Waxahachie needed to have an offensive outburst like the one they had Friday, but count me as someone who never would have though it was going to come against a defense like Texas High’s.
Texas High won with its offense last year and was counting on its defense to overcome a young, inexperience offense.
The Indians, however, did not let the Tigers’ size and quickness affect them. Waxahachie did exactly what you are supposed to do against teams with the success of recent Texas High teams - they put them back on their heels early.
Led by Boomer Collins, the Indians ran out to a 21-7 lead in the first quarter and took a 28-21 lead into halftime. Waxahachie had a halftime lead against Texas High last year as well, but the Tigers scored 28 fourth-quarter points on their way to a 43-15 win.
There was no letdown this year.
After Texarkana tied the game, the Indians didn’t blink. On the first play of the fourth quarter the Indians regained the lead with a 1-yard run by Collins - proving the Indians weren’t about to back down from a team whose only loss during the regular season the last two years was to a nationally-ranked Louisiana team and tied Arkansas’ defending state champs two weeks ago.
The win also proved how resilient the Indians are this year. Sam Gagliano made a slight error in judgment by catching a kickoff as he went out of bounds at the 9-yard line in the first half. Gagliano, only a sophomore, did not let that deter him. He then made a superb catch on third down to allow the final drive of the first half to continue and had an 85-yard touchdown run on a reverse in the fourth quarter that helped the Indians seal the win.
The Indians’ defense allowed 35 points and that will happen occasionally when playing team’s of Texas High’s caliber. But the defense did make Texas High earn its points, allowing just one touchdown play of more than 17 yards.
However you choose to look at this win — whether you look at the offensive outburst or the fact that the defense clamped down when it had to in the fourth quarter — it all adds up to a silo full of momentum heading into next week’s district opener at Corsicana.
Which, in the long run, is what the Indians needed.