HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL

Cedar Park dominates second half to top Ennis

The Timberwolves will face Manvel in the regional semifinals for the second straight season

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WACO — Carl Abseck isn’t afraid to reach into his bag of tricks. 

Cedar Park scored 17 unanswered second-half points Friday night to Waco ISD Stadium to beat Ennis 17-14 and advance to the regional semifinals for the eighth straight season. 

“We put ourselves in some tough situations, but our kids are resilient and they’re fighters and they’re going to play for four quarters,” Abseck said. “They’ve got a lot of character. They keep playing.”

Brant McDonald completed a long pass to Logan Mayou on a fake punt in the third quarter and the Timberwolves capitalized the Ryan Fiala threw a touchdown to Payden Sawicki.

Cedar Park used more trickeration on its next drive when Ryder Hernandez - who had spent much of this season on the freshman team - threw a 49-yard bomb to a wide-open Carlos Woolery on a double pass for the game-tying touchdown. 

Lucas Bardshar hit a 24-yard field goal with 2:18 left and the Timberwolves’ defense forced Ennis to go three-and-out on the ensuing drive. 

“When you’re playing in these games, there’s not any use to hold anything back,” Abseck said. “You’re playing to win and playing to try and make it another week.”

Ennis running back Tycen Thompson rand for 152 yards and a touchdown. He ran for 126 in the first half and was held to 26 after halftime. 

“Our mentality changed in the second half,” senior linebacker Jackson Buckingham said. “We had to wrap up and finish plays. We had to get off blocks and fly around. We waited for the next man to come up behind you and help make a tackle. It was a team effort.”

Ennis was in control for much of the first half. Jame Harris, who finished with three receptions for 22 yards for the Lions, scored on a 10-yard pass in the first quarter and Thompson scored on a 50-yard sprint early in the second quarter. 

Bardshar missed a 37-yard field goal in the second quarter for Cedar Park right after the Timberwolves failed to punch the ball in on 4th and goal from the 4-yard line. 

“It kind of took me a while to figure them out and what they were doing,” Fiala said. “But once we figured them out we were ready to roll.”

Cedar Park will have a familiar opponent in the regional semifinals as it will meet Manvel Friday night at Waller ISD Stadium. The Mavericks eliminated the Timberwolves in the same round last season.

“We’re all excited,” Buckingham said. “We’ve just got to fix the little things we messed up from this game and play to the best of our ability and we’ll be fine."

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