Waskom Holds Elysian Fields To Less Than 100 Yards In 45-0 Thumping
ELYSIAN FIELDS -- The rumors of Waskom's demise were greatly exaggerated.
The defending Class 3A Division II state champion handled Elysian Fields at Jacket Stadium on Friday, 45-0. Elysian Fields was generally favored to win the two teams' District 8-3A Division II in statewide preseason publications.
Instead, the Wildcats advanced to 4-0 overall and will enjoy the weekend with a four-way share of first place in the league with a 1-0 district record.
"First district ball game, it's obviously a huge slingshot for our program," Waskom head coach Whitney Keeling said. "You want to stay undefeated. But whether we had been 0-3 or 3-0, this was the first victory in the district season. We came out and played extremely well."
The victory pushed the Wildcats' winning streak to 19 games. That's the second-best current run in East Texas behind Gilmer's 20 games.
Keeling opened the game with an onside kick call. The Yellowjackets (2-2, 0-1) had won the coin toss and elected to receive.
Lucas Norton recovered the kick at Elysian Field's 46-yard line, Kaleb Haynes ran for a gain of three yards and fullback Chan Amie went the remaining 43 yards the next play for the ultimate game-winning score. Just 39 seconds into the meeting.
Waskom held the Yellowjackets to 93 total yards while gaining 465 yards of its own. Elysian Fields gained 125 yards in the game, but the Wildcats sacked quarterback Ryan Storey five times for no less than six yards a pop. Amie had a team-best two sacks as a linebacker.
The Yellowjackets never got closer than Waskom's 20-yard line. When that happened, the team faced fourth-and-7 and Amie sacked Storey for an 8-yard loss.
Amie also led the Wildcats in rushing with 161 yards and two scores on 14 touches. He had 100 yards six minutes into the game.
It could have been worse. The senior took a shot diving in for a one-yard touchdown on the final play of the first half and Keeling reduced his offensive role in the second half.
"It's a big win," Amie said. "I feel like everyone had E.F. over us. Now that we've shut them out, we've shown that we're not a joke."
Waskom returned a handful of important players from its state championship team, but the program lost three of its four runners that broke 1,000 yards through 16 games. Those players also had roles on the defensive side.
Kevin Johnson rode the title to a spot on the SMU roster and June Bug Johnson got an opportunity with Tyler Junior College.
That left Amie and Mike Reason -- returning All-State linebackers -- as headliners.
First-year starting quarterback Dylan Harkrider, a senior, had a good opening district contest. He ran for a team third-best 80 yards and threw for 43 more on the way to two total touchdowns.
Senior slotback Keileon Johnson put up 85 yards on nine touches and Norton, a receiver, also broke 50 rushing yards on seven carries.
"We knew that defense was going to be the strong point of our football team all season," Keeling said. "They're continuing to get better. I feel like the young offensive line has gotten better every game. They'll continue to get better as the season progresses."
After taking a 7-0 lead, Waskom attempted a second onside kick that was recovered by Elysian Field's Zach Kuhn.
The two teams traded possessions through the remainder of the first quarter.
Keeling's squad started a seven-play, 79-yard drive on the first play of the second quarter. Norton scored from 33 yards.
After his drive-ending sack, Amie dove in from one yard to cap a five-minute drive. The ensuing extra point sailed wide for a 20-0 lead.
Elysian Fields' third turnover on downs gave Waskom the ball at the opposing 48-yard line with 27 seconds left in the half. Harkrider found Eric Stephens III on a 20-yard pass with no time left on the clock. The extra point was blocked.
The Yellowjackets stopped Waskom's first drive of the second half, but Storey's pass was picked off minutes later for a Stephens 62-yard touchdown to up the score to 32-0. The two-point conversion failed.
Harkrider ran in from 18 yards on an option play two Waskom drives later. The two-point conversion play was stopped just short of the goal line.
Freshman T.K. Hamilton closed scoring with a 33-yard run at the 10-minute mark of the fourth quarter.
Elysian Fields will visit Troup this week. Waskom simultaneously hosts Frankston and its high-flying offense.
"The onside kick was big because it set the tempo of the game," Amie said. "We came out to play and we showed them."
No. 6 Waskom 45, Elysian Fields 0
District 8-3A Division II
At Jacket Stadium, Elysian Fields
Waskom 7 19 12 7 -- 45
Elysian Fields 0 0 0 0 -- 0
WAS--Chan Amie 43 run (Victor Tapia kick), 11:21
WAS--Lucas Norton 33 run (Tapia kick), 8:52
WAS--Amie 1 run (kick failed), 1:54
WAS--Eric Stephens III 20 pass from Dylan Harkrider (kick blocked), :00
WAS--Stephens 62 interception return (pass failed), 7:28
WAS--Harkrider 18 run (run failed), 2:11
WAS--T.K. Hamilton 33 run (Tapia kick), 9:59
First Downs 12 5
Total Yards 465 93
Rushes-Yards 46-422 31-71
Passing Yards 43 22
Comp.-Att.-Int. 3-6-1 3-9-1
Punts-Avg. 2-37.5 4-41.2
Fumbles-Lost 4-0 2-2
Penalties-Yards 3-25 4-50
RUSHING--Waskom, Chan Amie 14-161, Keileon Johnson 9-85, Dylan Harkrider 7-80, Lucas Norton 7-54, T.K. Hamilton 2-36, Kaleb Haynes 4-8, Tay Green 1-0, Kevy Luster 1-(-1), TEAM 1-(-1). Elysian Fields, Kyree Ratliffe 13-66, Jakobe Owens 10-35, Nate Johnson 2-2, Ryan Storey 6-(-32).
PASSING--Waskom, Harkrider 3-6-1--43. Elysian Fields, Storey 3-9-1--22.
RECEIVING--Waskom, Stephens 2-32, Norton 1-11. Elysian Fields, Brevin Manning 1-15, Sharay Ratliffe Jr. 1-3, Dylan Parker 1-1.