WAXAHACHIE — Having built a four-possession lead by halftime, the Waxahachie Indians made easy work of Garland Lakeview Centennial in their season opener at Stuart B. Lumpkins Stadium on Friday evening.
The Indians executed in all three facets en route to a 63-24 win over the Patriots in week zero of the Texas high school football season. Leaning on the big play, Waxahachie scored on plays of 60, 64, 64, 21 and 30 yards.
Senior Jerreth Sterns did not take long to leave his mark on the Waxahachie football program. The former Midlothian quarterback turned two-way Waxahachie athlete scored the first Indian touchdown of the season when he fielded a Centennial punt and scored 60 yards later. The punt came after the Waxahachie defense forced the Patriots into a three and out.
Third-year head football coach Jon Kitna is in his first year as the defensive coordinator after several staffing changes during the offseason.
“Coach has been preaching being physical and fast,” said Sterns, who credited the success to the Tribe’s hard work during fall camp. “I think that is what we did best.”
“I was not surprised that we played so well,” he added.
Sterns finished with 77 rushing yards on seven attempts and two-total touchdowns, his second coming via a 64-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.
Demani Richardson led the ground attack with 127 yards on three carries (1 TD) and Jaden Watson accounted for 114 yards on eight carries and a score. Jhamarian Sargent made the most of his one carry, going 30 yards for a touchdown.
Indian quarterback Bryse Salik completed 63.6 percent of his passes (7-11) for 55 yards. The senior signal caller tossed one four-yard touchdown to Kevin Green in the first quarter and added two more scores on the ground. He also had an interception. Mason Brewer completed his lone pass attempt for 40 yards.
“I’m excited about our receiving core,” Salik said. “Most of us have been playing together since we were freshmen, so our chemistry is unmatched.”
On the defensive side of the ball, Sterns and senior Quad’Tavius Donalson helped to pace the stingy Tribe defense. The Indians allowed 15 first downs to their 17 but held the Patriots to just 172 passing yards. Te'Darius Herford led the Centennial offense with 16 carries for 135 yards and a touchdown.
“I am ready to watch these underclassmen grow,” Donalson said. “They already have the strength and size, and we have a ton of talent in all classes which makes us [deeper as a team] this year.”
The Tribe returns to the gridiron Friday, Sept. 8 against Highland Park. The Scots lost their opener in a shootout against Rockwall, 53-49. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Highlander Stadium.