Waco High has a stable of running backs. If it’s not Terrance Hamilton it’s Randy Carpenter or LaDon King. Whether it’s speeding around the outside and sprinting down the sideline or bruising their way up the middle, the Lion running backs were dominant.
Behind a total of 233 rush yards, Waco High ran away with a 41-17 victory over Roosevelt Saturday night at Waco ISD Stadium.
Hamilton led the rush attack with 95 yards, followed by Carpenter with 56 and King with 20. Quarterback Jaylen Harris finished with 37.
“We knew coming into tonight that we had some talent at the skill positions on offense,” Waco High coach Marty Herbst said. “We feel like we’re going to score some points on offense this year. Never did I dream that we’d have 34 or 35 in the first half, but hats off to our guys for playing hard and eliminating some of the mistakes in the first half. They really didn’t surprise us that much because we know we have some talent over there.”
Behind the dominance in the trenches, Waco High had control of Saturday night’s contest almost from the start. The Lions scored four touchdowns in the first quarter alone and never looked back.
“For losing four starters from the offensive line and gluing these guys together to go through spring training in May, you see them progress and work their tails off all summer, it shows you that hard work and a good attitude always pays off,” Herbst said. “We’re really happy for them right now.”
While Waco High ran the ball with success, the Lions balanced it out with their passing game led by Harris with 120 yards. Josh Hamilton was his top target with 79 receiving yards.
Capitalizing off Roosevelt’s mistakes was a common theme for Waco High. The Lions’ first drive started after Demarion Lyons intercepted Carlos Garibay to set up the Waco High offense at the Roosevelt 13-yard line. Terrance Hamilton ran it in from 10 yards out three plays later.
Toward the end of the first quarter, the Lions recovered a Roughrider fumble on the kickoff and scored two plays later off a 13-yard touchdown run by Jaylen Harris.
With 25 seconds left in the first half, Jayden Bishop picked off Roosevelt’s quarterback to put the Lions at their own 49-yard line with 25 seconds left in the first half. The Lions needed only two plays and 16 seconds to find the end zone off a 41-yard reception by Quinn Williams and an 8-yard reception by Josh Hamilton.
“We’re explosive,” Herbst said. “Taking the ball 70 yards in two plays with under 30 seconds to go, I mean, that was a little surprising. We saw what coverages they were in and thought we could hit it, and we did.”
While the offense rolled, the defense contained Roosevelt for the most part, allowing only 17 points on the night. The Roughriders struggled to get into a rhythm offensively because of the pressure the Lions brought.
“We struggled with some perimeter play,” Herbst said. “I thought our line played well. I thought most of our defensive backs played good most of the game. We’ve still got some work to do at linebacker across the board. We were able to get eight or nine of them playing experience tonight. I don’t think but one or two of those have ever played on Friday night. That was a big step for them.”