Under the bright Friday night lights for the first time, Waxahachie sophomore Devin Chandler used the week’s brightest stage to make a name for himself.

Chandler was the starting “sam” or strong outside linebacker for the Indians in Friday night’s 29-6 victory against the No. 5 Everman Bulldogs.

“It was a great game, I loved it,” Chandler said following the win. “All my teammates were telling me to stay calm, it’s just like a regular game and to play ‘Devin ball.’ We came up and played as a team, a family, and came away with a victory.”

Young, and inexperienced on the varsity level, Chandler showed Waxahachie head coach David Ream and the defensive coaches at Waxahachie he is ready for the big games.

“He probably doesn’t even know he is a sophomore yet,” Ream said. “He really played well and the coaches had him in a good spot to do that. The defensive staff deserves kudos for putting players where they were supposed to be. We knew pretty much what Everman was going to do and our guys made good plays.”

One of the biggest plays of the night, and the hardest hit of the game, came in the third quarter as Chandler burst through the line and tackled Everman running back Cory Franklin (13 carries, 102 yards) for a loss of four yards. The hit was so hard that it could be heard inside the nearly sound proof press box.

Everman is one of the fastest teams the Indians will face this season. Chandler said the speed of the Bulldogs was a little tough for him in his debut but that he loved every minute of the experience.

Chandler recorded two tackles for a loss in the game and when Everman dropped back to pass he added pressure on the quarterback on several occassions.

Starting at linebacker for a team with a good defense is a great accomplishment. Starting as a sophomore can be a little nerve-wreaking, Chandler handled it well and looks to be a great addition to the strong defense for the Indians this season.

“It was a great game, amazing,” he said.