David Dingess’ 11-yard touchdown catch with seven seconds to play capped a run of 21 straight points for Ensworth, which rallied from a 14-point deficit and claimed its first state football championship with a 28-21 victory over Chattanooga Baylor on Thursday at Cookeville.
On second-and-10 from the 11, Drew Parker lofted a pass to the back right corner of the end zone. There, Dingess leapt and battled two Baylor defenders for the ball all the way to the ground. Officials quickly signaled a touchdown that capped a seven-play, 53-yard drive in just 1:14.
Baylor had one final play, but quarterback Jacob Huseman’s throw from his own 29 fell incomplete and gave Ensworth the victory in a matchup of the top two teams in Division II-AA.
The only time Ensworth led was after Dingess’ touchdown catch.
The Tigers trailed by 14 with 4:41 to play in the third quarter but wasted no time commencing with their comeback. They scored just 50 seconds later on Corn Elder’s 68-yard touchdown run.
Parker tied the game with 7:30 to play on a 1-yard run.
Elder rushed for 127 yards on 18 carries. Parker completed 17 of 23 passes for 225 yards and two touchdowns, and Cory Batey, who scored Ensworth’s first touchdown, led all receivers with eight receptions for 95 yards.
Huseman, who was named a Mr. Football winner on Monday, broke a 7-7 halftime tie when he scored twice – runs of 2 and 17 yards, respectively – in a span of 2:07 in the third quarter. He finished with a game-high 161 rushing yards on 26 attempts and completed eight of 14 passes for 96 yards.