CHAPEL HILL BULLDOGS
AT
LINDALE EAGLES

7:30 p.m. Friday
Eagle Stadium, Lindale. RADIO: KISX 107.3-FM

Coaches
Chapel Hill: Thomas Sitton
Lindale: Mike Meador

Next week
Chapel Hill: vs. Whitehouse (in Tyler)
Lindale: at Carthage

Playmakers
Chapel Hill

  • FB/DE Tre Allen, Sr., 6-0, 230 (committed to Arkansas State)
  • RB/S Joseph Clark, Jr., 5-9, 175
  • RB/LB Wesley Thompson, Jr., 6-2, 190
  • QB Andrew Black, Jr., 6-0, 180
  • WR/DB Gabriel Robinson, Jr., 5-9, 150
  • WR/DB JaMarcus McCowin, Sr.
  • QB Lex Heckel, Jr.
  • OL/DT Kevone Kennedy, Sr.

Lindale

  • RB Trey Acy, Sr., 5-8, 180
  • QB Josiah Johnson, Sr., 5-10, 170
  • WR Jake Anderson, Sr., 6-0, 190
  • RB Demarcus Lynch, Sr., 5-8, 165
  • OT Justin Young, Jr., 6-3, 275
  • OT D.J. Williams, Jr., 6-3, 265
  • LB Lance Kane, Sr., 5-10, 175

Just the facts

  • Expecations coming into last year were through the roof for Chapel Hill, but just three returning starters back from the 2011 state-championship team, those expectations have lowered just a bit.
  • In addition to compete overhauls in the receiving corps and offensive line, everyone is intrigued by the Bulldogs new quarterback Black, the Jacksonville move-in.
  • All three Chapel Hill returners should play major roles on both sides of the ball in 2012. Allen, who scored 12 TDs a season ago, will play more defense this season. Meanwhile Clark and Thompson, two of the Bulldogs' top defensive playmakers in 2011, will see a lot of action at running back.
  • Lindale is also breaking in a new quarterback following the graduation of Clay Price, who guided the Eagles to consecutive district titles. Meador has tabbed Johnson, a former receiver, as his new man behind center.
  • The backfield duo of Acy ad Lynch should see plenty of action, especially early, after teaming for almost 2,000 yards and 20 touchdowns as juniors.
  • Providing running lanes and protection for the quarterback will be a big offensive front, anchored by tackles Young and Williams.

Key matchup: Lindale offensive line vs. Chapel Hill pass rush. In the previous two seasons, this matchup has been decided in the trenches with the Bulldogs holding a decided edge. Allen is new to the DE position and is going up against  a pair of tough OTs in Young and Williams. If the Lindale big men can do their job and keep Allen out of the backfield, the talented backs and the new quarterback could find smooth sailing. But if Allen is able to disrupt the timing and rhythm of the Eagles' up-tempo attack, a huge advantage goes to Chapel Hill.

Chalk talk

  • Sitton said Allen has become acclimated to his new position. "He's playing very well right now," he said. "Tre's going to have to be tough this year on both sides of the ball, but he's done a great job in the first two scrimmages."

Don't be surprised if: Both teams stick to the running game early and often. Chapel Hill has had plenty of success running on Lindale recently, having rushed for a combined 725 yards in the last two meetings. The Bulldogs are also breaking in a new quarterback and offensive coordinator, so the play-calling may be simplified in the opener. The Eagles' strength on offense is their two running backs, so with inexperience at the QB spot, expect plenty of touches for Acy and Lynch.