WACO — Apparently the Temple Wildcats were not looking ahead to a potential District 12-6A championship clash with Waco Midway next Friday night at Wildcat Stadium.
That was very bad news for the struggling Waco Lions, coached by former Temple assistant Kwame Cavil.
Combining a relentless, rush-heavy offense with a smothering defense, Temple did what it wanted when it wanted in overpowering Waco 52-0 on Friday night at Waco ISD Stadium.
Anthony Jackson, De’Jon Overton, Josh Murrell and Ky’Juan Pugh each rushed for at least 74 yards and a touchdown as the Wildcats (8-0, 6-0 12-6A) rumbled for 409 yards and six scores. Jared Wiley passed for 189 first-half yards with a 33-yard TD to Quentin Johnston to help Temple — which had zero turnovers and never punted — compile a season-high 618 yards.
Temple also dominated defensively as it beat Waco for the fifth straight season, allowing 164 yards — 27 after halftime — and recording its second district shutout.
It was exactly the kind of businesslike performance the Wildcats expected as they clinched their sixth consecutive playoff berth, a feat not achieved by Temple since 10 straight postseason trips from 1976-85.
“This week the focus was on having playoff energy and executing like we’re supposed to. We’ve focused on ourselves, and next week we want to go 1-0 again,” said Temple senior safety Monto President Jr., whose starting defense played only one second-half series before the Wildcats’ reserves preserved the shutout. “Now we’ll get ready for Midway and playing for a district championship.”
Temple coach Scott Stewart was pleased with his starters’ dominant first half and his backups’ sharp play.
“We’ve preached that there’s a standard and an expectation that you’ll play at a high level when you play for Temple,” Stewart said. “If you’re not ready to do that, don’t sign up.”
And now it’s on to Midway (6-1, 6-0), with at least a share of the 12-6A championship at stake. The Panthers pummeled Shoemaker 56-14 on Friday and haven’t lost a district game since 2013. Midway, last year’s Class 6A Division II state runner-up, is 4-0 against Temple since 2012, including 26-20 and 40-28 non-district wins in 2016 and 2017, respectively, against the then-5A Wildcats.
“Midway’s real good. They’re going to execute,” Stewart said. “We are going to get our guys as ready as we can get them. We are not going to turn this into the game of the century. We’re going to turn our kids loose and let them go have a blast.”
Cavil coached Temple’s receivers to great success from 2016-17, and the Wildcats greeted him warmly after beating Waco (1-7, 0-6), Cavil’s alma mater.
“There’s a lot of respect on both sides,” Cavil said. “That’s a good (Temple) team and I know what they go through. It’s preparation, motivation and execution at a high level. We’ve got some youngsters who’ve got to play and get thrown into the fire.”
Sophomore Aaron Wagaman kicked a 23-yard field goal midway through the first quarter, then Temple’s deluge began. A 4-yard touchdown run by Jackson (123 yards) and Overton’s 5-yard TD scamper pushed the lead to 17-10 early in the second, then Johnston beat his defender to catch Wiley’s pass for a 33-yard score — their 14th TD connection — for a 24-0 game 6:26 before halftime.
Jackson’s 38-yard touchdown sprint and Overton’s 10-yard TD blast provided a 38-0 halftime lead for the Wildcats, who produced 400 yards total offense in the first half – 211 rushing and 189 passing.
Senior Murrell ran for 121 second-half yards with a 27-yard third-quarter TD, and sophomore Pugh added a 31-yard score in the fourth.
FRIDAY'S 12-6A FOOTBALL
- Belton 86, Ellison 55
- Copperas Cove 50, Harker Heights 6
- Temple 52, Waco 0
- Waco Midway 56, Shoemaker 14
- BYE: Killeen
THURSDAY, NOV. 1
- Shoemaker (1-7, 1-5) at Copperas Cove (5-3, 3-3), 7 p.m.
FRIDAY, NOV. 2
- Killeen (4-4, 3-3) at Ellison (3-6, 3-4), 7:30 p.m.
- Waco (1-7, 0-6) at Belton (6-2, 5-1), 7:30 p.m.
- Waco Midway (6-1, 6-0) at Temple (8-0, 6-0), 7:30 p.m.
- BYE: Harker Heights