CARROLLTON – Most football games are won in the trenches and that was the case Saturday night as Flower Mound Marcus defeated Waxahachie 51-21 in the Old Coach/Avery Air Kickoff Classic at Standridge Stadium.
Marcus (1-0) had a sizable advantage on the offensive line and it proved the difference in the game as the Marauders rushed for 351 yards as Harvey Giddens led the way with 170 yards on 23 carries.
Giddens was joined in the 100-yard rushing club by teammate Jeff Smiley, who proved to be a difference maker early on giving Marcus a 14-0 lead.
Smiley took the first play from scrimmage 42 yards down inside the Waxahachie red zone before Marcus capitalized three plays later on a pass from sophomore quarter Cole Erwin to Deion Sanders Jr.
After Waxahachie was forced into its second three-and-out Smiley dampened the Waxahachie hopes of an upset with a 72-yard touchdown run to give Marcus the 14-0 lead.
It was 14-0 after the first 12 minutes of play before the Waxahachie offense found a spark through the air.
Senior Don King III connected with Terrance Hawkins on a 44-yard pitch and catch to put the Indians on the board with 10:12 remaining in the first half. Hawkins took advantage of aggressive play by Sanders Jr. and worked his way behind the coverage for the easy score.
Marcus went back to work on the ground and scored four plays later on a 29-yard run by Giddens before the Indians answered with a run by Corey Culton.
The game stood at 21-14 before Marcus's offensive line took control and helped the Marauders build a 34-14 half time lead.
Marcus scored on the opening possession of the second half before Waxahachie countered with another connection between King and Hawkins.
King finished the night 13-of-22 passing for 169 yards and two touchdowns before leaving with 11 minutes left in the game with severe leg cramps.
Hawkins was his top target as the junior receiver had seven catches for 130 yards and two touchdowns. He too suffered from fourth quarter cramps as several of the Waxahachie starters began to feel the effects of the warm game-time temperatures.
Marcus continued to pound the ball in the third and fourth quarter adding a field goal and a late touchdown to its total.
The Marauder offense posted 487 total yards while Waxahachie was able to gain 288. Robert Lowe Jr. led the Indian rushing attack with 84 yards on 11 carries.
The Indians (0-1) will return to action Friday at Kincaide Stadium against Dallas Carter.
For more on Saturday's game, including reaction from Waxahachie head coach David Ream, see Tuesday's edition of the Waxahachie Daily Light.