TEMPLE — Temple quarterback T.J. Rumfield and running back Anthony Jackson came to play against rival Waco High and the Lions didn’t have enough answers.
Jackson kept the chains moving and Rumfield peppered the Waco High defense with big plays in the passing game, leading the way as Temple claimed a 38-14 victory on Friday night at Wildcat Stadium.
Rumfield passed for 190 yards and a pair of touchdowns with no interceptions and Jackson rushed for 123 and three scores to help the Wildcats improve to 6-2 and 4-0 in District 18-5A.
Waco High running back Terrance Hamilton had a productive night as he rushed for 155 yards and TD for the Lions (4-3, 1-2).
But Waco High was playing without starting quarterback Jaylen Harris, who wasn’t injured but sat out because of internal team issues, and couldn’t keep up with the Temple offense.
The Wildcats established a two-touchdown lead early and rarely let up. Jackson had touchdown runs of 2 and 21 yards in the third quarter to help Temple establish a 30-point margin and firm control.
In the first half, Temple scored on its first four possessions to dictate the pace.
“Early on we hoped to kick the ball in the end zone and make them start out with their back to the end zone, try to get a stop,” Waco High coach Marty Herbst said. “It didn’t work out that way. They had a long time-consuming (opening) drive and punched it in the end zone.”
Rumfield and Jackson drove the Wildcats’ 12-play, 75-yard game-opening march. Jackson went around the left side for a 7-yard touchdown to cap it, putting Temple in front, 7-0, three minutes into the contest.
It didn’t take the Wildcats long to make another momentum-building play. Temple defensive back B.J. Sculark intercepted a pass by Waco High starting quarterback David Moreno at the Lions’ 40.
Temple moved in quickly for a touchdown to fully capitalize on the takeaway. Rumfield connected with wide receiver D’Yonte Heckstall over the middle for a 35-yard score with 6:51 left in the second quarter.
The Wildcats defense forced another short Waco High possession as the Lions went three-and-out on their second series of the game. But Waco High punter Chris Esqueda uncorked a 59-yard punt to flip the field and give Temple the ball at its own 2.
The Wildcats almost went the length of the field, but the Waco High defense stood up inside their own 10 to stop Temple from adding a third touchdown in the first quarter. The Wildcats settled for Aaron Wagaman’s 22-yard field goal and a 17-0 lead with 1:56 left in the opening period.
However, Temple found the end zone again early in the second quarter as Rumfield capped a 58-yard touchdown drive with a 6-yard touchdown pass to Jared Wiley. With that, the Wildcats established a 24-point lead, their largest of the first half.
Waco High finally gained some traction on offense after inserting junior quarterback Ja’wayne Howard, who directed a 75-yard touchdown drive midway through the second quarter. Howard effectively got the ball into Terrance Hamilton’s hands, throwing to him for a 13-yard gain and a first down to the Temple 23.
But mostly, Howard handed the ball to Hamilton and let the Waco High senior run downhill. Hamilton finished the Lions’ first scoring drive of the contest with a 7-yard touchdown run with 4:35 left until halftime.
Punt returner Quinn Williams gave Waco High a chance to build even more momentum before the break when he brought back a punt 52 yards to the Temple 29. But a holding penalty stalled the Lions’ ensuing march inside the Temple 20 and they squandered the opportunity for points.
“Against a quality team like Temple, those are just not mistakes you can make and overcome,” Herbst said.
Rumfield passed for 114 yards and two touchdowns and Jackson and fellow running back De’Jon Overton combined for 156 yards and a score, helping Temple take a 24-7 lead to halftime.