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50 IS NIFTY: Taxis runs wild in Indians' landmark win

SANDWICH — Sandwich senior running back Evan Taxis knew the significance of Friday's game with Plano.

Why wouldn't he? The Indians were facing the Reapers for the 98th time in the rich and storied history of the rivalry dating back to 1903, and Taxis didn’t let his last shot at Plano end up in vain or his performance be less than superlative.
It didn't, and it wasn't.
The shifty and speedy runner carried the ball 19 times for 247 yards and three long scores as Sandwich earned a landmark 27-9 victory for its 50th triumph over the Reapers Friday evening here in Sandwich. The Indians (1-3, 1-1) now own a 50-45-3 advantage over Plano (1-3, 0-2) and broke a four-game losing streak to the Reapers dating back to 2013 while earning their first win of the season, overall and in Interstate Eight Large play.
Taxis scored on gallops of 24, 52 and 65 yards as Sandwich piled up 306 yards rushing and 434 yards of total offense, where Taxis did the majority of the work in sparkling fashion.
"It's my senior year, and I'll be honest with you, this is the biggest win for us because it's against Plano," Taxis said. "We came out here in front of a full house and put it to them. It feels great to get a historic win like this against our closest rival, that's for sure."
The Indians also took advantage of four second-half turnovers by the Reapers to tally twice as fourth-year coach Chris Van Dyke earned his first victory over Plano.
"I told the guys before the game that they had a great opportunity in front of them and to make the most of it," Van Dyke said. "It was great to play in front of a packed stadium tonight, and the guys finished what we planned and talked about all week. We took advantage of their turnovers and beat a solid Plano team after losing some tough ballgames earlier this season where we didn’t finish too well.
"It feels great to win a big rivalry game like this."
The Reapers took an early 3-0 lead in the first quarter when Emmanuel Valles drilled a 33-yard field goal at 5:41.
Taxis then started his magnificent night with a 24-yard touchdown run at 7:48 of the second quarter. John Conrad's point-after kick gave Sandwich a 7-3 lead that stretched until halftime.
Plano owned the ball to open the second half and embarked on a lengthy drive that resulted in a fumble that Zach Reyes recovered at his own 15-yard line. Two plays later, quarterback Joe Wiggins — who threw 10 times with six completions and 128 yards — hit wide open Jimmy Roop on a deceptive playaction pass at midfield. Roop took it to the house from there for a 76-yard score at 6:50 and a 14-3 Indian lead.
The Reapers countered, however, as Mauricio Perez (10 carries, 79 yards) tallied on a nifty 36-yard, misdirection score at 3:24 to cut the gap to 14-9. Then after Plano kicked off out of bounds, Taxis rambled 65 yards on the first play from scrimmage at 3:13 to quickly put the Indians back up by the score of 20-9.
"I've got to give a lot of credit to my line," Taxis said. "It was perfect blocking, the hole was wide open, and nobody even touched me. Shoot, you could've driven a truck through that hole. It was a great momentum change right after they scored."
Plano produced another critical turnover early in the fourth quarter. After a first-and-goal at the Sandwich 2-yard line, Sam Brunoehler recovered a fumble.
"The turnovers in the second half obviously killed us tonight against a very good team," said PHS coach Brad Kunz. "If we don't make those, it might have been a different game."
A third Indian takeaway came when Jacob Newberry intercepted Reapers quarterback Keegan Shuttles (11 of 21, 165 yards) inside Sandwich territory.
From there, Taxis concluded his monster evening by racing 52 yards to paydirt at 5:19 of the fourth quarter, completing the Sandwich victory.
At Sandwich
Sandwich 27, Plano 9

Plano (1-3, 0-2) 3 0 6 0 —  9
Sandwich (1-3, 1-1) 0 7 13 7 — 27
Scoring summary
First quarter
P – Valles 33 field goal, 5:41, 0-3.
Second quarter
S – Taxis 24 run (Conrad kick), 7:48, 7-3.
Third quarter
S – Roop 76 pass from Wiggins (Conrad kick), 6:50, 14-3.
P – Perez 36 run (run failed), 3:24, 14-9.
S – Taxis 65 run (run failed), 3:13, 20-9.
Fourth quarter
S – Taxis 52 run (Conrad kick), 5:19, 27-9.
Team statistics
First downs 16 13
Rushes-Yards 39-195 35-306
Passing yards 165 128
Total offense 360 434
Comp-Att-Int. 11-21-1 6-10-0
Fumbles-Lost 4-3 0-0
Penalties-Yards 5-40 5-36
Punts-Avg. 4-29.3 5-33.0
Individual statistics
RUSHING – Plano: Perez 10-78, Coker 15-40, K. Shettles 4-30, Jackson 9-25, Buis 1-22. Sandwich: Taxis 19-247, Carrera 3-48, Smith 3-8, Brunoehler 4-7, Fraire 1 (-1), Wiggins 4 (-3).
PASSING (C-A-TD-INT-YD) – Plano: K. Shettles 11-21-0-1-165. Sandwich: Wiggins 6-10-1-0-128.
RECEIVING – Plano: Chavez 7-83, Jackson 2-65, Perez 1-10, P. Shettles 1-7. Sandwich: Roop 2-85, Taxis 1-20, Brunoehler 1-11, Carrera 1-7, Bra. Butler 1-5.

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