WAXAHACHIE – An intentional handball in the penalty box in the last minute of the game proved to be a blessing in disguise for the Indians.

The Indians (5-2, 3-1) defeated the Red Oak Hawks 3-1 in a game decided by two separate incidents in the 79th minute of the match.

With a 2-1 lead, the Indians were trying to fend off the pressure being applied by the Hawks.

However, with 53.5 seconds to go the first game changing play occurred.

Down deep in Indian territory, the Hawks were awarded a throw in. After gathering the throw in, a shot was sent towards the box. Seeing that goalkeeper Chase Woodhouse was beat, midfielder Matt Calame stuck out his hand and knocked down the shot.

Due to the play, the Hawks were awarded a penalty kick and an eminent opportunity to tie the game and send it into over time.

With the game on the line, Woodhouse came up with a game altering save.

“Woody came up with a huge save for us,” Venable said.

Not being content with just the save, Woodhouse fired a throw to senior forward Hank Alven igniting the second game-changing play.

Alven gathered the throw, took a couple dribble and sent it up to junior forward Sheldon Ellis. After beating the Hawks last defender, Ellis was in prime position to put the game away but before he could he was taken down in the penalty box.

With 38.6 second remaining in the game, the Indians were awarded a penalty kick a mere 16 seconds after giving one up. Alven approached and scored on the kick giving the Indians a 3-1 lead and back-to-back district wins.

“It’s amazing how much 10 seconds matter. The game went from a 2-2 tie to a 3-1 lead in that span,” Venable said.

 Although there were numerous other ways for the Indians to pull off its third district victory, Venable was grateful for the opportunity Calame gave his team.

“If he (Calame) hadn’t done it, it would have been a goal,” Venable said. “We would have gone to a shootout and you never know what happens in those. It’s the first time something like that ever happen and paid off for one of mine teams.”

After claiming a 2-0 lead in the first half, the Indians had its chances to increase the lead but weren’t able to capitalize on opportunities like it had in the first half.

In the first half, the Indians broke the scoreless tie in the 21st minute of the game. After being awarded a throw-in in Red Oak territory; Alven gathered the throw-in and took it down the right side of the penalty box.

Getting by the Hawks defender, Alven crossed the ball to Ellis who took one touch and blasted his shot past the Hawks for a 1-0 lead.

No less the six minutes later, the Indians were finally able to capitalize on having the 25-40 mph gusting wind at its back.

From a little less than 30 yards out, defender Jonathan Salinas drilled his free kick into the back of the net blowing past the Hawks goalkeeper.

Salinas’ goal gave the Indians a commanding 2-0 lead, however, the Indians weren’t able to put the Hawks away until the game’s final minute.

The final minute scare was caused by the Indians inability to get the third goal Venable was looking for after his team took a 2-0 lead into halftime.

“At halftime time, I told the team it was going to take 3 goals to win,” Venable said. “I’d hoped it would of happen sooner rather than later.”

Other notable performances in the Indian victory was the play of the Indians midfielders, Thomas McNamara, Eric Davila and Huge Guerrero who controlled the center of the field at times with precise passes helping Waxahachie claim a crucial district victory.

“It was a big win for us,” Venable said. “It assures us at least a spot at second for the time being.”

With first place implications on the line, the Indians will take on Corsicana Friday night at 5:30 p.m. in Corsicana.

Waxahachie 3, Red Oak 1

Waxahachie    2   1  -   3

Red Oak      0   1  -  1

Goals

Wax: Ellis (21), Salinas (27) and Alven (79). R.O.: (56)

Assists

Wax: Alven (21). R.O.: (56)

E-mail Anthony at anthony.davila@wninews.com

Editor’s note: The Waxahachie Lady Indians fell to Red Oak on Tuesday. Erik Davila’s article will appear in the Thursday edition of The Waxahachie Daily Light.