Nacogdoches Opens District Play at Lindale on Friday
Nacogdoches Dragons (3-2)
Lindale Eagles (1-4)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Eagle Stadium, Lindale
- Nacogdoches: Bobby Reyes
- Lindale: Mike Meador
- Nacogdoches: idle
- Lindale: idle
- Nacogdoches: at Corsicana, Oct. 14
- Lindale: at Ennis, Oct. 14
- S/WR Josh Thompson, Sr., 6-0, 190 (33 tackles, 7 for loss, 1 INT, 1 PBU, 3 forced fumbles, 2 recoveries; 4 catches, 70 yards, 2 TDs; committed to Texas)
- RB Phillip Jones, Sr., 5-9, 193 (142 carries, 1,050 yards, 9 TDs)
- WR Jaylon Maxie, Sr., 5-11, 180 (19 catches, 250 yards, 2 TDs)
- LB DaRyan Williams, Jr., 5-11, 185 (33 tackles, 3 for loss, 1 sack, 1 INT, 2 PBUs, 3 forced fumbles, 2 recoveries)
- QB Noah Hildebrand, Sr., 6-1, 180 (63 of 110, 839 yards, 9 TDs, 2 INTs)
- DT Devaunte Johnson, Sr., 6-0, 265 (39 tackles, 10 for loss, 4 sacks, 6 QB pressures)
- DE Brad Phillips, Sr., 6-3, 210 (27 tackles, 5 for loss, 3 sacks, 8 QB pressures, 4 PBUs, 1 fumble recovery, 1 blocked punt)
- WR Jed Morgan, Jr., 5-8, 155 (19 catches, 246 yards, 3 TDs)
- QB Montana Meador, Sr., 5-11, 162
- TE Cameron Sir Louis, Sr., 6-4, 220
- DE/LB Kale Ridge, Sr., 6-2, 215
- DT Terrell Cooper, Sr., 6-3, 240
- DB De'vion Dingle, Sr., 6-2, 160
- OL Matt Coley, Sr., 6-0, 230
- WR Colton Brown, Soph., 6-0, 175
- WR Joe Noble, Jr., 6-3, 180
Just the facts
- Nacogdoches is averaging 37.4 points and 418.2 yards per game -- 250.4 rushing and 167.8 passing.
- Dragons running back Phillip Jones is on pace to rush for 2,100 yards during the regular season.
- Nacogdoches is 10-9 in district games since 2013.
- The cumulative record of the Dragons' five non-district opponents is 15-14.
- Lindale is averaging 20.2 points and allowing 39.8 points per game.
- The Eagles are in the midst of their first four-game losing streak since 2014.
- Lindale is 9-18 in Class 5A since moving up prior to the 2014 season.
- The cumulative record of the Eagles' five non-district opponents is 20-6.
Key matchup: Nacogdoches rushing attack vs. Lindale defensive front. The Dragons are off to a strong start, and there may not be a more important player to his offense than Nacogdoches running back Phillip Jones. Through five games, Jones has already rushed for more than 1,000 yards. In fact, he has run for at least 120 yards in all five contests this season. And he has gotten increasingly more productive as the year has progressed. Following his 120-yard effort in the opener against Kilgore, Jones put up 130 vs. Lufkin, 236 vs. Tyler Lee, 273 against Hallsville, and 291 vs. Gilmer. And with a week of rest, Jones should be ready to go for Friday night's district opener.
Lindale has struggled all the way around this season, but especially on the defensive side of the ball. During its four-game losing streak, which has included losses to Forney, Van, Terrell, and Gladewater, the Eagles have allowed an average of 40 points per game. It won't get any easier against a Nacogdoches offense that puts up almost 420 yards per game on average. Despite Jones averaging 28 rushing attempts per game, Nacogdoches is more than capable of afflicting damage through the air. Senior quarterback Noah Hildebrand is nearing 1,000 yards passing and has thrown nine touchdowns to just two interceptions. But without an effective Jones, which is what Lindale is shooting for Friday, it remains to be seen how that would affect the Dragons' passing attack.
Don't be surprised if: Lindale begins district play with great effort. On paper, this game appears to be a mismatch, but when diving into the numbers, the Eagles could have a little more going for them than what is on the surface. The cumulative record of Lindale's non-district opponents is 20-6 -- a winning percentage of .769. District 17-5A opponents are 15-10, which means the schedule could actually be getting a little easier for the Eagles. Lindale must perform well on defense, however, to keep this game competitive. The Eagles enter Friday's game averaging just a shade more than 20 points per game, and may not have enough firepower to keep up in a potential shootout with Nacogdoches.