MIDLOTHIAN — Four years of playoff futility appears to have angered the Waxahachie Indian football team.
It took all of 16 seconds of game time for Demani Richardson to find the end zone in the 58-21 win over Everman in the bi-district championship at Midlothian ISD Multipurpose Stadium.
Hope you weren’t running late Friday, as the Indians scored early and often. In fact, to label Friday night a rout would be like calling a 40-foot yacht nothing more than a Jon boat.
Richardson turned a short Bryse Salik pass into a 68-yard touchdown on the Tribe’s first play from scrimmage. It was the third touchdown catch of the season for Richardson and was also his longest.
The big plays for Waxahachie continued even after Everman took possession of the football.
Jerreth Sterns stepped in front of an Antonio Little (2-13, 30 yards) pass and used two big downfield blocks for an 80-yard pick-six. The Bulldog offense ran the same play on back-to-back snaps and Sterns read it to perfection each time.
His touchdown put the Indians up 14-0 with 10:12 to play in the first quarter.
Sterns was not finished leaving his mark on the defensive side of the football, either. The senior high-pointed the next Little pass — as in on the very first play after a failed Waxahachie onside kick — and returned the interception to the Indian 38-yard line.
A little later, Waxahachie tight end Will Morgan pulled in a 28-yard catch on 4th-and-7 to keep the ensuing Indian drive alive. Two plays later, Richardson when he took a direct snap in for eight yards. For those taking notes at home, be sure to credit Salik with a Hollywood-esque acting job, as he faked a bad snap over his head that drew the defensive line upfield.
The Richardson touchdown capped a 7-play, 62-yard drive and put Waxahachie ahead 21-0 with 7:34 to play in the first quarter.
Tyler Cash then got in on the turnover fun when he intercepted the third Little pass of the game and returned the ball 38 yards to the Everman 2-yard line.
Momo Donalson scored on the next snap for a 28-0 Indian lead with 6:02 to play in the first quarter.
Yes, the game was still in the first quarter.
After the Indian defense forced the Bulldogs to turn the football over on downs, the score held as the teams flipped the field for the second quarter. The drive nearly stalled twice after an unsportsmanlike penalty against the Indians on an untimed down at the end of the first quarter and a holding call on a Sterns run two plays into the second quarter.
But, like clockwork, Salik found Jeff Alexander in the back of the end zone for his second touchdown pass of the ball game. The Raymond Kennedy extra-point kick split the uprights for a 35-0 lead with 8:32 to go in the first half.
Kennedy then added a 26-yard field goal a little over five minutes later.
The first half scoring concluded when Salik connected with Keshawn Anderson for a 25-yard touchdown with about one minute to play in the second quarter.
The Indians, who ran 28 of their 33 first half plays in Bulldog territory, took a 45-0 lead into the locker room — easily their largest halftime lead of the season.
Waxahachie outgained Everman 310 yards to just 57 in the half and picked up 13 first downs to the Bulldogs’ four.
Salik completed 14-of-his-17 passes for 226 yards and three touchdowns. Sterns, Donalson, and Richardson combined for 13 carries for 72 yards. None of the four — Salik, Sterns, Donalson or Richardson — touched the football or the field in the second half.
Waxahachie added a pair of touchdowns in the second half on a 32-yard Jaden Watson run (11:10 3Q) and a 2-yard Derrick Jackson carry (5:19 4Q). Mikel Madden scored twice for the Bulldogs on runs of 6 and 2 yards, and JT Clark pulled in a 25-yard touchdown pass from Juan Davis.
The Indian offense picked up 467 yards of total offense on the night with 187 yards coming on the ground between nine ball carriers. Everman gained most of its 299 yards of offense during mop-up time. The Bulldogs also committed all five of the game’s turnovers.
In addition to Salik, Jalen Kitna (3-3, 40 yards), DJ Hollywood (1-3, 14 yards) and Mason Brewer (0-1) took snaps under center.
Waxahachie will face South Oak Cliff in the UIL 5A Region II Area Championship at Eagle Stadium in DeSoto. Kickoff is tentatively scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 24.
Travis M. Smith, @Travis5mith