Mesquite Poteet capitalized on nearly every short field, turnover and Waxahachie mental miscue Thursday night. And the Pirates did so across all three phases of the non-district football game.
Though the offensive statics are not that different, the (1-1) Pirates continually lit up the scoreboard at Mesquite Memorial Stadium in the 48-7 week-two win.
The Pirates gained 390 yards of offense against an Indian defensive unit that was visibly gassed by the midway point of the third quarter after being forced to stay on the field while the offense struggled to find its rhythm.
Poteet running back Seth McGowan ran for 118 of those yards on 18 carries and scored three touchdowns, while Cam Lampkin added three carries for 43 yards and a score. The Pirates rushing attack totaled 266 yards on the evening, outgaining the entire Waxahachie offense that totaled 222 yards.
Jaden Watson was the leading rusher for the Tribe with 67 yards on 16 carries. JJ Overton scored the lone touchdown for Waxahachie late in the fourth quarter. He ran for 29 yards on six carries and Demani Richardson had eight carries for 38 yards.
After an emotional win over the rival Ennis Lions, the (1-1) Indians have been afforded their first opportunity to prove to themselves and the community that they have the mental fortitude to bounce back from a punch to the gut, said head football coach Todd Alexander to his team after the game.
Alexander told his players that it was a “different team that showed up tonight” than the one that took the field last week at Lion Memorial Stadium in a 54-32 win against Ennis in the Battle of 287. He also explained the Indians need to be mentally prepared every time they step onto the football field and that the focus now needs to be on the correcting the “little things.”
“We are going to come back tomorrow and fight another day,” Alexander said. “We have to find those fine things out. It was just a different team that showed up tonight, and I think you know that.”
He added, “This game does not define our team and it does not define our season."
The Indians offense began the ballgame with a five-yard delay of game penalty, which, in hindsight, was a sign of things to come.
Poteet linebacker Jeremiah Record then intercepted the first DJ Hollywood (2-11, 40 yards, 3 INTs) pass of the game. Record jumped the 10-yard stop route and caught the interception after it bounced off of the Indian receiver.
The Pirates offense needed just two plays to find the end zone.
Cam Lampkin reversed field for a 22-yard gain and then scampered through the middle of the Indians defense for a 7-0 Poteet lead with 11:19 to play in the first quarter.
Each defense bowed its neck on the next two offensive possessions to force the opposing offenses to punt.
A first-down run by Demani Richardson was promptly followed by a 30-yard completion on a play-action pass down the right hash from Hollywood to tight end Jaylen Warren (1-30). The completion moved the Tribe into Poteet territory at the 35-yard line, but a short run and two incompletions later and the Indians were forced into a tough fourth-and-eight situation.
The Hollywood pass fluttered a little short of Keshawn Anderson (1-7), who almost made a spectacular one-handed catch along the Poteet sideline — almost.
Poteet then drove deep into Waxahachie territory and then inside the Indians 30-yard line. Quarterback Dalton Dale (4-9, 120 yards, TD, 2 INTs) floated a pass into the end zone only to have Indian safety Josh Sterns intercept the pass with an over-the-shoulder grab with a little less than three minutes to play in the first quarter.
Hollywood threw his second interception of the ballgame two plays later, giving the Pirates the football at the 36-yard line of the Indians.
Two first downs later, Dale scooped up a bad snap and turned the corner around the Indians defense for an 8-yard touchdown run. The point-after kick put the Pirates up 14-0 with six seconds to play in the first quarter.
A third Hollywood interception on the second play from scrimmage for the Indians in the second quarter could’ve been a backbreaker if the Pirates had done anything other than, well, turn the football right back over to the Tribe via a Tyler Cash interception. It was the second interception of the game for Dale and fifth on the night for the two quarterbacks.
Jordan Fay (3-7, 57 yards) made his season debut on the ensuing Indian drive and promptly completed a 6-yard pass to Anderson. A five-yard false start penalty put the Indians offense in reverse and stalled the drive.
Fay was held out of the first Waxahachie football game with a left shoulder injury.
A 13-yard punt gave the Pirates offense the ball near midfield and they capitalized on the short field seven plays later when Seth McGowan broke a couple arm tackles for a 20-yard touchdown. Dylan Brown split the uprights on the extra-point attempt and gave the Pirates a 21-0 lead with 6:03 to play in the first half.
Fay moved the Tribe into the Poteet red zone with a 43-yard completion to Austin Mick, but the Tribe ultimately turned the football over on downs with 3:53 remaining on the clock.
Unfortunately for the Indians, the Pirates made the most of the opportunity to add onto their lead before the halftime buzzer.
Dale connected with Louis Moore deep down the middle of the field for a 63-yard touchdown pass on the sixth Poteet play of the drive. The extra-point kick was wide left, giving the Pirates a 27-0 lead with less than one minute to play in the half.
The score held as the teams headed to the locker rooms.
McGowan then scored twice for the Pirates in the third quarter — first from three yards a little under one minute into the half and then from 1-yard out with 5:18 to play.
Louis Moore later added a 61-yard punt return for a touchdown with 2:40 to play in the third.
Waxahachie finally found paydirt when JJ Overton capped a nine-play, 59-yard drive with a 5-yard touchdown with 9:47 showing on the fourth-quarter clock.
The Indians make their home debut at 7:30 p.m. Friday against Flower Mound Marcus. The two teams have met just once all-time, with the Marauders handing Waxahachie a 51-21 loss in 2011.