In the aftermath of Lindale’s soggy, 42-28 road win over Hallsville’s Bobcats last Friday night playoff possibilities are in the air as far as the Eagles are concerned, especially if they can take down in-county rival Whitehouse this Friday at Eagle Stadium.
Four District 9-5A wins should sew up a playoff berth for the Eagles and while LHS Head Coach Chris Cochran is still preaching the one-game-at-a-time mantra, he knows his club is on the verge of something very special.
“Obviously we are very excited about winning two district games in a row, but we can’t get complacent,’’ he said. “We’ve got a big test in front of us this week and we can’t afford to let it affect the way we play against a very good Whitehouse team.’’
The Wildcats will bring a 3-0 district record and 5-1 overall mark into the contest which annually is one of the most bitterly fought games on each team’s schedule.
Along with Marshall, Whitehouse is tied for the district lead, with Lindale and Pine Tree next at 2-1. Nacogdoches and Jacksonville are 1-2 while Mount Pleasant and Hallsville are 0-3 in league play.
Whitehouse edged Nacogdoches, 35-31, last Friday, after falling behind 31-13 to the Dragons entering the fourth quarter.
“There’s no doubt we’ve got to play well and bring our “A’’ game this week and every week,’’ Cochran said.
The Wildcats’ offense will test the youthful but sturdy Lindale defense. Wide receivers Cameron Cantrell, K.J. Johnson and Kendahl Frye are favorite targets of quarterback Flint Herrington.
Defensively, lineman Darius Trimble “is strong and plays hard,’’ Cochran said. Others to watch for include linebacker Peyton Kennedy and Chaez Spurlock.
This past Friday, the Eagles had to deal with the elements as well as the Bobcats as a downpour arrived shortly after kickoff.
“(Hallsville) just kept fighting back,’’ Cochran said of last week’s opponent. “They always seemed to be within reach. But we were very proud of how our kids handled the elements. I thought we handled the rain better than they did.’’
The Eagles used dependable battering ram Jordan Jenkins to open the scoring with a one-yard run with four minutes left in the opening quarter. Colton Brown took over the two-point conversion to give Lindale an 8-0 lead.
Quarterback Dillon Heinaman tossed a four-yard scoring pass to Dylan Worrell to build Lindale’s lead to 14-0 with five minutes left in the first half.
Heinaman tossed his second touchdown of the game with just under a minute to go in the half to give the Eagles a 21-7 lead at the half.
Jenkins bolted for a 26-yard score midway through the third period to increase the Eagles’ advantage to 27-14 and in the fourth period, Heinaman found Jaymond Jackson for a 15-yard score to put the game away at 34-14.
A defensive highlight belonged to Airik Williams in the fourth period when he had a pick six from 38 yards out.
Other standouts from the game included wide receiver Colton Brown, linemen James Sandifer and Cason Cheney on offense as well as cornerback Walker Oglesby and linebacker Kolton Primeaux on defense.
Cochran is hoping for a big and loud turnout this week from Lindale supporters.
“We need to challenge our fans to get out there and make a difference,’’ he said. “That would help our kids get even more fired up.’’