Tribe hit the wall after stout first half

Indians’ ‘D’ can’t keep 6A No. 4 Duncanville bottled up as Panthers erupt after intermission

Daily Light report
Waxahachie running back Jayden Becks (5) runs into a wall of Duncanville defenders during Friday night's game at Panther Stadium. The Panthers scored seven unanswered touchdowns in the second half to break a 3-3 tie and beat the Indians, 52-3.

DUNCANVILLE — Everything was setting up nicely for the Waxahachie Indians on Friday night at Panther Stadium. The Indians had held powerful Duncanville to a field goal after leading 3-0, and were entering the second half deadlocked, with the possibility of a colossal upset brewing.

Then reality set in, and the Panthers showed why they are now the No. 4-ranked team in Class 6A.

The Panthers closed out the game with seven unanswered touchdowns on seven possessions against a gassed Indian defense that had spent so much of its energy in the first half, and rolled to a 52-3 result in District 11-6A play.

Fortunately, all is not lost for WHS (4-3, 2-2). The Indians can still realize their goal of returning to the playoffs with a homecoming victory this Friday at 7:30 p.m. over Mansfield High at Lumpkins Stadium.

The Indians were held to 79 total yards on the game, of which 31 came on a drive resulting their only points of the night. Jayden Becks managed 31 rushing yards on 12 carries, and Iverson Young added 28 on 13 totes.

Holding Duncanville three-and-out on its first possession, the Tribe milked almost nine minutes of clock as they got as close as the Duncanville 12-yard line before settling for Jesse Garfias’ 34-yard field goal and a 3-0 lead with 10:25 remaining in the second quarter.

The Indian defense made a stop in the red zone on fourth down, but the Panthers got another shot after forcing a punt and drove all the way inside the 5, where the Tribe stiffened again. This time, Duncanville took the three points and Armando Benitez’s 22-yard kick tied it up at 2:58 of the second quarter.

The Panthers were denied in the final seconds of the half when Keith Abney II intercepted a Solomon James pass and returned it 42 yards.

The second half, though, was a different story.

Kadavion Dotson-Walker returned the opening kickoff 67 yards to the Indians’ 20, and two plays later Malachi Medlock scored the first of his four third-quarter rushing touchdowns to put the Panthers on top to stay. Then a WHS fumble at the 22 set up the next Medlock score, and Duncanville was off and running.

The Panthers’ second-half explosion gave them a total of 479 offensive yards. Medlock finished with 123 rushing yards, and Kaleb Kenney and Jayvyn Square added a rushing score each. Quarterback James completed 9 of 15 pass attempts for 132 yards, a touchdown toss to Chris Hicks, and the Abney interception.

Duncanville (5-1, 4-0) sits alone in first place in District 11-6A, and moved up a spot in the Dave Campbell’s Texas Football ranking following previous No. 4 Denton Guyer’s loss to Allen on Friday.

The Indians’ attention turns to homecoming, and a huge game that will likely determine the No. 2 seed in the Class 6A Division II bracket. Mansfield (3-4, 2-2) enters the game tied with WHS in the 11-6A standings after a 44-37 upset loss to city rival Mansfield Lake Ridge, which had entered the game winless on the year.

Friday night’s winner will all but mathematically clinch the playoff berth by holding the head-to-head tiebreaker.