Every team hates playing somebody that has its backs against the walls.
It might be just week five, but the Forney Jackrabbits’ season is on the line this week against Waxahachie.
After dropping its first three district 15-4A games, Forney (1-4, 0-3) can’t afford to lose another game if it expects to make the playoffs.
“That’s one of the scary things because their backs are against the wall so they are going to pull out every trick play that they have to try and win the ball game,” Indians head coach David Ream said. “We understand that some of the toughest people you play are the ones with their backs against the wall. We’re going to try and match their intensity.”
Waxahachie will try to deliver the knock out blow to Forney when the game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Forney City Bank Stadium.
The Jackrabbits have had a couple bad breaks this season, losing by one point in overtime against Lancaster and losing 14-10 against Ennis in a rainstorm. But this team can put up points, as it showed last week in its 59-38 loss to Mesquite Poteet.
“They are a real explosive offensive team, defensively they hadn’t played that well,” Ream said. “But if they don’t turn the ball over two or three times they don’t get into blowout ballgames. They are a dangerous team as far as I’m concerned.”
That explosive Jackrabbit offense is lead by quarterback Patric Youngman, who is the team’s leader in passing and rushing. Youngman has completed 58 of 94 passes for 642 yards and five touchdowns. But he has thrown four interceptions.
The quarterback has also ran for 418 yards on 78 carries and has scored seven times on the ground.
Youngman might be a good dual threat quarterback, but Waxahachie signal caller Don King III is off to a great start and Ream thinks he played his best game of the season last week.
“Don threw the ball well against Red Oak,” Ream said. “King made a lot of good decisions in the passing game. On all of our plays he’s got a main target and then several options off of it. He found the right guys that were open a lot better than the week before I thought.”
King III is 47-82 passing for 896 yards and seven touchdowns to lead the Indians (3-1, 2-0 in 15-4A).
Waxahachie is familiar with Forney now that the two teams have matched up each of the last two seasons, both Indian wins.
Last season, Waxahachie won 33-21 for its second district win.
In 2009, the Indians defeated the Jackrabbits 35-12 in the first round of the playoffs.
“We’ve played them several times lately. We’re familiar with each other and they know what we do offensively and defensively and we know the same about them,” Ream said. “They are well-coached and do the little things right. Their kicking game is good and they ran a kick off back for a touchdown so that’s a concern of ours. It’s one of those games that you just don’t know what’s going to happen.”
That special teams should worry Ream as opponents are starting near the Waxahachie 50-yard line.
“Sometimes as bad as we kick the ball off, we don’t know where it’s going and they don’t know where it’s going,” Ream said. “We’re still giving up first downs by the position of our kicking game. We’ve got to be better than that.”
This is a crucial week for the Indians as grades are due.
“Guys are making a press to maintain eligibility,” Ream said. “We want to focus on football, but that’s first and foremost.”
The coach doesn’t expect to lose any players in this week’s game.
“I always worry about the grades, you worry about the ones that are always borderline, but then you might get surprised by one of the ones that you don’t really worry about,” Ream said. “Not everybody is good at every subject. But we’re on top of it all the time.”
Ream also expects all of his offensive and defensive starters on the field Friday. The only player that may not play is freshman kicker Kevin Clark.
Senior Ricardo Chavez will handle most of the duties if Clark can’t go. Junior Michael Adkins might get some work at the position too.
Directions from Waxahachie High School to
Forney City Bank Stadium
Depart from 1000 N. Hwy 77, Waxahachie, TX
1. Head west on Indian Dr. toward US-77 N for 0.4 miles
2. Turn right onto US-77 N for 7.6 miles
3. Take the ramp on the left onto I-35E N for 8.1 miles
4. Take exit 418B to merge onto I-20 E toward
Shreveport for 19.7 miles.
5. Take exit 487 toward Forney. Go 0.4 miles
6. Turn left onto S. FM 740 for 1.1 miles
7. FM 740 becomes FM 548 and continue for 2.1 miles
8. Turn right onto FM 741 for 0.3 miles
Arrive at 800 FM 741, Forney, TX, 75126