Everman has been circled on the Indians’ calendar since last season and Friday night at Lumpkins Stadium the Tribe’s defense came to play.
Waxahachie defeated the state-ranked Everman Bulldogs 29-6 due in large part to the outstanding play of the defense.
Matched up against one of the fastest teams on its 2009 schedule, the Indian defense showed it has plenty of speed as well.
Waxahachie held Everman scoreless through the first 41 minutes of the game. During that span the Indians forced three turnovers, two fumbles and one interception.
The first turnovers came near the end of the first half as Sam Gagliano intercepted an Everman pass near the end zone. The fourth-down interception stopped an Everman drive that was closing in on the red zone.
Both Everman fumbles came in the second half and resulted in Waxahachie points by LaDarius Brown.
The biggest play of the game on defense, according to Indians’ coach David Ream came in the fourth quarter as Everman assumed possession of the ball on the Waxahachie two-yard line following a long kickoff return.
Devin Chandler stopped Everman running back Ruben Fletcher for a loss of a yard to open the series before junior Dustin Upchurch stopped Shawn Sanders from a loss of another yard.
With Everman facing a third and goal from the four yard line the Indians forced enough pressure on the Everman quarterback to hurry his pass. The incomplete pass resulted in a fourth and goal attempt.
Everman attempted a run on fourth down and Waxahachie was ready. The Indians stopped the first back behind the line of scrimmage before the lateraled the ball to another player. That player was stopped even farther back before Cory Franklin received the lateraled ball. Franklin ended up losing six yards on the play due to the swarm of defenders for Waxahachie.
Waxahachie’s team speed was on display all night Friday. Sweep left, sweep right, it did not matter the Indians were there.
On the occasion when Everman broke a long run, Waxahachie made sure to run down the back before he reached the end zone.
“The big plays that they made were at time when we were there and they just got out of it because of mistackles and such,” Ream said.
Everman had seven runs of 10 yards or more, but was stopped for a loss of yards 17 times.
From the play of the defensive backs Eddie Jurgens, LaDarius Brown, Gagliano and Oshae Cofer; to the linebackers Chandler, LaJordan Easley and Andrew Kindred down to the line consisting of Relus Chance, Gerard Randle, James Mann and Kajion Carroll the Indians speed outplayed Everman.
“I knew coming into this game we all had to give it our best. Our motto this year is finish strong. I knew if we did that we would be able to accomplish anything,” Gagliano said.