A first half offensive outburst, combined with a stingy defense in the second half proved to be the recipe for the second victory of the season for the Lindale Eagles, a 42-30 decision over Nacogdoches this past week.
A trip to Hallsville is in the offing this Friday in another District 9-5A contest.
Lindale’s offense built a 35-17 lead at intermission then turned things over to the defense which allowed just two touchdowns to an explosive Dragon offense in the second half.
The victory evened Lindale’s district record at 1-1.
Hallsville suffered a 50-0 loss at Marshall last Friday and was beaten 55-35 in Pine Tree on Sept. 28.
After starting out the season with three straight wins – 27-7 vs. Terrell, 20-10 over Kilgore and 62-14 vs. Bullard – the Bobcats have allowed 105 points in their past two games.
Lindale Head Coach Chris Cochran’s message to his team this week centered on understanding that one win doesn’t mean a district title or playoff spot are secured.
“We want to make sure we are still humble,’’ he said. “Hallsville is a talented team that is well coached. I’m sure we’re going to get their best shot.’’
Quarterback Semaj Boyd is “slippery and a very good player,’’ Cochran said.
Other threats include wide receiver/defensive back Tristan Driggers and offensive tackle and Texas A&M commit Blake Trainor.
“They were rolling until they played Pine Tree and then Marshall,’’ Cochran said. “It’s going to a tough game for us.’’
Against the Dragons, Cochran was happy with not only the outcome but how his club responded after losing to Marshall, 47-21, the previous week.
“Obviously we’re very proud of how (our players) responded after that loss,’’ he said. “We didn’t let one game (the Marshall loss) beat us twice. Our coaches put together a great game plan and the kids executed it for all four quarters.’’
Cochran felt his club was much more productive in the red zone than previous games and tackled better against the Dragons.
One of the defensive standouts was junior linebacker Kolton Primeaux, who was the team’s leading tackler against the Dragons and also had a sack.
One of Cochran’s most consistent messages to his club has been the need to win the “middle’’ of the game -- the last part of the first half and the first part of the second half. Lindale outscored the Dragons 27-7 in that span.
“That score we got before the half turned out to be a big momentum swing,’’ he said.
Senior quarterback Dillon Heinaman tossed three touchdowns and accumulated 267 yards through the air, while sophomore running back Jordan Jenkins continued his physical assault on opposing defenses by racking up 215 yards and three touchdowns.
Heinaman stood strong in the pocket while finding receivers Brennan Moore, Colton Brown and Conner Boyette as well as Dylan Worrell with just under a minute to go in the first half to pad the Eagles’ lead to 35-17 at the half.
Brown hauled in a 39-yard score with just under eight minutes remaining in the third period to push the Eagles’ advantage to 42-17.
Jenkins, meanwhile, punished the Dragon defense regardless of whether the play was up the middle or around the ends.
On his first touchdown – a 15-yarder – Jenkins simply refused to go down, carrying three Nacogdoches defenders on his back into the endzone.