Lancaster finds strength in numbers in 15-4A

It isn’t one player or even a handful of players behind Lancaster’s 6-1 record.

“We’re playing a lot of kids,’’ said coach Chris Gilbert, in his first season at Lancaster. “I’m probably playing more kids than I ever have in my career. We routinely alternate five or six defensive backs, three running backs and we’ve used three quarterbacks. It has taken effort from all of them.’’

Gilbert, who observed the Tigers from afar in prior years, said the program has depth.

“I really feel like we have a little way to go, but I like where we are now,’’ Gilbert said. “I’ve talked to our players about peaking at the right time and I really feel that’s why Friday night’s game is so important.’’

Lancaster (4-1 in 15-4A) goes on the road to meet district leader Waxahachie (6-1, 5-0) 7:30 p.m. Friday at Lumpkins Stadium.

“It will be a playoff-type atmosphere and I want to see how we handle it,’’ Gilbert said.

In another road game with a playoff-type atmosphere in Corsicana, the Tigers sputtered early and couldn’t recover, losing 55-38.

Lancaster has won three since Corsicana, including a come-from-behind 20-19 thriller over Mesquite Poteet last week. Sophomore Nick Harvey scored Lancaster’s winning touchdown on a 19-yard run midway in the fourth quarter.

“The defense carried us against Poteet,’’ Gilbert said.

The Tigers for years have been known for outstanding play in the secondary, and it is true again, but they are also getting great effort up front from senior defensive tackle Windell Chalmers (6-foot, 245) and junior defensive end Deandre Hall (6-7, 215).

“Waxahachie has a great team,’’ Gilbert said. “They have a great running back and quarterback and a big offensive line. Defensively, they are very quick and move around a lot. We really need a good start.’’

After the Indians, Lancaster closes the regular season with games against Terrell and at Red Oak.