Impressive Van Team Stretches Itself With Rival Lindale From 5A
Lindale Eagles (1-1)
Van Vandals (2-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Van Memorial Stadium, Van
- Lindale: Mike Meador
- Van: Jared Moffatt
- Lindale: lost to Forney, 28-21
- Van: def. Princeton, 56-28
- Lindale: at Terrell, Sept. 16
- Van: at Palestine, Sept. 16
- LB Kale Ridge, Sr., 6-2, 215
- DL Terrell Cooper, Sr., 6-3, 240
- TE Cameron Sir Louis, Sr., 6-4, 220
- QB Montana Meador, Sr., 5-11, 162
- DB De’vion Dingle, Sr., 6-2, 160
- OL Matt Coley, Sr., 6-0, 230
- WR Joe Noble, Jr., 6-3, 180
- WR Colton Brown, Soph., 6-0, 175
- DB/RB Cooper Bledsoe, Sr., 6-0, 175
- LB Sam Reeves, Sr., 5-11, 220
- WR Isaiah Allred, Sr., 6-3, 195
- QB Garrett Moseley, Jr., 5-11, 175
- WR/DB Connor Houston, Sr., 5-11, 175
- MLB/RB/H-back Brax Thompson, Jr., 6-1, 190
- OL Caleb York, Sr., 5-9, 235
Just the facts
- Friday's meeting is the annual installment of the Lindale-Van rivalry.
- For the seniors participating in the game, Lindale owns a 2-1 edge against Van dating back to their freshmen years in 2013. That includes a 28-27 win last season at Van Memorial Stadium -- the same location as this game.
- The Vandals are off to an impressive start. Last week, they defeated a Princeton team that began its own campaign with a convincing win against Celina, which reached the Class 4A Division II state championship game a season ago.
- The Eagles enter Week 3 with a 1-1 overall record for the third consecutive year. They're 1-1 in Week 3 games in the same timespan.
- Lindale, a Class 5A program, is 1-0 against Class 4A Division I teams. It defeated Kaufman -- the Vandals' district mate -- 42-39 two weeks ago.
- The Eagles' defense was one of the region's best last season, allowing about 21 points per game.
- Lindale has averaged 33.5 points against per game thus far while Van has not scored less than 41 points.
- There will be a lot of future college talent on the field.
- Eagles defensive tackle Terrell Coopers owns three NCAA Division I FBS offers and linebacker Kale Ridge is being recruited by Prairie View A&M from the FCS level.
- Van athlete Cooper Bledsoe and receiver Isaiah Allred possess NCAA Division II football opportunities.
- Lindale will travel just 16 miles to Van Memorial Stadium. That's its closest road game of the year.
Key matchup: Lindale's defensive front versus Van's relaxed and reactive offense.
Six new defensive starters are still adjusting to their roles for the Eagles and that has caused a major dip in positive production, but the front is still lethal with NCAA Division I prospects Terrell Cooper and Kale Ridge at defensive tackle and linebacker. This week, they're going to have to stop a Van offense that simply accepts what it is given with no glaring weaknesses thus far.
A good defensive front is a game changer. It can stuff the run and also disrupt the passing game.
The Vandals will be complicated to stop.
In Week 1, quarterback Garrett Moseley got green lit for a lot of pass-run option plays and ran for five touchdowns . In Week 2, he ran for two more scores and threw for his first three touchdowns of the year with a group of talented receivers around him.
Is Lindale better off initially devoting its defensive resources toward discouraging Moseley from running or tightening the passing game? That's the million dollar question.
But Cooper and Ridge, or any other player along the front, can help choke both Van offensive facets if they can consistently break past a Van offensive line featuring four new starters.
Don't be surprised if: Van's offense gets slowed down a bit in this game.
The Vandals have won their first two games convincingly, but those wins came against a Class 3A Division I team -- albeit a state championship contender at that level -- and a Class 4A Division II program. This will be their first and only brush with a Class 5A school.
Lindale has more depth to throw against Van regardless of its experience factor.