For the third straight game, the Waxahachie Indians will be on the road.
But there is something different about this game. This one really counts.
While all games are important, district games are at a whole other level than the non-district games.
You want to come out strong, send a message saying that this is the year.
After missing the playoffs last season for the first time in two decades, the Indians (1-1) start their path to a new playoff streak tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Terrell Memorial Stadium.
The Terrell Tigers (2-1, 0-1 in 15-4A) are the first team on the district menu for the Indians for the second year in a row. And the situation is eerily similar to 2010.
Waxahachie started last season with a lopsided loss against a 5A school then rebounded a week later with a blowout victory against Dallas Carter right before a bye week.
Terrell started both of the last two seasons with impressive wins against Kaufman and Greenville before starting district play with a loss to Mesquite Poteet.
The only difference for the Tigers is that game against Poteet. Last year was a 17-6 defeat. But this time around, Terrell was on the wrong end of a 55-0 final.
The Indians will hope that this year’s game will also be eerily similar to last year as they won the matchup 49-33.
Because of the discrepancy in the Tigers’ first two games and their last one, Indians head football coach David Ream doesn’t know exactly what to expect.
“We know the first couple ball games they wore out Kaufman and Greenville and then last week they ran into (Mesquite) Poteet,” Ream said. “They are probably somewhere in between. They had some problems in their kicking game last week. They had a few punts blocked. Which like the Cowboys last week, if you get a punt blocked, there is a good chance you’re not going to win the ballgame.”
Ream thinks that special teams will be a difference this week too.
“We’re hoping our special teams will give us an advantage,” Ream said. “We’ve got some good return people. We’re struggling with our kick off game right now. But they have some issues with their punting game. But they’ve had a week to fix it.”
Offensively, the Tigers have some weapons. Running back Dwayne Dowell leads the team with 231 yards on 52 carries and has scored twice.
Quarterback Shea South has completed 36-75 for 452 yards and a touchdown. On the ground he has41 carries for 225 yards and has found the end zone five times.
“They are a dangerous team, they’re quarterback is back from last year and he did a good job. Their running back is one of the top running backs in the district,” Ream said. “They’re very capable. We’re going to have to play well on defense.
Terrell has had problems already this season with turning the ball over. South has thrown three interceptions this season and the team has fumbled 10 times, losing seven of them.
Ream thinks the Indians have the edge on the defensive side of the ball, but he hopes the weight of this game doesn’t affect his team too much.
“I don’t think their defense is as good as it was a year ago. They’ve got a lot of young guys playing out there,” Ream said. “It’s their home district opener. We expect a lot of intensity and a lot of hoopla to be going on. It’s our first district ball game so we’re going to be under some pressure to.”
Both teams feature really good offensive lines, which should make for interesting match ups.
“But our offensive line matches up with their defensive line pretty well because we’re quite a bit bigger than them,” Ream said. “But if you flip it, their offensive line is bigger than our defensive line. Our quickness will have to come into play and our defensive line has some quickness.”
And just like most football games, this game will be won or lost by the way the lines play.
“If you win in the line, there’s a good chance your running back is going to have a good game and your quarterback is going to have time to throw,” Ream said. “You might throw a bunch, but if you’re running from alligators the whole time it’s tough to be accurate.”
Ream isn’t sure if this will be a high-scoring game like last year or not, but he knows his team is ready for whatever the Tigers throw at it.
“That’s one of those things where when you expect a high-scoring game, you get a defensive battle. But we’re prepared for a high-scoring game if we need to be,” Ream said. “We have a lot of weapons so we can score points in a hurry if we need to. Our philosophy is to run the ball and control the clock, so we’d like to get into a situation like that. But we do have some big play people with (Terrance) Hawkins, (Rob) Lowe (Jr.), both (Quin and Quinn) Sargents. I feel real good about our ability to score points.”