Aiken could have used the services of William "The Refrigerator" Perry and Jamal Reynolds Friday night against Lexington, but the two former Hornets stars who had their jerseys retired at halftime were not available to play.
Instead, Aiken fell 19-14 to the Demetris Summers-led Wildcats, despite a valiant attempt.
Summers rushed for a game-high 161 yards - 112 of in the first half - and two touchdowns, to guide Lexington (5-4, 3-0 Region 4-AAAA) past the slumping Hornets.
Backup Wildcats quarterback Ricky Davis scored the game-winning touchdown on a 10-yard run up the middle with 1 minute, 44 seconds left. Aiken (4-5, 0-3) had one final chance to win when Hornets quarterback Dustin Young whizzed a pass near the end zone on fourth-and-12 from the Lexington 30, but Eric Young intercepted the attempt at the 2, and Lexington ran the clock out.
Despite the miscue, Ennis, who was filling in for the injured Bishop Scott again this week, was efficient at times, passing for 105 yards and both Aiken touchdowns.
Although he was frustrated with the outcome, Aiken coach Carey Johnson praised his team's effort.
"Close doesn't count in anything except horseshoes and hand grenades," he said. "We were on the short end of it, but our days are going to come. Our kids have nothing to be ashamed of. Hey, we covered the spread."
Wildcats starting quarterback Justin Pate ran a keeper 45 yards to the Aiken 4 to set up Summers' first touchdown late in the first quarter. The score remained 6-0 until Summers scored from 7 yards out on a pitch with 12 seconds left in the first half.
Hornets defensive tackle Myron Jordan recovered a fumble at the Lexington 35-yard line on the second play of the third quarter. Ennis tossed a 13-yard touchdown pass six plays later to a diving Terrance Smith to cut the lead to 13-6.
A shanked punt gave Aiken the ball at the Lexington 39 with just under six minutes left in the game. Ennis found Wes Weigle wide open at the 10 on the first play of the drive, and Weigle ran it in for the score.
The Hornets decided to go for two, and Ennis converted a pass to Lance Blocker to give Aiken a brief 14-13 lead. Lexington drove 70 yards on its decisive scoring possession, made the interception, then milked the clock to dash Aiken's hopes for an upset.
"In the fourth quarter, they had the momentum on their side," Summers said. "But coach told us to be calm and not panic. Our defense just stopped them up and won the game."
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