[By Stephen Amason, Special to ETSN.fm]

Following a rocky start to the season, the Lindale Eagles now clawing up on their competition.

Lindale (4-3, 3-1 in District 9-5A Division II) has been a force to be reckoned with as of late. The Eagles have won three in a row, including a huge defeat of rival Whitehouse, 19-14, last week that put them closer to the top spot in the district.

The Eagles are more consistent and have been playing more sound football since the start of the season. Lindale head football coach Chris Cochran credits the coaching staff and the players on being sharper and more challenged at practice to their recent success.

“Several weeks ago, we really changed the way we practiced,” Cochran said. “I challenged them, and they started practicing a lot harder. They’re really locked in to what our assistant coaches are trying to get them to do, and the game plan, they work really hard at that.”

“Our assistant coaches do such great job a putting together a plan. They work their tails off on the weekends to put together not just a good plan but also a plan that our kids can do. They know our kids so well, and our kids do a great job and they love their coaches and they really want to do what their coaches want them to do.”

Lindale has a very well-balanced offensive attack, and when the Eagles get going, they’re tough to contain.

The offense is led by senior quarterback Dillon Heinaman, who has 1,619 passing yards and 15 touchdowns on the year.

“Dillon’s been great for us, he’s a great leader, and he holds our guys accountable,” Cochran said. “He knows that if he’s gonna hold our guys accountable, he knows he better hold himself accountable first. When you have that mentality from the quarterback, that’s a positive thing. He’s talented and spins the ball well, he does a good job at distributing and he plans well as far as preparation goes throughout the week. He’s leading our offense well.”

On the other side of the balanced offense has been sophomore running back Jordan Jenkins, who has run for 987 yards and 13 touchdowns.

“He’s a really good kid and he’s had a great year, he’s powerful runner, he wants to run through you,” Cochran said. “For several weeks now he’s been our player of the week and he doesn’t like that, he wants all the credit to be given to the offensive line, and they do a great job on opening holes for our man Jordan. He’s been a pleasure to work with and he’s got a bright future in front of him.”

Lindale looks to extend its streak this week, and will have an opportunity to do so on the road this week at Mount Pleasant (3-4, 1-3).

“They’re very athletic, they bring a lot of pressure on the quarterback, their linebackers are big-time heavy droppers when they read pass,” Cochran said of Mount Pleasant. “They’re extremely athletic not just on defense but on the offensive side, too. Our kids know they will be a tough test for us on Friday night.”