A bitter end: WHS falls short in bi-district loss
Indians stopped twice inside 10-yard line in first half at Temple
TEMPLE — The tone of the game might’ve been much different had the Waxahachie Indians been able to punch the ball into the end zone on two first-half possessions inside the Temple 10-yard line.
Instead, the Indians were denied both times, and the host Wildcats went on to a 38-0 win over the Indians on Friday night in the bi-district round of the Class 6A Division II playoffs at Wildcat Stadium.
The Indians, who were picked by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football to finish seventh in District 11-6A, ended the season at 5-5 after qualifying for the playoffs for the first time as a Class 6A school. All five losses were to teams that are still alive in the playoffs — Arlington Lamar, Ennis, DeSoto and Cedar Hill, in addition to Temple.
It was the Tribe’s first football postseason appearance since 2017, and also the second straight playoff shutout loss. The Indians’ last previous playoff game was a 35-0 shutout loss against Frisco Lone Star in the third round of the playoffs.
The Indians had two chances to score in the first half, driving inside the Temple 10-yard line, but came away empty-handed each time.
Trailing 15-0, senior Shawn Cherry broke a 54-yard run to the 8-yard line, but Indians quarterback Brandon Hawkins Jr. was unable to handle a snap and Temple recovered.
The Tribe forced a punt and got the ball back, but were stymied a second time. A Hawkins 27-yard run got WHS to the 7, but the Indians were stopped on fourth-and-goal at the 1.
Cherry finished with 94 yards on 19 carries for the Indians, and Hawkins added 36 yards on 22 attempts.
The Indians caught an early break on the game’s second play from scrimmage when Temple quarterback Humberto Arizmendi coughed up the ball at the end of a first-down run. But two plays later, Temple’s Marshall Grays picked off a pass and returned it 30 yards for a score, and the Wildcats (10-1) jumped ahead 8-0 with a 2-point conversion.
The Indians managed a first down but were forced to punt, and Temple made it 15-0 at the 4:51 mark of the first quarter on a 42-yard pass from Arizmendi to Ke’Andre Smith. A 44-yard field goal by Aaron Wagaman, the first of three field goals, late in the first half sent Temple into the locker room with an 18-0 halftime lead.
WHS got the ball to start the second half but was forced to punt again, and Temple made it 25-0 on a Jalen Robinson 33-yard run with 7:02 remaining in the third.
Xavien Thompson made a touchdown-saving interception for the Tribe in the end zone, but the Wildcats added two field goals and a touchdown to round out the final score.
Arizmendi was 8-of-11 passing for 108 yards and two touchdowns, and added 118 yards rushing. Samari Howard added 101 rushing yards for the Wildcats, who advanced to play Rockwall-Heath this Friday night at McLane Stadium in Waco.