Syd Moore, Van Defense Step Up to Lead Van Past Rival Lindale, 27-13 [VIDEO]
LINDALE -- The Van Vandals defeated rival Lindale, 27-13, on Friday night at Eagle Stadium, led by running back Syd Moore's two touchdown runs and quarterback Garrett Smallwood's two touchdown passes.
The Vandals' (2-1) defense, which also forced three Lindale turnovers, controlled the line of scrimmage all night, with defensive tackle Moore filling the stat line with three tackles-for-loss, two QB-pressures, and one forced fumble.
"I can't say enough about our (Van) kids, we just battled, play in and play out," Van head coach Jared Moffatt said.
Van's defense gave Lindale quarterbacks Josiah Johnson and Cody Slice fits all night, recording two interceptions, two sacks, five tackles-for-loss and three pass-breakups, all from sophomore cornerback Layton Myers.
"You have to focus on winning every play against a team like Lindale, and give them (Lindale) credit, they lost a lot of guys."
Lindale (1-2) kicked things off by scoring on its third play of the game, a 4-yard touchdown run from senior tailback DeMarcus Lynch making it 7-0 at the 10:53 mark. Lynch was playing for injured starter Trey Acy.
After exchanging turnovers, Van finished a six-play drive with a Moore 4-yard touchdown plunge, tying the game at 7. Moore finished with 50 yards and two scores on 10 carries.
On the Vandals' first series of the second quarter, Smallwood connected with senior Hunter Hopkins on a 17-yard pitch-and-catch touchdown at 8:51 to make it 14-7.
Smallwood, who had struggled in his previous two games, came out firing, finishing 10-of-14 passing with 170 yards and two touchdown tosses.
Lindale took little time to respond, putting together a six-play drive culminating with a Delenis Garrett 12-yard rushing score. The Eagles missed the extra point, making it 14-13, and that's as close as they would get.
"We have to learn from this," said Lindale head coach Mike Meador. "We had a lot of kids hurt, we had turnovers and Van's a good football team and they took advantage. It was one of those games that the team who makes the least mistakes wins the ballgame. And we weren't that team tonight."
A Smallwood 18-yard touchdown pass to receiver Carson Rucker with 2:12 left in the first half completed a seven-play drive, making it 21-13 going in to the intermission. Rucker led the Vandals in receiving with four grabs for 97 yards and a touchdown.
Lindale backup quarterback Slice entered the game to start the second half for the Eagles trying to provide a spark. He finished 13-of-20 passing for 121 yards and an interception.
Eagles senior wideout Dakota Meurer collected eight catches and 94 yards receiving.
On the third series of the second half, Van's Moore rumbled into the endzone on a 3-yard run at the 6:00 mark in the third quarter, topping the scoring at 27-13.
"Syd made some great plays for us tonight. This game was a team effort, kids just made plays, and different guys stepped up when counted on," Moffatt said. "We had a lot of young kids grow up tonight. I couldn't be prouder of them."
Van plays host to Kaufman next Friday, while Lindale travels to Hallsville for district play.