REGIONAL SEMIFINALS PREVIEW | PODCAST
5A Division II Region 2 Semifinals
Lone Star (12-1) VS Waxahachie (8-5)—35-0
As we’ve discussed before, the playoffs are a different kind of beast. Teams that advance to the third round of the UIL Playoffs are there for a reason, as “luck” quickly expires.
The Waxahachie Indians check all of the boxes for a deep playoff push: Survived a tough district? Yep. Took down two consecutive top seeds? Yes again. Averaged a ridiculous 50-plus points per game? Yes sir, or madam. Add to that impressive list of playoff success a large dose of momentum and the Indians of Waxahachie appeared poised for yet another upset.
But, unfortunately for the Indians, their momentum propelled them right into the beastly buzzsaw that is the Lone Star Rangers where they were roundly discarded, and tossed aside faster than a wheelless bicycle on Christmas morning.
The Rangers 35-0 shoutout win was as dominant a complete winning game as Lone Star has put together this year, in a season of, well, dominating complete wins.
For the Rangers, their dominance all started on the heels of their running game—one that had been held to just 4.9 yards per carry (136 yards) in their Area Round win over Lovejoy.
QB M.J. Rivers (10/14 passing, 146 yds, TD) got the Rangers on the board in the first quarter on a 41-yard run, and scored yet again late in the second quarter, this time on a run of 16 yards.
And as has now become the norm for Lone Star, their offensive exploits were set up well by an equally dominating defense. Just prior to Rivers’ 41-yard run, a key pick by Ranger DB Julian Larry (INT) of a Bryse Salik (192 yds, 3 INTs) pass set the table for the first score of the game. Next it was a blocked field goal by Trey Taylor (INT) that once again got the ball in Lone Star’s hands with Rivers doing the rest with his feet.
All told, Rivers had 249 total yards, with 4 TDs—103 of which came on the ground with an impressive three rushing TDs to boot. Kirby Bennett III shook off what had a been tough going for him a week ago, as he contributed seven yards per carry for 133 yards rushing. Darrin Smith (TD) supplied the icing on the cake as he rushed for what would be the Rangers final score on the day, one that put the game away, 35-0.
And just as the Rangers successfully established the run, the Waxahachie Indians couldn’t move the ball if they were riding shotgun on a cross-town Uber lift.
Their two leading rushers—Demani Richardson and Jerreth Sterns—were held to just 39 total yards on the ground. Sterns did quite well as a wideout, leading the Indians with 78 yards receiving. But this game was all about Lone Star, which seemed fitting as they played at one of their stadiums, The Ford Center at The Star in Frisco.
It’s worth nothing that on a run-heavy game, WR Ife Opere (29 yds, TD) made the most of his two catches, as he recorded Lone Star’s lone receiving TD.
Up next for the Rangers are the Regional Finals and a matchup with the Mansfield Legacy Broncos (11-2) who just toppled an impressive North Forney team. We’ll have a preview available soon and a Regional Finals Podcast Preview as well!