The Waxahachie Indians have had two weeks to think about their 38-7 road victory over Dallas Carter.
Now the focus will be put on the Terrell Tigers as the Indians open district play.
Waxahachie used the time off to recover, adjust and evolve as a team.
Head football coach David Ream said overall his team is healthy.
“Robert Lowe Jr. is back close to 100 percent,” Rean said. “Devin Walker is still not fully ready to go. Austin Davidson has a bit of an ankle injury. So we’re not 100 percent healthy, but we’re closer than we were last week.”
It’s important that the Indians get Lowe Jr. back after he scored three first-half touchdowns against Dallas Carter.
Ream said both Davidson and Walker would be game-time decisions.
“They both have ankle injuries so you don’t want to bring them back too early and have them hobbling around for eight weeks,” Ream said. “I’d rather get them well so they can go full speed after that.”
Ream limited the team’s contact in practices over the last two weeks to make sure it had the best chance of being healthy for the district opener.
Before the bye week, Ream said he wanted to see his team improve its communication skills and now he thinks it did just that.
“We had some communication problems with getting the plays called in,” Ream said. “But I think we got all the kinks worked out. We only have two quarterbacks and it didn’t take long to get everybody on the same page.”
The focus on this time off was to get better as a unit and progress towards the ultimate goal, a nice, long playoff run.
“I think it gave us some time to correct some problems we saw in the first two ball games. Then we added some of our playbook,” Ream said. “When you play a zero week game, you only have nine days to get ready for a ballgame. Then you’re going all the time.”
But the head coach made sure not to overwhelm the Indians and clog their heads before the game at Terrell.
“There are some things that we didn’t add from our playbook over the bye week, but we will over the coming weeks,” Ream said. “We don’t want to overload the kids before the first district game. But we got everything in that we are going to need for this ballgame.”
With district 15-4A play starting now for Waxahachie, Ream wants to see more confidence from his squad and he is looking towards senior to provide that bravado.
“We’d like to walk and play with some swagger,” Ream said. “To be confident that they can get the job done, but I haven’t seen that in a couple years from our guys. This group has some good senior leaders that can get us back to that level.”
Even though the Indians didn’t play, the other eight teams were in action. Including district-favorite Corsicana, which earned a hard-fought 43-35 win thanks to a goal line stand in the game’s final minute.
That wasn’t the only close one game as Lancaster knocked off Forney 28-27 in overtime after a gutsy call to go for two and the win on the Tigers touchdown in the extra frame.
“We saw that last week you’ve got to play for 48 minutes, or more,” Ream said. “The most important game is the next one, so this week is the most important game for us. It will set the tone for district play. You don’t want to back yourself into a hole the first week. It’s not over after that, but you want to get up on the games that you can.”
The Indians will look to get their first win tonight, but Ream thinks it will take at least four more afterward to get to the playoffs.
“We’ve got eight weeks and each win is going to be tough to get. Typically it will take five wins, but I think it will take six wins to guarantee a playoff spot,” Ream said. “Last year three teams went 6-2 and one went 5-3 to make the playoffs. But I think six wins will get you in.”
Waxahachie re-opened Lumpkins Stadium during the bye week and over 100 former players and coaches were in appearance. Ream doesn’t think this will put an emotional burden on his team.
“We had a lieutenant colonel come in and talk about when he was here in 1984 and talk about the pride he has in Waxahachie,” Ream said. “But most of our guys are disconnected from the guys in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. I don’t think any of them were even born in 1992. They only see the monument out there. They are pretty much just connected to the guys from the last couple years from watching them in junior high.”