WINCHESTER, Ind. – Kainin Frost spent most of his football days as the lead blocker for Kiante Enis.
Frost moved from fullback to right guard this season, but he’s still helping create running room for his fellow Winchester junior.
Lots of room.
Enis is Indiana’s leading rusher, and, very soon, he could be the state’s single-season record holder.
Enis’ 295 yards against Centerville, tallied last week in the rain, mud, wind and some snow, put him at 3,125 yards for the season.
That’s good for No. 4 on the all-time list so far — New Haven’s Cory Jacquay has the top spot with 3,366 in 2001 — and Enis still has more football ahead of him.
“It’s different not leading for him every time,” Frost said. “I knew he was (capable of this). In seventh grade, we were playing and he scored almost every time he touched the ball. He’s just a crazy athlete.”
Not much has changed since junior high.
Enis is still a threat to score each and every time he touches the football.
Look at his last game. Playing out of the wildcat formation, the 6-foot-2, 200-pound tailback took his first two carries 66 and 67 yards for touchdowns.
He has 51 total touchdowns this season — 49 of them rushing. Enis also leads the state in scoring, and the 306 points he’s accumulated so far put him ninth for a single season.
“We knew he was extremely talented,” said Winchester coach Mike Jones. “The thing that he has that you just cannot get away from is the pure speed and athletic ability. No one can honestly say you could predict that a kid is going to go for 3,000-plus yards in one season. This is a career. Most kids would be really happy with 3,000 yards.”
As Enis is on the cusp of more history, so are the Falcons.
This Friday, they’ll play in only their third sectional championship game as the Falcons travel to Shenandoah for a 7 p.m. kickoff.
Winchester has yet to win a sectional title in football.
“We have to come out with some fire and we have to be ready to attack,” Enis said. “We just have to be on top of things from the get-go.”
The Falcons have been on top of a lot of things this year.
They are 10-1, with their lone loss coming to Tri-Eastern Conference foe Northeastern, also playing for a sectional title this Friday.
The two programs shared the TEC title last year. This time, the Knights went undefeated in the conference, with Winchester taking second.
Take away that game, and there haven’t been many close outings for the Falcons.
They’ve outscored opponents on average 43.2-15. Enis and the offensive line have been at the center of the Falcons’ offensive outpouring.
“Our offense is going to have to put points on the board, and our defense has been doing a good job of keeping points off the board for other teams,” said senior center Austin Myers.
“I knew we’d be pretty good. I knew Kiante is a great runner. But it was going to be our line that was going to have to be tested, definitely.”
One test the Falcons passed was Oct. 3 in a non-conference game vs. Noblesville Home School.
That ranks as the one game Winchester has been held to single digits this season. It also ranks as one of the more memorable moments for junior Elijah Chalfant.
Enis had 196 yards that game — the one time he’s had fewer than 200 as a junior — and 99 of those came during the game’s only touchdown.
“Kiante’s breakout 99½-yard run. We run powers and isos and we just shut them down,” said Chalfant, Winchester’s 6-foot-6, 320-pound right tackle. “We make holes and Kiante runs through them.
“I don’t think there will ever be a run longer than that one.”
Long runs have been a habit for Enis this season. So has scoring touchdowns at a rapid pace. He has scored four or more in nine games this year, including finding the end zone for six touchdowns in three different games.
While Jones recognizes what a special talent he has in the speedster, he is also aware of what it takes to make that space for the two-sport star.
“This is not just one guy who comes out and does this. We have a great group of kids up front,” Jones said. “And it’s not just them. It’s a fullback. It’s a tight end. It’s people being committed to what we do offensively and our scheme.
“We’re fortunate to have a very talented young man to carry the football, but he’s fortunate to have the kids that he has in front of him.”
Talent runs in the Enis family.
Kiante’s cousin, Curtis Enis, was Ohio’s Mr. Football in 1993 for Mississinawa Valley in Union City, and played at Penn State before becoming a first-round draft pick by the Chicago Bears.
His cousin, who was a two-time Ohio coach of the year for Bradford of the Cross County Conference, has been to some games, and will sometimes offer advice.
“A lot of it is basic footwork and lining up and how I should run behind my line,” Enis said. “I think (the line) is fantastic, a bunch of great guys. They’ve really played a big part in the whole success.”
Dustyn Hangen plays tight end for the Falcons, while Titus Edwards (left guard) and Jonathan Thornburg (left tackle) also line up to block.
“We don’t have a lot of conflicts,” Edwards said. “Guys are best friends out here. That’s one of the greatest things.”
Enis earned a football scholarship offer from Indiana University last month. He also has a basketball offer from IPFW.
He did not play football as a freshman, and was the Tri-Eastern Conference’s Player of the Year in basketball as a sophomore.
But, when football season is in session, that’s the priority.
“Right now it’s all about football,” Enis said. “Basketball season hopefully won’t start for a few more weeks. All I’m really focusing on right now is football.”
Enis has topped 300 yards three times this season, going for a season-best 466 against Randolph County rival Union City on Sept. 26. He also has four interceptions and 39 tackles from the Falcon secondary.
He opened the sectional tournament with 270 yards and five touchdowns against Knightstown. But, his favorite memory from that game, and maybe for this season, didn’t have to do with a carry.
Instead, it was the kick he returned 81 yards for a touchdown that righted the ship after the Falcons fell into an early 13-0 deficit.
“That was just a big momentum shifter,” Enis said.
Winchester will look to get momentum early this Friday at Shenandoah, and it will be important that Enis and the line are in synch.
“As long as we block well up front, give him a couple of seconds to find a hole, he hits it and hope for the best,” Frost said.
Added Enis: “Coming into the season, we knew it was going to be a good season, but we didn’t really expect it to be as big a season as it is. It’s really surprising and exciting at the same time.”
Josh Chapin: (765) 973-4463 email@example.com or twitter.com/JoshChapinPI
IHSAA Single-Season Rushing
• 1. Cory Jacquay, 2001, New Haven, 3,366
• 2. Otis Shannon, 1999, Indianapolis Cathedral, 3,252
• 3. Mike Bohn, 1993, Roncalli, 3,165
• 4. Kiante Enis, 2014, Winchester, 3,125*
• 5. Shakir Bell, 2009, Warren Central, 3,105
• 6. Alex Smith, 1992, Franklin County, 3,024
• 7. Josh Smith, 2000, Attica, 3,004
• 8. Te’Vaughn Hurse, 2010, New Haven, 2,942
• 9. Spencer Gilbert, 2013, Eastern Hancock, 2,914
• 10. Daniel Carter, 2005, Decatur Central, 2,879
* — Still playing