It's always fun to win, but Waxahachie head football coach Todd Alexander and his crew have already put behind them the joy of snapping a long losing streak. Their aim is to make a winning streak now.
“It's worn off now and we're ready to go,” Alexander said. “For the coaches it wore off by Saturday evening. But the kids are eager to play. It's a good little kick-start for us.”
The focus now shifts to Friday night's non-district finale and the Indians' first road game of the season at Flower Mound Marcus. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Marauder Stadium.
The Indians last week trailed by as much as 22 points early in the third quarter before mounting a comeback to beat Mesquite Poteet, 53-46. Waxahachie (1-1) outscored Poteet 36-7 the rest of the way, recovering nicely from disaster after a muffed kickoff return and a quick-strike touchdown.
“It's something we've trained all year for, and it finally showed Friday night that those types of things were paying off,” Alexander said. “I think character was revealed Friday night, just due to the results.”
The Indians' defensive secondary was put under pressure all night by a Poteet offense whose running game was limited. But those defenders, despite giving up yardage, stepped up and made huge plays when they had to.
“It's a young crew out there,” Alexander said. “We had all juniors out there Friday night, and they just keep getting better each week with experience. They're starting to communicate better and more often, and we're seeing those guys continue to improve.”
Preston Hodge and Xavien Thompson start at cornerback, and Ashton Wright and Quincy Johnson at safety for the Indians. Jace Robinson plays a dual position at safety and bandit, or outside linebacker.
Hodge came up big with two interceptions last week, and Johnson made the pass breakup that sealed the win.
The Indians' offense also clicked, amassing 584 total yards, with dual threat Campbell Sullivan passing for 346 yards and five touchdowns while rushing for 134 more yards, including an 88-yard TD.
Receiver Brandon Hawkins Jr. caught 13 passes for 124 yards and three TDs, Kieran Page added six catches for 118 yards and a score and Jaden Basham chipped in with two catches for 63 yards and a TD. Derrick Jackson reached triple digits in rushing yardage, carrying 23 times for 101 yards.
Placekicker Crisanto Perez was perfect on the night with three field goals and seven PATs.
Attention now turns to the Marauders, who are 1-1 after a 26-19 win against McKinney Boyd. Marcus led 17-0 at halftime and then had to hang on for the victory.
“They are very well-coached and very disciplined,” Alexander said. “They're a spread team, and they have the ability to run it and throw it, and that's what they do.”
Quarterback Garrett Nussmeier threw for 352 yards and three TDs against Boyd, including a 35-yard scoring pass to receiver J. Michael Sturdivant off a flea-flicker that gave Marcus the lead for good. Running back Tyson Edwards and tight end Collin Sutherland are other offensive weapons the Marauders possess.
On defense, middle linebacker Ethan Barr and defensive lineman Ethan Kappler lead the Marauders' charge. Barr had a game-sealing interception to secure last week's win against Boyd.
Overall, Alexander said the Indians need to work on consistency and efficiency on offense, and communication on defense, to avoid falling in an early hole like they did last Friday night.
“We were able to put things together and be more efficient in the second half against Poteet,” Alexander said. “We've go start out doing that and get to clicking a bit quicker than what we did.
“Defensively, communication is a key factor. It's something we've worked on a lot this week, with those guys communicating signals and calls with each other and getting lined up. They got a little tired in the second quarter and it showed.”