RED OAK — A safety on the first play first play from scrimmage set the tone for the Waxahachie defense and spelled disaster for the Red Oak Hawks on Friday night at Billy Goodloe Stadium.
Fourteen seconds later and Waxahachie held a 9-0 lead that it never relinquished. The Indians capitalized on four Hawk turnovers for the 44-24 win to improve to 1-1 in District 10-5A and 3-2 on the season. With the loss, Red Oak fell to 0-2 in district play and 2-3 on the season.
Waxahachie jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the first quarter after the Hawks' opening snap went over the head of Carson Forbes and out of the end zone. Keshawn Anderson then caught his second of two first-quarter touchdowns to put the Indians up 17-0.
Indian quarterback Bryse Salik (13-20, 216 yards) finished the night with four touchdowns, including three to Anderson. The junior wide receiver ended the game with a career-high six catches for 158 yards and the three touchdowns. His third score came with 6:44 to play in the fourth quarter to ice the game at 44-10 Waxahachie.
With the Indians leading 24-7 after a Jhamarian Sargent four-yard touchdown run, Quad'Tavius Donalson intercepted a Zayid Aziz (2-7, 63) pass for and returned it 62 yards for a touchdown. Aziz, who tossed two interceptions that both led to scores on the evening, led the (2-3, 0-2) Red Oak Hawks with nine carries for 99 yards. The quarterback ran for a 70-yard touchdown with 3:33 to play in the first quarter to pull the Hawks within 10 points, 17-7.
Though both teams picked up 16 first downs, Waxahachie outgained Red Oak 420 yards to 404. The Hawks did manage to outgain the Indians 249 yards to 204 on the ground behind Aziz, Erskine (9-81) and CJ Palmer (20-66).
Tallon Heine (2-20) hauled in the lone touchdown pass for Red Oak. In addition to Anderson, Jhamarian Sargent (2-16) caught the fourth Salik touchdown.
Palmer and Heine added touchdowns late in the fourth quarter for the Hawks for the 44-24 final.
Eric Johnson led the rushing attack for the Indians with 68 yards on six carries and one touchdown. Donalson added 64 yards on his seven carries and Jerreth Sterns ran for 54 yards on his seven carries.
For the Hawks, Carson Forbes led the passing attack with 92 yards on 5-of-15 passing. He and Aziz combined for three interceptions.
Red Oak returns to the field Friday, Oct. 12 against (4-1, 2-0) Mansfield Lake Ridge at 7 p.m. in Mansfield. Waxahachie (3-2, 1-1 in District 10-5A) will take the bye week then return to face Midlothian on the Indians’ homecoming Oct. 13 at 7:30 p.m. The Panthers will be coming off of a 29-22 overtime win over Mansfield Timberview.