Safety first: Tribe ‘D’ makes key stops in comeback win

Don Hullett
Daily Light correspondent
Waxahachie’s Rolando Sierra (56) and Jace Robinson (22) signal for a safety after Waco quarterback Sean Mooney (19) was sacked in the end zone during Friday afternoon’s game at Lumpkins Stadium. The Indians beat the Lions, 19-15.

nullBlack Friday is normally the biggest shopping day of the year, and the Texas high school playoffs usually coincide at the same time — but not so much for 2020. In fact, little has gone as normal this crazy and insane year.

nullThe two largest University Interscholastic League school divisions (5A and 6A) in Texas have not even completed their regular season thus far.

The Lions from Waco had traveled to Waxahachie on Friday afternoon for a District 11-6A zone crossover matchup at Lumpkins Stadium. The Indians took over the second half and held on to defeat Waco High School by a tally of 19-15.

The initial quarter looked to be played by two teams that might have overindulged too much good food on Thanksgiving, with both sides playing “not-to-lose” as opposed to “playing-to-win.” As the second quarter got underway, it appeared that both teams had shaken off the side effects of Thursday’s gratifications and were ready to get down to business.

The Lions jumped ahead in the game, courtesy of a 7-yard pass from quarterback Sean Mooney to Jermiah Bennett. The extra point kick was blocked by the Indians — but the ball was picked up by Waco’s Redmon O’Neal and he carried the rock in for a 2-point conversion, making the score 8-0.

On the following kick off, Waxahachie fumbled the return back to the Lions, and it only took 5 plays to cover the 29 yards for another touchdown, as QB Mooney plunged in from the 4-yard line — and Abraham Lira tacked on the extra point to make the new score 15-0.

The Indians were then able to gain some traction in the game, first with their defense dropping Mooney in his own end zone, and giving the Indians 2 points, their first of the game.

Waco opted to kick the ball back to Waxahachie after the safety, and the Indians took over on the Lions 44. Some 10 plays later, Shawn Cherry powered his way into the end zone from 6 yards out, with Clyde Melick adding the extra point to make the score 15-9 at halftime.

Waxahachie controlled the ball much of the second half, as it allowed only 2 Waco possessions. The second Waco drive ended at the Waxahachie 2-yard line with 20 seconds left in the game.

Waxahachie added 10 points in the third quarter with a 6-yard pass from QB Brandon Hawkins. Jr. to A.J. Thomas, and Melick again added the extra point. Melick also contributed a field goal from 27 yards out to close the scoring and to make the final score 19-15.

The Indians (5-4 overall and 2-2 in district) will host 6A No. 1-ranked Duncanville at Lumpkins Stadium on Friday at 7:30 p.m. WHS will travel to Temple’s Wildcat Stadium on Friday, Dec. 11 for the bi-district round of the Class 6A Division II playoffs.