After starting district play on a high note last Friday, the Indians will try to build momentum this week against a tougher test.
Waxahachie will play its first home game of the season and christen the newly renovated Lumpkins Stadium at 7:30 p.m. Friday against Red Oak.
The Indians (2-1, 1-0 in 15-4A) are getting better each week and should be up to the challenge of a very potent Hawks (2-2, 1-1 in 15-4A) offense.
“Their quarterback has really been playing well since the first game,” Waxahachie head football coach David Ream said. “Our defensive coaches think that their offensive line is the strength of their team. They block really well.”
The Hawks are averaging 35.5 points per game and that is after scoring just seven last week against Mesquite Poteet.
“They’ve been putting a lot of points on the board and their offense has been playing well,” Ream said. “They scored 56 against Ennis. Any time you can do that you know you’ve got a good offensive football team.”
The Indians’ offense has been just a tick better this season, averaging 39 points per game.
That Waxahachie offense will have a shot to improve on those numbers against a young Red Oak defense.
“Defensively, they are really young with just four seniors starting. But they are aggressive and do things that force you into bad situations,” Ream said. “So we have to be patient and take what they give us and don’t try to be exotic with what we are doing.”
The coach thinks these two teams are very evenly matched, but the Indians do have the tools to get a win.
“We want to try and run right at them. Our offensive line is going to outweigh their defensive line. They play a 3-4 front. They’ve got good size, but we’ve got some big guys on our offensive line,” Ream said. “We hope to wear them down a little bit. Run the football, run the football and maybe open up some passing. It’s hard to tell until you get into the game situation what you’re going to do. Then you see what kind of success you’re having.”
The ground game is what the Indians do well with 688 yards on the ground on exactly 100 carries. But don’t discount quarterback Don King III’s passing game as he has thrown for 646 yards on 61 attempts.
Red Oak’s ground game has accumulated 817 yards on 148 attempts, good for 5.5 yards per carry.
Hawk quarterback Ausin VanHove has thrown for 838 yards and nine touchdowns.
Ream does know where his team’s weakness is and he thinks that this game might come down to that.
“The thing we’ve got to do is be better on special teams than we have all year long,” Ream siad. “I think that will be the turning point.”
Not only is this the home-opener for the Indians, but it’s the first game in the new-look Lumpkins Stadium. So the Indians might have more on their shoulders this year than any other.
“I think we will feel a little bit of pressure with the build up of the whole thing. There is going to be a lot of excitement,” Ream said. “The stadium is going to be full and there is going to be a lot of electricity. I know this week will be a big week with a lot of people from Red Oak coming over to see what the stadium looks like.”
This football game will be the nightcap of a double-header of Waxahachie versus Red Oak action after the Lady Indians host the Lady Hawks in volleyball at 5:30 p.m. Red Oak volleyball has not lost a district match in 21 years.
“They will hopefully fill the gym over there and then they will all come over and watch the game,” Ream said. “We hope to grab a big crowd for both of them.”