Lindale High School Head Football Coach Chris Cochran understands how important history can be, specifically, the recent history involving his Eagles and this week’s District 17-5A opponent Jacksonville.
The Indians will come to Lindale winless in three district contests thus far and an outside shot at reaching the playoffs.
Lindale, on the other hand, is right in the middle of the postseason mix and can virtually lock up a playoff spot with a victory.
Here’s where Cochran’s recall of history becomes important for his team: In 2016, the same situation existed but the teams’ records were switched when Lindale traveled to the Tomato Bowl to play Jacksonville.
“Last year, we went in there and weren’t expected to win,’’ he said. “I think we caught them by surprise.’’
So much so that the Eagles flattened the Indians, 45-7, to put a damper on their playoff hopes.
Cochran has been warning his team this week that the Indians could very well be the spoilers the Eagles were last season.
“The roles are reversed this year,’’ Cochran said. “We are definitely going to get their best shot.’’
Jacksonville has defeated Pine Tree, Hallsville, Mount Pleasant and Alvarado.
“They are very athletic and very well coached,’’ he said of the Indians who, like the Eagles, are 4-4 on the season. “We’ve got a lot of respect for their coaches and their team.’’
On a frosty Friday night last week in Corsicana, the Eagles suffered their second straight district defeat, 35-24.
The game seemed to turn with just 1:24 left in the half after Jose Guevara booted a 32-yard field goal cutting Corsicana’s lead to 14-10.
But on the first play after the ensuing kickoff, Corsicana quarterback Blake Hoffman found Jervontae Anderson alone behind the Lindale secondary for a 67-yard score, upping the Tigers’ lead to 21-10 at the half.
“That play really put us in a bind,’’ Cochran said. “We weren’t very good offensively in the third quarter…pretty stagnant.’’
A few minutes earlier, the Eagles allowed the Tigers to take a 14-7 lead after fumbling at their own 21. Two plays later, Z’Antyler Hooks ran in from nine yards out.
“When you turn the ball over like we did you are just asking to lose the game,’’ Cochran said. “This is just another one of those things we are going to have to learn from.’’
Jordan Robinson was the leading Lindale rusher against Corsicana, picking up 124 yards on 26 carries. Quarterback Dillon Heinaman passed for 188 yards and two scores.
The Eagles’ defense held Hoffman down in the running game, allowing him just over 10 yards. But the junior quarterback passed for more than 320 yards.
Cochran said the goal for his club now is to win its final two games – a road trip to Whitehouse will be on Nov. 10 – and secure the top seed among the district’s Division II schools.
Other 17-5A games this week will feature Whitehouse visiting Corsicana and Ennis traveling to Nacogdoches.