It obviously wasn’t the way new Lindale High School Head Football Coach Chris Cochran wanted to start the season this past Friday, but some plusses emerged from the 19-14 setback.
When practices got under way last month, the coach felt as if his defense would be a strength to this year’s club and even though it surrendered 19 points, there were bright moments for that side of the Eagle line.
“There were some positive things we took out of that game, but we want our kids to understand that they should never get comfortable with losing,’’ Cochran said. “We as coaches are fighting to help them understand that losing is never OK.’’
Offensively, the Eagles looked closer to mid-season form than might be expected from a team that had the benefit of just one scrimmage and was limited in its August practice time due to the spring competition.
“Consistency is what we are working on with the offense,’’ Cochran said. “That will come. We are in not in panic mode.’’
The Eagles jumped out ahead in the second period on a nifty 17-yard scoring pass from quarterback Dillon Heinaman to Colton Brown, who then tacked on the two-point conversion.
This scoring play capped a nice drive that began near mid-field, with running back Jordan Robinson and Heinaman working in tandem to move the Eagles downfield.
Kaufman managed to trim its deficit to 8-7 running back Trey Collier ran in from four yards out with just under three minutes left in the first half.
The Lions then went ahead on a 50-yard scoring run from running back Jay Gasper, who found a hole on the left side of the Eagle defense, headed for the sideline and raced in for the touchdown.
At the beginning of the fourth period, Ethan Gilley hauled in a five-yard scoring pass from Heinaman to push the Eagles back in front, 14-13, but the Lions were able to clinch the contest with a 17-yard scoring run from Gasper with just over four minutes left in the game.
This score was a result of the Eagles’ lone turnover – one which could have just as easily been ruled an incomplete pass – but nonetheless was said to be a fumble at the LHS 17.
This week will be the home opener for the Eagles as the Forney Jackrabbits come to town.
“Our kids are really excited about this week,’’ Cochran said. “This isn’t a must win, but we really want our kids to experience some success that will come from the hard work they are putting in.’’
The Jackrabbits will feature twins Devon (quarterback) and Aaron (running back) Rideaux on offense and linebackers Cameron Tate and Donovan Graham and defensive lineman Elijah Stewart.
Forney finished with a 4-6 record last year (including a 28-21 win over the Eagles last year in Forney) and had a 2-5 mark in District 15-5A.