This year’s Waxahachie Indians are trying to put last season behind them in a hurry.
And they are doing a great job of it with a pair of blowout wins to start district play.
The Indians (3-1) improved to 2-0 in district 15-4A with a 55-9 victory over the Red Oak Hawks.
What was playing up to be a high-flying shootout before the game, became anything but as the Indian defense put the clamps down again.
“Other than the long touchdown pass, they played really well,” Indians head coach David Ream said. “They are playing a little more physical, a little more confident, getting that swagger we’re looking for.”
That swagger will continue to build, especially if the Indians defense allows 259 yards each week.
Red Oak accumulated just 88 yards on the ground on 39 attempts, that’s good for just 2.26 yards per attempt.
“It’s not just about beating somebody, it’s about how you go about your business,” Ream said. “The kids are getting more physical, they’re making big plays and we’re real proud of them.”
The defense also forced three turnovers, putting the offense in great shape when it got the ball.
Not that it needed much help.
Of the seven Indian touchdowns, five were 26 yard plays or longer, including a beautiful 75-yard run by Robert Lowe Jr. where he got to the second level, pulled out a dirty spin move and left the other 21 players on the field behind him.
Lowe Jr. finished with 176 yards and three touchdowns on 16 carries. Lowe Jr. also scored on runs of 26 and 39 yards. All of which were in the first half.
“When the lights come on he’s a player,” Ream said. “He makes the tough yards. If there isn’t any blocking he’ll always get two or three yards, but if there is blocking he can go all the way.”
But he wasn’t the only one having success on the ground, as the team ran for 281 yards and six touchdowns on 34 carries.
Corey Culton scored on his only carry, a 19-yard attempt in the third quarter.
James Onadele ran for 42 yards on five carries. He scored his touchdown on a 38-yard carry in the third quarter.
Devin Chandler capped off the ground scoring with a three-yard jaunt in the fourth quarter.
A lot of the credit for that success has to go to the offensive line, which had it’s third straight outstanding performance. And it’s no surprise that in those three games, the team is undefeated.
“You can’t say enough about the offensive line,” Ream said. “We always say as the offensive line goes, so goes the team.”
Junior right guard Gennard Johnson said the offensive line is taking it upon themselves to get ready for each game.
“We just wanted to go out there and hit them in their mouths before they hit us,” Johnson said. “It’s starts back there in the weight room. We just take everything serious and bust it in practice and good things happen.”
The line also did a great job protecting senior quarterback Don King III, who was 12-21 passing for 252 yards and two touchdowns.
“Don King was pretty much on the button, he missed a couple balls just by inches, he’s throwing the ball well and making good decisions,” Ream said. “He’s doing a lot better job and is feeling a lot more confident.”
King III did a great job of finding his favorite targets, especially the sophomore wide receiver Quinn Sargent, who had three catches for 45 yards and two touchdowns, one for 32 yards and the other for seven.
The coach made a switch at kicker during the game from freshman Kevin Clark, who had a hip flexor and had to be removed. Senior Ricardo Chavez took over the kicking duties and Ream said he will get more comfortable with the role as the season progresses.
The Indians opened up the new-look Lumpkins stadium with the bang it deserves.
“It’s a first class facility we have here,” Ream said. “We told the kids that you’ve got to look good to play good and when you have a place that looks this good, you better play like it.”
The team won’t be home again for two weeks because they go on the road Friday at 7:30 p.m. to face the Forney Jackrabbits (1-4, 0-3 in 15-4A).