In full pads for a week, the Waxahachie Indians showed they are ready for Deion Sanders Jr. and the Flower Mound Marcus Marauders with their performance against Mansfield Legacy Friday at R.L. Anderson stadium.
Instead of relying on proven running back Robert Lowe Jr. the Indians tested its passing game against the Legacy secondary and came out with flying colors, even without the graduated LaDarius Brown.
Senior quarterback Don King III passed for 115 yards and two touchdowns while completing 63 percent of his passes leading the Indians to a 12-12 tie against Legacy after two 12-minute quarters.
“I thought Don King threw the ball well, ran the offense well. We had a little set back, some miss communication stuff with our signals, but we worked it out,” Waxahachie head coach David Ream said. “When he knew it was his ball club he has really turned the corner as being a vocal leader and his confidence is way up there. He still has a lot to learn but he will be closer next week.”
King connected with Terrance Hawkins and Lil’ Quinn Sargent for touchdowns in the scrimmage while guiding the Indians to their best performance in scrimmage action against Legacy in three years.
It’s worth mentioning, King broke his throwing hand in spring drills yet his passes Friday were on target with velocity. It was his best looking performance as a passing quarterback.
Before the Indians opened the 2009 football season, a season in which the team finished 13-1, they were on the losing end of the scoreboard when the lights went out at the Legacy High School stadium.
Scrimmages don’t count towards a team’s overall record, but Waxahachie’s best season this decade started slow with the scrimmage.
Last season the Indians looked, well, OK in the scrimmage against home against Legacy but with King rotating time at the quarterback position he did not have a chance to put his stamp on the team.
This season’s strong performance against Legacy came without using 1,000-yard rusher Lowe to his fullest potential and several plays in the offensive playbook make the prospects for a good season even brighter.
“We did not want to run Rob Lowe very much in the scrimmage. We figured out he already knows how to play,” Ream said with a grin. “There are a lot of plays we held off on. We did not run any options or anything because we wanted to make sure our quarterback was ready to go this next week.”
King rushed for more than 100 yards in the intersquad scrimmage last Saturday in Waxahachie utilizing the option while Lowe and James Onadele each had big afternoons on the ground.
Add in the option and strong running attack of Lowe to what the Indians showed Friday in Mansfield and it could be an season that no one will soon forget.
Defensively the Indians made big plays when it needed to Friday but also surrendered a big play or two from time to time.
At the close of the controlled portion of the scrimmage the Indian defense pressured Legacy and Hawkins deflected a pass that was intercepted by Ray Tunson and returned for a touchdown. Due to controlled scrimmage rules, the play was ruled dead once the turnover occurred but it would have been an easy score since it happened inside the 20-yard line.
Hawkins, Bryan Randall, Nathan Roberson and several others had tackles for a loss for Waxahachie while Michael Veail had two huge plays as the first team defense took the field in the first 15-play controlled portion of the scrimmage.
Veail raced down a Legacy running back who had broken free on a run up the middle and looked destined for the endzone. Veail stopped him at the 7-yard line before intercepting a Legacy pass two plays later to force the Broncos to return to the 30-yard line and start their pursuit of the endzone all over again.
That was the only drive of the scrimmage, controlled or live, that Mansfield drove inside the Waxahachie 10-yard line and the Indians proved they can stand up to the test defensively.
Scrimmages are a good measuring stick to see how much a team has learned in its first couple weeks of practice before the real games begin. This year’s team had one of the best scrimmages in recent history creating reason to believe Flower Mound Marcus might be in for more than it bargained for Saturday in the OldCoach.com Classic.
Chad is the Sports Editor for the Waxahachie Daily Light and can be reached at email@example.com or 469-517-1454.