Daily light sports editor
If Saturdayís intersquad scrimmage is any indication of what the 2011 football season will be like for the Waxahachie Indians, start making plans to travel south for playoff action in November.
Waxahachie opened the week with a break in the 100-degree temperatures and a breeze during its practices before waking up to rain Saturday in time for media day and the scrimmage.
Bloomfield Photography flew through the team picture process in record time despite the rain, enabling the Indians to take the field in perfect conditions for their first intersquad action.
The 2011 Waxahachie Indian varsity baseball team also fought the rain in its media day and wound up going four rounds deep in the playoffs. If my preseason prediction comes through, as confirmed by Saturdayís rainy media day, the football Indians are in for a long post season.
Senior quarterback Don King III, also a baseball player, had a strong scrimmage showing no ill effects from the broken throwing hand he suffered in spring drills.
His numbers (4-for-14, 63 yards, two touchdowns) do not reflect the effectiveness he displayed as the lone signal caller for the Indians.
Four of his passes were right on target but dropped by the receivers while four others were where they needed to be but the receiver ran an incorrect route. Those types of things happen in a teamís fifth practice, second in full pads.
In the 40 plays run by the first offense with King under center the Indians scored five touchdowns, made 17 first downs and totaled 423 yards.
King finished the day with 126 rushing yards on nine carries as offensive coordinator Joe Volentine, a former Indian quarterback, has added a new wrinkle to the offense that led to several big plays Ė the option.
College football fans of yesterday know the power of the option running game and on more than one occasion Saturday King used his liberty on the option to create a big play.
Three plays into the scrimmage King showed just what kind of promise the option has for Waxahachie as he took the ball right, noticed the defensive end had the running back covered and darted up field 47 yards. That run marked the longest play from scrimmage on the day.
Overall, the Indian first team offense rushed for 360 yards, averaging 14.4 yards per attempt behind a strong offensive line led by Zach Rieper and Gennard Johnson.
With the line producing big running lanes, returning 1,000-yard rusher Robert Lowe Jr. averaged 12.8 yards per carry and scored two touchdowns in the teamís first 20 plays while James Onadele led the team with 154 yards on 10 carries. He scored once while averaging 15.4 yards per attempt.
Nathan Roberson, Devin Walker and Jamorion Rose had a big day for the new-look Waxahachie first team defense.
With blitz packages designed to utilize the teamís speed, Roberson had a sack while putting heavy pressure on the backfield while Rose intercepted a pass and Walker had the biggest hit of the day on a running play near the home sideline.
Overall, the first team defense held the next best offense to 126 total yards while recording four sacks and two turnovers. The defense allowed a total of six first downs in 40 plays, no touchdowns and the longest play coming in at 25 yards.
Preparation for the Aug. 27 season opener against Flower Mound Marcus continues this week as the Indians hold afternoon practices at Howard Junior High due to the track being placed at Lumpkins Stadium. Meet the Indians is scheduled for Thursday at a site yet to be determined while Fridayís scrimmage at Mansfield Legacy has yet to have its starting time announced.
It does not rain often in Texas, just check out the crater-like field conditions at Howard Junior High were the Indians are practicing this week, but when it does it is often a good sign.
Like the baseball team, the Indians have the talent to make a deep playoff run and Mother Nature did her part with perfect practice conditions in the opening week.
Chad is the Sports Editor for the Waxahachie Daily Light and can be reached at 469-517-1454.