EDITOR’S NOTE: While Lindale is not in the News Herald's coverage area, the Eagles are playing Argyle Friday for the UIL Class 4A, Division I state championship; thought some readers might be interested in reading the preview for the game.
LINDALE — The Lindale High School trophy case is filled to the brim with, well, trophies; along with numerous medals and other championship items.
Walking through the entrance of LHS toward the gym, the school needs to add an extra wing for their collection of hardware.
Included in the mix are memorability of famous Eagles including Major League Baseball pitcher Pat Mahomes, father of Super Bowl champion Patrick Mahomes; country music superstar Miranda Lambert and Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders director Kelli McGonagill Finglass.
Also the “Pride of Lindale Band” has countless state crowns, including this year. And then there’s Lindale’s 2017 and 2018 academic state championships, along with state titles in golf (1995, Class 3A) and softball (2004).
Now, the Lindale football team wants to join that group.
While the 2020 Eagles squad has already made history, the team wants to give the community and their school an early Christmas present — the Class 4A Division I state championship.
The 13-2 Eagles will go for the ultimate gold ball on Friday against the Argyle Eagles (15-0) in the state final. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at the home of the Dallas Cowboys, AT&T Stadium in Arlington. The game, and all state championship games, will be televised on Fox Sports Southwest.
The state championship games, all to be played at AT&T Stadium, begin Wednesday, and wrap up Friday. Friday at noon is the 4A, Division II game, and that pits Carthage – looking to win its eighth overall title and a back-to-back after winning last year – against Gilmer.
Argyle, which is located in Denton County, is playing in its sixth state championship game (2005, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2020) all under head coach Todd Rodgers. Argyle’s state title came in 2013. Rodgers is 209-37 in his 18 years as Argyle’s coach. Argyle has won 12 straight district titles and 57 straight regular season games dating back to 2015.
Arygle’s school colors are red, black and white. The Eagles sport an offense that is averaging 48 points a game, while giving up 15.1.
Argyle’s Eagles are huge up front with an offensive line that sports Jack Tucker (6-7, 290), Caden Reeves (6-4, 290) and Sheridan Wilson (6-5, 290). Tight end Jasper Lott (6-6, 255, 4.9) can clear the way up front as well. Tucker has committed to Texas Tech, while Lott is a TCU commit.
Quarterback CJ Rogers (6-3, 185) leads the attack. He has hit on 158 of 255 passing attempts for 3,062 yards and 44 touchdown passes with just four interceptions. The top receivers are Cole Kirkpatrick (61 catches, 1,185 yards, 17 TDs) and Cash Walker (30 catches, 838 yards, 13 TDs). Argyle is more of a passing team, but Tito Byce (5-11, 200) leads in rushing with 831 yards and 13 TDs on 94 carries.
The Lindale Eagles, whose colors are blue and white, are competing in the state championship for the first time and averaging 42.6 points a game while giving up 26.3 points.
Lindale coach Chris Cochran is in his fourth year at the helm of the Eagles, compiling a record of 31-17 with three consecutive playoff appearances.
By now the whole state knows of standout running back and Baylor commit Jordan Jenkins, who has rushed for 2,941 yards and 50 TDs on 284 attempts. He also has 23 receptions for 212 yards and three touchdowns.
Quarterback Sam Peterson directs the attack, hitting on 182 of 305 pass attempts for 2,315 yards with 24 TDs and seven interceptions. The top receivers are Jacob Seekford (63-918, 9 TDs), Daniel Franke (26-251, 3 TDs) and Evan Alford (27-347, 4 TDs).
Providing the holes and protection up front are center Trey Mazratian, right guard Moses Medrano, right tackle Will Hutchens, left guard Luke Sandifer, left tackle Yahir Soto and tight ends Daniel Franke and Cody Swaim.
Lindale has outstanding special teams which includes thunderfoot kicker Landon Love, who booted the game-winning field goal against Austin LBJ to send his team to the finals. He has connected on 65 PATs, along with 6 of 8 field goals.
Defensively, Airik Williams (141 tackles) and Colton Widemon (105 tackles) are the top tacklers. Jaren Allen leads with 10.5 sacks, followed by Jaymond Jackson (10), Widemon (6), Christian King (6), Omarr Webber (5.5) and Ryan Stanton (3.5). Williams has seven interceptions with Corey Sanders (3), Jackson (1) and Daniel Benitez (1) also picking off passes.