WALL, TX- District play has begun and the Wall Hawks, currently second place in district are about to square off against the team in 1st place, the 6-0 Jim Ned Indians.
Wall (3-2, 1-0) are coming off a 64-13 beatdown against district opponent the TLCA Eagles (0-6). This week will be a little different as Matt Fanning’s Jim Ned Indians, led by running back Xavier Wishert, come to Hawk Stadium.
How insane is Wishert?
He is currently ranked 5th in the state with 1,152 rush yards and 14 touchdowns. He averages 18 carries a game and averages 192 yards per game. But Jim Ned is much more than The Xavier Wishert Show.
On the season, Indian quarterback Tate Yardley is 40 of 74 for 729 yards and 9 touchdowns in 6 games. His top targets this season, receivers Braden Lewis and Blaine Palmer, have 472 yards and 7 touchdowns combined.
It’s probably worth a mention that Jim Ned is on an impressive 20-game winning streak which includes a state championship last year.
Under Head Coach Houston Guy, Wall knows what dominate team looks like. The following is Wall’s records for the 13 full seasons Guy has coached the Hawks:
- 2008-2009 3-7 overall, 1-4 in district
- 2009-2010 7-4 overall, 4-1 in district
- 2010-2011 12-2 overall, 5-1 in district
- 2011-2012 11-1 overall, 6-0 in district
- 2012-2013 12-2 overall, 6-1 in district
- 2013-2014 15-1 overall, 6-0 in district
- 2014-2015 11-2 overall, 6-0 in district
- 2015-2016 12-1 overall, 6-0 in district
- 2016-2017 11-4 overall, 4-0 in district
- 2017-2018 12-1 overall, 4-0 in district
- 2018-2019 9-3 overall, 5-0 in district
- 2019-2020 12-1 overall, 5-0 in district
- 2020-2021 8-4 overall, 4-1 in district
Over 13 years (excluding this year) Guy has amassed 135 wins against 33 losses over 168 games. That’s an 80.36% winning percentage since taking over. That doesn’t happen unless you have your team prepared.
This year, Wall is 3-2 overall, 1-0 in district. That doesn’t seem that much different, but Wall faced a unique challenge this offseason.
The Hawks had to replace every starter on defense and only returned 3 from last year and all 3 of those starters were on the offensive side.
But as one can imagine, there have been some growing pains and it could play right into Jim Ned’s hands.
Of the 3 games where stats are available, Wall has given up 826 rushing yards for an average of 275.34 per game. Xavier Wishert has been averaging 192 yards a game this season.
The defense has given up 117 points this season which over 5 games is 23.4 points a game. That’s not an awful average when your offense is putting up 29.4 points per game. But Wall has played close games this season winning 3 games by less than 1 score.
Wall gave up 81 yards rushing to Eastland. Holding an opponent to less than 25 yards a quarter is impressive, but the next week against Cisco, they gave up 343 rushing yards.
When Wall made the trip to Hill Country to play Shiner in Fredericksburg, the Brooks Brothers put up 348 of the 402 rushing yards the Comanches finished the game with.
So what does Wall need to do to get the win?
One way is to keep the Indian offense on the sidelines and take control of the clock. Hawks running back Dominic Garcia rarely goes down after first contact so he will need to continue that running style.
It might not be the huge splash play everyone loves, but 4 yards is a good run and Garcia is averaging 5.4 yards a carry. Controlling the clock is easier said than done, but not panicking goes along way.
Looking at the Snyder film, the Tigers played Jim Ned tight in the first half and had all the momentum after sacking Yardley on the last play before halftime. Snyder came out of halftime and promptly put up a quick touchdown giving the Tigers a 15-7 lead.
As good as Snyder played, in the third quarter Wishert raced around the edge and took the rock 67-yards for the score. After the 2-point conversion the game was tied 15-15.
With the Tigers’ back against the endzone, Indian linebacker Sergio Hernandez took an interception 12 yards to the house and gave Jim Ned a 7-point lead.
With time running out another interception by sophomore linebacker Brayden Shipman all but ended the Tigers dreams of a win.
During the post-game interview with Jim Ned's Matt Fanning, he admitted to not executing in the first half. Sending run blitzes and clogging running lanes could throw the Indians through a loop.
What are the district implications of this game?
This game also could very well decide the district champions. Clyde and TLCA have a combined 0-12 record, Breckenridge is 2-4, and Early is 5-1 but coming off a 48-7 thumping by none other than Jim Ned.
Whichever way this game goes, Jim Ned is coming to Hawk Stadium on Friday night. Tune into COVER1 at 7:30 p.m. on SanAngeloLIVE.com for highlights, coverage, and analysis on this district matchup.