Rather than ignore the tape of last Friday night’s District 7-6A opening loss to state-ranked DeSoto at Lumpkins Stadium, Waxahachie head coach Todd Alexander is using it as a learning experience for his Indian charges.

“It shows where we stand, and it shows where we need to be,” Alexander said. “That’s what we kept from that game.”

The Indians will have to learn from last week’s mistakes quickly, as yet another tough game looms against preseason district favorite Cedar Hill. Kickoff on Friday night at Longhorn Stadium is set for 7:30 p.m.

If there are any pluses to playing Cedar Hill, it’s that the Longhorns run an offense that is very similar to Waxahachie’s in terms of scheme.

Quarterback Kaidon Salter, a junior, has completed 58 of 106 passes for over 1,000 yards the season. Salter has 11 touchdown passes against only two interceptions.

“They’ve got some good skill kids and a good offensive line,” Alexander said. “Their quarterback’s a dual threat guy; he can extend a lot of plays and he will. That’s kind of their go-to right there. If receivers are covered, he’s going to do his best to make something happen.”

Salter’s top receiving targets are Quin Bright (23 catches, 337 yards) and Cameron Hutchings (10 catches, 257 yards), each with three TD receptions on the year. The Longhorns use a stable of running backs, with Kevin Young and Corie Allen leading the way.

Defensively, Alexander said the Longhorns play a style that isn’t as aggressive as DeSoto.

“They read a little bit more instead of coming at you with their ears pinned back,” Alexander said. “Their defensive line will read gaps. They’re big, strong and fast, very similar to DeSoto. They’re very sound in what they do; they don’t get real tricky on you.”

Cedar Hill’s 2-2 overall record is misleading, with its two losses coming at the hands of state powerhouses Denton Guyer and Allen earlier in the year.

“That’s two of the top 10 teams in the state of Texas right there, and they still played them very close games,” Alexander said. “They also beat Mesquite Horn, which is a good team as well. They’re a good football team.”

Following Friday night’s game, the Indians — along with everyone else in 7-6A — will take an open date. The break comes at a welcome time for the Indians, who are starting to get a little banged-up.

“It’s going to help us out tremendously,” Alexander said. “We’ve got to get some kids healthy. We’re going to utilize those two weeks as best we can, especially that off week.”

After the game, Alexander will give the entire team Saturday off and they will do conditioning, weights and film on Monday. Then the team will hold normal practices next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, then Friday will be meetings, weights and conditioning.

The Indians will get back into the normal routine the week before their next game Oct. 11 at Mansfield Lake Ridge.

“We’re going to back off on time and get the kids out a little earlier, but we’ve still got to get a lot of things done in practice,” he said. “But our main goal is to get kids healthy and get kids’ legs fresh and back under them, so we’re going to back off of them a good bit.”