The District 10-5A football standings have turned into a beautifully constructed disaster. Though the talent level is quite evident from top to bottom, the playoff picture is as muddy as a barefoot walk through a silty creek.
Waxahachie and Lancaster will take the field at Stuart B. Lumpkins Stadium this Friday, Nov. 3 with a chance to make or break their postseason dreams. The outcome could also force a four, or even five, way tie for the final three playoff spots. Mansfield Lake Ridge is the only team to clinch a playoff spot after defeating then-state-ranked Mansfield Legacy last Friday, 28-17.
To save fans (and fellow reporters) the headache of crunching potential 10-5A playoff scenarios, Dallas Morning News SportsDay HS staff writer, Michael Florek, detailed the potential outcomes in a recent article.
Just after noting that there are 256 possible playoff scenarios with two games to play, Florek stated the most important game on this week's slate is Mansfield Timberview at Mansfield Lake Ridge.
"If Timberview loses, Legacy clinches a playoff berth. If Summit beats Legacy and Timberview loses, Summit is in," Florek explained in his column. "If Waxahachie beats Lancaster and Timberview loses, Waxahachie clinches a berth as well."
Of course, there is also the possibility that Mansfield Legacy, Mansfield Summit, Waxahachie, Lancaster, and Mansfield Timberview end the season in a five-way tie. Or even that Mansfield Summit, Waxahachie, Lancaster, Mansfield Timberview and Midlothian finish in a five-way tie.
And, of course, Florek notes Lancaster, Mansfield Timberview, Midlothian and either Mansfield Summit or Waxahachie could be forced to flip a coin at the end of the season.
Basically, we know very little about the playoff picture. Win, and you might be in. Or not. But maybe.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Indian fans are encouraged to wear white. Waxahachie football and spirit seniors will be recognized on the field, as well.
ON THE AIR
For those who cannot make Friday night's game, KBEC 1390 carries all Waxahachie football games. Waxahachie ISD Athletics Hall of Famers Ken Roberts and Mike Turner have the call on KBEC 1390 AM or by downloading the TuneIn app and searching for "KBEC 1390."
ABOUT THE TIGERS
Quarterback Trevor Hatton and running back Devante Lacy head a Tiger offense that enters averaging 392.6 yards and 36.6 points per contest.
Hatton, who is also a standout baseball player, has completed 115-of-185 passes for 1,305 yards and 15 touchdowns to seven interceptions. The senior has also carried the football 82 times for 412 yards and four touchdowns — 10 scores fewer than Lacy, the Tigers' leading rushing. Lacy eclipsed the 1,000-yard plateau during last week's rout of Red Oak and now boasts 1,032 yards on 127 carries. He has scored 14 touchdowns while averaging 8.1 yards per tote.
Tramarcus Shamlin has also scored four rushing touchdowns and enters Friday's game with 291 yards on 47 carries.
On the receiving end of Hatton's passes are a Latrell Caples (28-388), Majik Rector (22-310), Jayce Medlock (22-231) and London Mcbay (17-194). Caples leads the bunch with four touchdown receptions, while Rector and Mcbay each have three, and Medlock has caught a pair.
ABOUT THE INDIANS
It seems a different Indian is prepared to step up each week for the Waxahachie offense. Last week, that player was Demani Richardson.
The junior entered win against Mansfield Timberview having run 10 times for 140 on the season. He surpassed the yardage total in the first half, finishing with 13 carries for 183 yards and three rushing touchdowns. Richardson also caught two Bryse Salik passes for 37 yards, finishing third on the team behind Jerreth Sterns (8-93) and Keshawn Anderson (4-39).
After finishing the game 17-of-30 for 194 yards with a touchdown and interception, Salik now boasts 2,346 passing yards and 26 touchdowns to eight interceptions while completing 70 percent (163-234) on the season.
Sterns remains the top playmaker for the Indians. He leads District 10-5A in receiving yards (738), total points (80), total touchdowns (13) and interceptions (5). He also leads the Indians with 47 catches, 66 carries, and 346 rushing yards.
Tevin Wofford II is second on the team with 30 catches for 485 yards, and his four touchdowns are tied with Keyshawn Anderson (21-368). Six Indians have at least 10 receptions, which includes Sterns, Wofford, Anderson, Jeffrey Alexander (19-199), Kevin Green (17-149) and Will Morgan (10-104).
On defense, Jarvis McCray leads the team with six tackles for loss, while Caleb High and Caimyn Layne have four, each.
Raymond Kennedy has connected on 40-of-his-42 extra-point kicks this season and is 1-of-2 on field goals.
INSIDE THE SERIES
According to Waxahachie ISD Athletic Operations Director Terry Minton, Waxahachie leads the all-time series 42-17. The Indians won the first-ever meeting 111-0 (not a typo) in 1928.
However, Waxahachie last defeated Lancaster in 2011 (34-13). In fact, over the last two seasons, the Tigers have served the Indians losses to, theoretically, end their season.
Lancaster scored in the last half-minute of 2015 on the final night of the regular season (42-35) to send head coach Jon Kitna and the Tribe into a coin flip for the final playoff spot. Waxahachie lost that, too.
The Indians fell on the road to the Tigers last season and then received a gut punch from Mansfield Lake Ridge at home to once again miss out on the postseason.
Waxahachie last made the postseason under David Ream in 2012.
Lancaster hosts Midlothian next Friday, Nov. 10, while Waxahachie travels to Mansfield to face the Lake Ridge Eagles.
Both games are scheduled for Friday, Nov. 3 at 7:30 p.m.