MIDLOTHIAN – The offense for the Indians was going to be full of question marks coming in to the season.
Unfortunately for Waxahachie, not many of them had a chance to get answered in Friday’s 42-7 loss at Midlothian. The Indians gathered just 245 yards, about half of which came trailing 42-0, and too many mental mistakes kept Waxahachie from getting any momentum rolling.
“We couldn’t move the ball on offense and when we did we would have a penalty and just kill the momentum,” Waxahachie football coach David Ream said. “Or worse, we would turn the ball over.”
Turnovers were killers. The Tribe threw three interceptions and lost a fumble, not to mention Midlothian blocking a field goal attempt when the game was scoreless.
“We thought we could get a drive going,” Ream said. “The penalties, turnovers and bad snaps made it just a fiasco.”
The offense didn’t get a first down in the first quarter and only moved the chains four times in the second frame. The best shot the team had at scoring until the fourth quarter came on a field goal attempt by former Midlothian kicker Dylan McLain. His former teammates broke through the line and the 28-yard attempt was blocked and rolled into the end zone.
The offensive line was pushed around by the Panthers and they didn’t get a chance to open up running lanes for Treyvon Hughes. The junior did get the bulk of the carries as he ran it 14 times for 104 yards, but just a little bit better blocking would have helped him have a huge game.
“All running backs look the same without blocking. They just whipped us up front offensively and defensively,” Ream said. We talked the talk, we just didn’t walk the walk. We’ve got to have something we can hang our hat on and we didn’t have that.”
The rest of the offense sputtered running the ball until LeDarron Crawford busted a 31-yard run with 2:45 left in the game. But at that time, the game was already over.
If you take out that long run, the Indians had 37 carries for 139 yards, just 3.75 a carry.
The ground game is going to be the strength of this team as first-time varsity starting quarterback Jake Villarreal gets more accustomed to the speed of the Friday night game. His debut didn’t go too well as he completed just four passes on 13 tries for 36 yards and two interceptions.
Payton Stewart entered the game when it was 28-0 and he didn’t fair much better as his only pass attempt was picked off and returned for a touchdown.
“We’ve been practicing for three weeks and all spring, we just didn’t execute,” Ream said of the passing game. “We had people open, we just dropped balls. We went to the wrong receiver a few times and threw picks when they ran the wrong routes. We just did a poor job of coaching them this week.”
Johnny Campos did have three grabs for 49 yards to be the top receiving option among the Indians.
Sophomore quarterback and defensive tackle Sammy Overton entered the game for the lone scoring drive and he completed two of three passes for 39 yards. He also ran over a defender while gaining 14 yards.
Thankfully, the offense has two weeks to jell before it will be tested by a very fast West Mesquite squad, which will put up a lot of points. That game will start at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 14 at Lumpkins Stadium.
Billy is the sports editor for the Waxahachie Daily Light. Like him on Facebook at Billy Wessels - Waxahachie Daily Light Sports. Follow him on twitter @BillyWesselsWNI. You can reach him at the office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 469-517-1454.