Lindale Clinches a Playoff Berth With 59-55 Shootout Win Over Jacksonville
LINDALE – When Jacksonville junior quarterback Carter McCown clipped the right pylon with just 36 seconds left in Friday’s game against the Lindale Eagles, it appeared the Jacksonville Indians would be able to claim their first win of the season.
But they didn’t count on Lindale pulling one final trick out of its bag en route to a heart-pounding 59-55 win that secured at least the fourth and final playoff spot for the Eagles in District 16-4A.
Lindale (3-6, 2-2) travels to Nacogdoches next Friday and a win there would put the Eagles in third place in the league standings.
On Friday night, however, Jacksonville (0-9, 0-4) didn’t resemble a team that hasn’t tasted victory in 2013. Even with Lindale taking a 31-20 lead at the half, the Indians continued to fight back until it appeared they had victory in hand.
After McCown’s late score, the Eagles took over from their own 17 with just under 20 seconds to play. Quarterback David Slice drilled a completion to receiver Court Brown, who then flipped the ball to TJ Griffin trailing the play. Griffin dashed to the Jacksonville 9-yard line.
One play later, with just six seconds to go in the game, Slice found Brown in the left corner of the end zone to give the Eagles the thrilling victory.
Lindale built leads of 14-0 and 28-14 in the first half, but Jacksonville simply refused to fold.
Led by McCown’s accurate right arm, the Indians got back in the game at 31-27 with 11:49 left in the third period.
And once again, it appeared Lindale had the game in hand when Jesse Valdez took a 2-yard scoring pass from Slice to make it 45-27 for Lindale.
But McCown tossed a 24-yard touchdown to Wesley Irons and scored on a 17-yard run to bring the Indians to within 45-42 with still a quarter to play.
On Jacksonville’s next possession, McCown sprinted 53 yards for a score to make it 52-48 Indians with 7:24 left in the game.
And with 3:10 left, McCown – who completed 22 of 39 passes for 337 yards and four TDs – directed his team downfield for the go ahead score. Along the way, he came through with a big conversion on third-and-10 after being sacked at the Lindale 32.
On first-and-goal from the 8, he dropped back to pass and dashed to the right corner of the end zone for the score.
Along with Slice, who completed 10 of 20 passes for 254 yards and three scores, Lindale’s Aaron Jackson had a big rushing night, gaining 231 yards on 32 carries. He also scored a touchdown.