THE GAME

Friday night is a game that needs little introduction.

It's Waxahachie and Ennis in the Battle of 287. The winner takes home the road sign and bragging rights for the 97th time.

Kickoff from Lion Memorial Stadium is at 7:30 p.m.

GAME COVERAGE

Waxahachie fans now have an FM option on the radio dial to listen to Indian athletics, as KBEC 1390 has added 99.1 FM. Join the voice of the Indians, Ken Roberts, and coach Mike Turner for pregame programming at 7 p.m. on either 1390 AM or 99.1 FM.

For those who would rather hear a more little Lion-friendly call, turn your dials to 106.9 The Ranch. Tim Samuels and Ronnie Greer kick things off with pregame content at 7 p.m.

TICKET INFORMATION

Per UIL regulations, all early ticket sales end at 1 p.m. Friday. Adult tickets are $6 and students at $4 until the early cutoff (cash only) and can be purchased at the Waxahachie Daily Light until 1 p.m. Friday.

General admission tickets are $7 at the gate.

ABOUT THE INDIANS

The Tribe begins its first season under longtime varsity assistant coach and 1990 Waxahachie graduate, Todd Alexander, on Friday. The group will do so after an 8-5 season in 2017 that ended in the 5A regional quarterfinals and with just 11 starters slated to return before fall camp began in early August.

The defensive unit, led by first-year Waxahachie defensive coordinator, Jeff Berry, will feature several sophomore starters. It also boasts Texas A&M commit Demani Richardson (78 tackles, 3 INTs), who has transitioned from safety to outside linebacker. Josh Stearns, a 5-foot-10, 175-pound junior safety with a 4.5-second 40-yard dash will help anchor the secondary.

On the offensive side, the Indians will use a combination of quarterback play from DJ Hollywood and Campbell Sullivan with Jordan Fay sidelined with a left shoulder injury.

Hollywood is the only one of the three who took any varsity snaps under center in 2017, completing 7-of-his-9 attempts for 71 yards and one touchdown.

Richardson (44-519, 7 TDs) returns as the team's leading rusher from one year ago. He added 13 catches for 293 yards and four scores as a receiver.

Keyshawn Anderson, last year's third-leading wideout, figures to be the No. 1 target for Waxahachie quarterbacks this season. He caught 37 passes for 497 yards and five touchdowns last year.

ABOUT THE LIONS

Sam Harrell makes his emotional return to the Ennis sidelines for the first time since undergoing treatment for multiple sclerosis following the 2009 season.

The Lions return eight starters, with just three of those being on the defensive side of the football.

With running back Tycen Thompson (176-1213, 19 TDs) and quarterback Kaden Graff (93-160, 1,288 yards, 8 TDs) lost to graduation, the Lion offense will run through James Harris. The now-senior carried the football 146 times for 1,179 yards and 15 touchdowns last season.

SERIES HISTORY

In last year's Battle of 287, the Indians defeated Ennis at home behind a stellar game by then-quarterback Bryse Salik (25-35, 409 yards, 4TDs, 2 INT), 42-28.

Friday marks the 81st consecutive meeting between Ennis and Waxahachie, dating back to 1939.

The overall series dates back to a 37-0 Waxahachie win in 1908 and is now tied 47-47-2.

The Indians have won each of the last three games.

UP NEXT

Waxahachie travels to Mesquite Memorial Stadium to face the Pirates of Mesquite Poteet. Ennis will play Dallas Skyline at Forester Field.

Both games kickoff at 7:30 p.m.