[By Mike Craven, ETSN.fm]

Lindale High School opened the season with a 27-0 victory over Chapel Hill. It was the first time Chapel Hill was shutout since the season opener in 2006, a span of 110 games.

Head coach Mike Meador was happy with what he saw from his Eagles in Week 1, but he knows there is a long way to go and more challenges ahead.

“Simply put, our kids competed and came together," he said. "We got momentum early, but we weren’t really thinking shutout until the very end. Confidence wise, it was great for us to keep that shutout and compete for 48 minutes. We were ahead by a lot there at the end so it could’ve been easy for us to let up. We didn’t do that and I was very proud of our guys for that.”

Not only did the defense not allow any points, it actually put a few on the board. After Lindale took a 3-0 lead on the first drive, the defense recovered a muffed punt and returned it for a touchdown. An early 10-0 lead allowed Lindale to control the game on offense and put Chapel Hill in bad positions on defense.

Next up for Lindale is a battle against Carthage, a program known for success. It will be another big challenge for the Eagles.

“Carthage is one of the best programs in the state,” Meador said. “They’re very talented and always well-coached. They lost in overtime last week, so I’m sure they’ll be ready to bounce back from that. They made some uncharacteristic mistakes last week that I don’t think they’ll make this week, so we’re in for a dog fight. We have a huge challenge in front of us and a good prep game for what to expect once district play begins.”

Lindale plays in one of the toughest districts in Class 5A. District 16-5A is home of defending Class 5A Division II champion, Ennis, as well as large programs such as John Tyler and Lufkin.

“The numbers are a huge challenge," Meador acknowledged. "At the last realignment we were the ninth smallest 5A team in the state. Lufkin and John Tyler are two of the biggest, while Ennis and Nacogdoches aren’t too far behind. It is tough because numbers suggest they’ll have more athletes to choose from, but that is true at every level. There will always be a cutoff in each classification and we can’t use that as an excuse.”

Meador does see a silver lining for this year’s team.

“We’re lucky to have a lot of kids back from last year’s group, so we know the challenges that lie ahead for us,” he said. “We’re excited about this season and our performance in Week 1 really added to that. Next up is Carthage and that is where our focus is right now.”