Waxahachie has already played two road games this year, but it has yet to see a hostile crowd like the one it will see Friday in the District 15-4A opener at Corsicana.
The Indians’ two road games were both at neutral sites with Texas Stadium (Highland Park) and Greenville (Texas High) playing the part of host.
“We haven’t played a true road game yet so that might have a little effect,” Indian head coach David Ream said. “We’ve played some pretty good teams and these kids understand that you have to play at a high level at all times - even on the road.”
After a pair of dominating performances by its defense, Waxahachie’s offense got on track with a 49-point effort against Texas High last week.
Ream is anxious to see if both can play at a high level at the same time.
“In non-district you’re always getting ready and coming together with district in mind,” he said. “Hopefully we can plug it in all together with our special teams. This would be a good time for all three to come together.”
Waxahachie’s offense did not change personnel or plays before last week’s outburst, but was able to break big plays against Texas High’s defense. Before last week, the Indians’ only big play offensively was an 80-yard touchdown pass late in the season-opening loss to Highland Park.
The Indians did with the passing game and running game last week as the accumulated over 500 yards of offense.
“Our inability to make big plays frustrated our offense the first three weeks,” Ream said. “It’s going to make a big difference when we have both parts of our offense going.”
As much as Waxahachie and Corsicana know about each other from previous seasons, the Indians’ offense is entering an unknown Friday at Tiger Stadium.
Of Corsicana’s four games, West Mesquite is the only team that comes close to throwing the ball as much as Waxahachie will.
“The teams they have played have all been running teams,” Ream said. “We do know they have good athletes and that we’re going to have to be on top of our game.”
Corsicana’s offense has the potential to be and has been just as explosive as Waxahachie’s was last week. The Tigers are led by all-state wide receiver Omarius Hines and running back Scotty Bryant.
The tandem makes Corsicana’s offense hard to stop, but Ream said there are ways to slow them down.
“You have to make them one-dimensional,” he said. “Like us, if we allow them to run and throw then they’re going to be hard to defend. Hines isn’t the only big play receiver either.
“You can double team (Hines) or you can do a good job of playing zone, but either way you’re giving up something somewhere else.”
Waxahachie’s defense faced a similarly balanced offense last week against Texas High and gave up 35 points. The biggest problem the Indians’ had was finishing tackles as they allowed Texas High players to escape 27 times.
“We understand that we probably weren’t as good as we looked against University and not as bad as we looked against Texarkana,” Ream said. “Missed tackles was the key last week - we missed 27 opportunities. We can’t give second chances like that.”
Although Texas High scored 35 points and hit on a few big plays, the Indians’ defense did stiffen late in the game to force the Tigers to use a lot of clock.
“The defense looked really good at times last week,” Ream said. “This week we’ve got to get to the quarterback. If we can’t get to him, we’ve at least got to make him hurry his throws so he can’t sit back there and fire downfield.”
Most coaches do not like playing big games early in the district season, but Ream is ready to see his team tested. Both teams made the playoffs last year and are expected to compete for a district title this season.
“Win or lose, you get a contender behind you,” he said. “I’ve always felt its good to play an early game against a contender because you have a chance to get an early lead in district or you take a loss that everyone else is going to later.”
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