University’s defense never had a chance Friday in Waxahachie as the Indians took advantage of four first-half turnovers by the Trojan offense to take a 23-0 lead in route to a 30-0 win at Lumpkins Stadium.
Only one of Waxahachie’s four first-half scoring drives took more than four plays and the Indians worst starting field position on any of the drives was University’s 45-yard line.
“We knew they were turnover prone, we just hoped they’d be the same way tonight,” Waxahachie head coach David Ream said. “They were the same way last year and we didn’t get any turnovers so this was good for our defense.”
For the Trojans, Friday’s four turnovers ran their season total to 19 in just three games.
“Turnovers like that put a tremendous amount of pressure on our defense,” University head coach Leroy Coleman said. “You give a good team like Waxahachie that kind of field position and they are going to take advantage every time. You just can’t do that against a quality team.”
It did not take long for University’s offense to turn the ball over as the Indians’ Gary Mason Jr. forced a fumble on the third play of the game.
The Indians took advantage quickly as Detric Slaughter scored on the fourth play, plunging through the offensive line from 1 yard out. After Waxahachie grabbed a 7-0 lead, University turned the ball over for a second time. After a 12-yard pass completion, the Trojans fumbled the ball on the 40-yard line.
It took just one play for the Indians to capitalize as Boomer Collins hit Ryan Wilson for a 40-yard touchdown pass to give Waxahachie a 13-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
University’s defense stepped up to force a turnover of its own and a punt on the Indians’ next two possessions. Waxahachie, however, recovered a fumble on the punt return.
The Indians settled for a 31-yard field with 19 seconds left in the first half and appeared to be headed to halftime with a 16-0 lead.
The Trojans, destined to make something happen before halftime, fumbled with 9 seconds left, giving the Indians another chance to capitalize on a turnover. On the final play of the half, Collins rolled to his right and connected with Sam Gagliano in the back of the end zone, giving the Indians a 23-0 halftime advantage.
“That last one was big,” Waxahachie head coach David Ream said. “That made it a three possession game and give us some breathing room heading into the locker room.”
In the second half, University had three drives into Waxahachie territory, but ran out of downs each time. The Trojans reached the 16-yard line with less than five minutes remaining in the game, but were pushed back on a fourth-and-three play.
“It was a good night for our defense,” Ream said. “We’ve been playing well lately and I think we have the right people in the right places now. This was big for our self-esteem, it really felt good.”
Waxahachie got its only second-half score midway through the third quarter. After Collins and Gagliano connected on a 63-yard pass, Collins hit Gary Mason on a four-yard pass in the back of the end zone for a 30-0 lead.
University’s defense allowed just the one second-half touchdown and forced a turnover deep in the Indians’ part of the field.
“I was pleased with the way we came out in the second half, particularly with the defense,” Coleman said. “Offensively we didn’t take advantage of a couple opportunities I thought we should have, but the kids showed a lot of pride about themselves.”
Waxahachie’s defense limited University to just 127 yards of total offense and 280 over the past two weeks.
“It’s good to know that if we stick together and work as a whole, everything’s going to work out good,” Indian defensive lineman Tom Flores said. “We’ve been concentrating all week and we’ve finally got all the kinks out.”