Dashed hopes: No. 6 DeSoto overcomes early WHS surge

Bill Spinks
Waxahachie Daily Light

DESOTO — Things were going great for Waxahachie in the first minutes of Friday night’s chilly District 11-6A opener at Eagle Stadium.

The Indians had taken an early lead and then recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff, and visions of a colossal upset were undoubtedly dancing in some supporters’ heads.

But then, reality set in.

The Indians’ defense tried to hold on all night long, but continually being forced to defend a short field took its toll as the Class 6A No. 6-ranked Eagles pulled away for a 42-6 decision.

Sophomore quarterback Roderick Hartsfield was the early spark plug for the Indians  (1-3, 0-1), and really their only offensive threat all night. Hartsfield finished with 108 rushing yards on 14 carries and the team’s only score on a 64-yard keeper early in the game. Hartsfield accounted for 148 of the Tribe’s 166 total net yards managed all night.

The Indians almost pulled off a score on the very first play from scrimmage when a Jaden Basham throw to Hartsfield on a double reverse fell just outside of Hartsfield’s arms.

But two plays later, Hartsfield slipped past the line on a draw and took it to the house, giving WHS a 6-0 lead in front of a stunned Eagle Stadium home crowd. The Indians went for two out of the swinging gate formation, but were foiled on a fumbled snap.

Then on the ensuing kickoff, DeSoto’s Johntay Cook coughed up the football and WHS junior Eddie Przybylski pounced on it at the Eagle 19.

An unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty against DeSoto kept the Indians’ possession alive, but later as WHS lined up for a 40-yard field goal, a false start penalty backed them up out of kicker Clyde Melick’s range, and on the next play Hartsfield was called for intentional grounding, turning the ball over on downs.

That was the high point of the night for the Indians. The Eagles (3-0, 1-0) drove 58 yards in just under four minutes to take a 7-6 lead and never trailed after that.

Quarterback Samari Collier finished with 275 yards on 16-of-27 passing and three touchdowns, and also ran for 71 yards and a TD for DeSoto. Robert Richardson added 48 rushing yards and two markers.

Taevion Wofford and Xavien Thompson each had a first-half interception for the Indians.

WHS will host Cedar Hill for homecoming on Friday beginning at 7:30 p.m. at Lumpkins Stadium.