating form that produced four straight state titles from 2010-2013.
Ensworth took the opening kickoff and raced down the field for a touchdown to set the tone. Nicky Clifton pounded it in from four yards out to give the Tigers a 6-0 lead.
CPA came right back and drove the ball down field and into Ensworth territory before fumbling the ball. Ensworth recovered on the 31 yard line.
On the very next play, sophomore quarterback Jalen King found Rodney Owen on a bomb down the sideline. Owen was able to shake the defender and scored from 61 yards out to give the Tigers a 13-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
On CPA’s next possession, quarterback Ryan Eledge’s pass was picked off by Jarquis Hendricks and returned 13 yards for another touchdown to make it 20-0.
After holding CPA to three and out, Ensworth scored a safety when the fourth-down snap soared over the punter’s head and into the end zone.
The Lions kicked off and Ensworth marched right back down the field, with King finding Owen from two yards out to stretch it to 29-0.
The Lion offense was unable to moved the chains again on their next possession and Ensworth scored again, this time King ran it in from 17 yards out to make it 36-0 at the half.
The Tigers would score once more on a fumble recovery by Henry Byrd for the final 43-0 margin.
King passed for 109 yards and two touchdown and rushed for 104 more and another TD to lead Ensworth.
Clifton finished with 101 yards rushing with a touchdown, while Owen caught three passes for 80 yards and two touchdowns.
Tigers Maul Lions at the Den