Ellis football sets record with opening day win

Published 1:45 pm Tuesday, August 22, 2023

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By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

Ellis’ football team couldn’t have been much happier with its first game of the season, a 28-0 beatdown at North Rowan on Aug. 16.

The Jaguars have actually been feeling fantastic for a while now. The win extended their winning streak to 16 games, breaking a tie for the longest streak in their 17-year history. The Jags, who went 8-0 and 7-0 the past two seasons, ripped off 15 in a row from 2010-12.

They broke the program record in style, bursting to a 16-0 lead in the first quarter and never letting the Mavericks have any hope.

“By the end of the first quarter, their hands were on their hips and they were hunched over,” assistant coach Roger Blalock said. “They were gassed.”

The Jaguars got the touchdowns from four different players – Cannon Smith, Brandon Forrest, Finley Sink and Bowman Blakely, who caught a pass from Forrest.

“We had a couple good passes,” Blalock said. “We had one for 65 yards (from Forrest to Ayden Chilton).”

The Jaguars were equally as impressive on the defensive side. Mason Driver and Brady Hall had interceptions. Hall returned his for 50 yards to the end zone, only to see it called back by multiple penalties. Chilton had a strip-sack that resulted in a North turnover. Middle linebacker Sink and ends Chilton and Tay Settacassie were big factors in Ellis’ fourth straight shutout dating to 2022.

“Finley and Ayden made some great plays,” Blalock said. “It was pretty much an all-around team effort. Tay had a bunch of tackles.”

Notes: This was the beginning of a new era for Davie County in the Tri-County Conference. … Ellis has stomped opponents 289-20 during its winning streak. … Ellis has the longest football winning streak in the county since South Davie’s eighth-grade team won 19 straight from 2003-05. The county record is 20, set by South’s eighth team from 1996-99. “We looked pretty good,” Blalock said. “We sure have high expectations.” … This was the first ever meeting between Ellis and N. Rowan. Ellis did not exist when N. Davie and S. Davie were in the Piedmont Conference, which dissolved in 2005.