The Waxahachie Indians played their best half, maybe even three quarters, of football this season against a team primed for a playoff spot in the toughest district in Texas on Friday night at Vernon Newsom Stadium in Mansfield.
They even outgained (5-4, 4-2) Mansfield Summit 439 total yards to 164, proving that both sides of the young Tribe team are more than capable of competing in the year or two to come. Unfortunately, a three-touchdown outburst by the Jaguars in the first quarter was just too much for the Indians to overcome in the District 7-6A loss, 34-28.
Waxahachie (1-8, 0-6 in 7-6A) outscored Summit 28-7 in the second half behind four DJ Hollywood (22-38, 336 yards) touchdown passes, which included three to junior Josh Sterns.
Sterns finished the game with a team-high 182 total yards, with 163 of those coming on a team-high 10 catches.
Keshawn Anderson also posted big numbers in the passing game with eight grabs for 123 yards, while Garrett Milliken added four catches for 45 yards and a touchdown.
DJ Jackson led the rushing attack for the Indians with 17 carries for 71 yards.
Summit was limited to 60 yards through the air and 104 yards on the ground.
Forty of those passing yards came with 6:26 to play in the first half when Jaguars quarterback Brysen Mckinney completed a touchdown pass to Jaelon Travis to put Summit on top, 27-0.
The Indians then came out in the second half with their hair on fire, sparked by a muffed Summit punt that traveled all of eight yards before it hit a Jaguar and bounced into the hands of an Indian.
Milliken was the first benefactor of a Hollywood touchdown pass when he scored from seven yards out for the lone touchdown of the third quarter.
Hollywood then connected with Sterns on touchdown passes of 59 and 13 yards before Summit’s Xavier Toliver (4-39) scored from 28 yards away with 6:43 to play in the fourth quarter.
Hollywood again found Sterns, this time for a 9-yard touchdown, with 4:37 remaining on the fourth-quarter clock. Crisanto Perez split the uprights on the extra-point attempt to pull Waxahachie within one score, 34-28.
The Indians defense then forced Summit to punt five plays later and took over possession at the Jaguars 45-yard line. Three incomplete passes and one sack later and Summit was in the victory formation, clinging to the lead and their playoff dreams.
Waxahachie closes out the season at 7 p.m. Thursday at home against South Grand Prairie, while Summit faces Mansfield Lake Ridge at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The Jaguars are currently in the fourth spot in the District 7-6A standings.