By Travis M. Smith | Ellis County Sports Sports
For the second consecutive week, the Waxahachie Indians met a state-ranked District 11-6A opponent and showed they were more than capable of competing in Texas’ toughest football district.
The Indians did, unfortunately and ultimately, fall to No. 10 (4-0, 2-0) Cedar Hill on homecoming, 35-10.
The final two Cedar Hill touchdowns came inside the final three minutes — and the last as the fourth-quarter clock expired.
Waxahachie (1-4, 0-2 in 11-6A) also lost its starting quarterback in the process, sophomore Roderick Hartsfield to a foot injury in the second half. He was seen wearing a boot on the sideline shortly after exiting the contest.
Hartsfield finished the game 8-of-12 passing for 60 yards and one second-quarter touchdown pass to AJ Thomas (1-11).
Waxahachie began the game with a 14-play, 68-yard drive that leaned heavily on the run. After three passing attempts to open the contest, the Tribe offense rushed 10 consecutive times to set-up a 30-yard Clyde Melick field goal.
Melick’s kick put the Indians up, 3-0, with 5:30 to play in the first quarter.
A pair of punts followed the Waxahachie score, but the Indians’ lead did not last much longer.
Cedar Hill quarterback Kaidon Salter handed the football off to running back Kevin Young Jr. (13-114), who rushed 61 yards to the house. The extra-point kick put the Longhorns up, 7-3, with 2:03 to play in the first quarter.
That lead held into the second — but not much longer.
Waxahachie put together a 13-play, 45-yard drive that Hartsfield capped with his 11-yard touchdown pass to Thomas with 6:40 remaining in the first half. The pitch and catch put Waxahachie back on top, 10-7.
Salter and the Longhorns then needed fewer than two minutes to reclaim the lead.
The Cedar Hill quarterback capped a seven-play drive with a 34-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Thomas IV with 4:47 remaining in the first half. William Rhodes split the uprights to put Cedar Hill up, 14-10. That lead held into the halftime break.
Waxahachie ultimately dominated the time of possession in the opening half for a second consecutive week, besting the Longhorns 16:46 to 7:14. The Indians ran 37 plays to the Longhorns’ 12.
Cedar Hill did, however, outgain Waxahachie 123 total yards to 111 in the first half.
Hartsfield led the Indians with 12 carries for 25 yards in addition to completing 7-of-his-11 passes for 55 yards and the one touchdown.
Salter finished the first half 2-of-3 through the air for 48 yards and one touchdown, while running back Kevin Young had a then-game-high 69 rushing yards and one touchdown on three carries.
Side note: Lilyanna Armstrong was named the 2020 WHS Homecoming Queen and Ethan Brown was named the 2020 WHS Homecoming King.
The second half began with the Indian offense falling into a three-and-out. Cedar Hill, unfortunately, found its footing.
The Longhorn offense needed eight plays to cover 82 yards and capped the drive with a 3-yard Salter run to take a 21-10 lead midway through the third quarter.
Surprisingly, that score held deep into the fourth quarter.
And Waxahachie had its chances, rest assured.
The Indian offense put together a promising drive late in the third quarter, only to have Cedar Hill linebacker Charles Esters III (6-4, 250) drag down wide receiver BJ Hawkins for a loss on fourth-and-one near midfield with 10 seconds to play in the third quarter.
Following the turnover, Waxahachie defensive back Xavien Thompson recorded an interception of Salter in the end zone with 5:17 to play in the fourth quarter. It was the second interception for the Tribe defense on the evening, as linebacker Anthony Gallo picked off the first.
Waxahachie also benefitted from an illegal grab of Thompson’s facemask, which set the Indians’ offense up at its own 35-yard line.
Waxahachie moved to midfield as the clock dipped under four minutes to play in the fourth quarter.
The Indians ultimately turned the football over on downs when Jaden Basham was tackled for a 13-yard loss on fourth-and-7 with 3:08 remaining on the fourth-quarter clock.
Salter and the Longhorn offense officially put the game on ice on their ensuing drive. A screen pass on third-and-5 went for 33 yards and set up Salter’s second rushing touchdown (1-yard) with 2:03 to play. The quarterback side-stepped an Indian defender at the goal line after rolling to his right. The extra-point kick put Cedar Hill on top, 28-10.
The Longhorns rubbed it in a bit with a late score as the clock expired. Why? Who knows, really. Cedar Hill head football coach Carlos Lynn was likely just trying to save a little face after meeting a much, much tougher opponent than he bargained for — so we’ll just let karma take its course.
The Indians return to action to close out Zone A action against (0-5, 0-2) Mansfield Lake Ridge on Friday.
The Eagles have already fallen to 11-6A foes Cedar Hill (38-12) and DeSoto (42-0).
Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. at RL Anderson Stadium in Mansfield.
All photos by Kirk Holt/Ellis County Sports Sports
Travis M. Smith, @Travis5mith