Momentum in football is sometimes hard to quantify, but Lindale High School Head Coach Chris Cochran feels his Eagles are in a good mental place after securing a 20-10 win this past Friday in Gladewater against the Bears.
With the win, Lindale (3-2) has achieved something it last did in 2011 – go into district play with a winning record.
This week is an off week for all of District 17-5A and Cochran knows his club is riding on an important emotional high.
“Our kids are excited and want to maintain this momentum,’’ he said. “It would be nice to be able to get on the field again this week, but we need this time to get some guys healed up.’’
The Eagles begin district play on Oct. 13 in Nacogdoches, which is 1-4 on the year. This record could require an asterisk, since the Dragons have dealt with the likes of Kilgore, Lufkin, Tyler Lee and Carthage, while defeating Hallsville.
Cochran is certain when his guys pile off the bus after the nearly two-hour ride to the Piney Woods, they will be raring to go.
“No doubt these kids will be fired up to play,’’ he said.
Before the season, the coach felt having a winning record going into district play would be an attainable goal. Yet after the first half last weekend against the Bears, things appeared out of sync.
“Really, if you take away one play (a 65-yard run) we played well, especially the defense,’’ he said. “We stressed to them how important it is to not get too high when things are going well and not too low when they aren’t.
“I told them to just keep playing their game, trust the plan and we would be in good shape.’’
The Bears opened up their 10 point advantage on a nifty 20-yard touchdown pass from Daniel Badger to Braden Vickers and a 39-yard field goal from Fernando Serrano.
But Lindale’s offense got cranked up in the second half with quarterback Dillon Heinaman finding trusty Colton Brown on a 12-yard scoring play and Jordan Robinson’s seven-yard score.
Heinaman then salted the game away with a one-yard plunge late in the fourth quarter.
Cochran noted more than one player approached him after the game and let him know how enjoyable it was to register a come-from-behind win.
“It was a fun game to be a part of,’’ he said. “Several of our kids came up and told me how much fun they had.’’
Now a date with the Dragons looms.
“They are very, very good, very athletic and very big on both side of the ball,’’ Cochran said. “Our effort has to be the best. We are going to have to execute better and continue to do what we’ve been doing in order to win.’’