Noah Hildebrand’s Two-Point Conversion Lifts Nacogdoches Over Lindale, 25-24
LINDALE – Junior quarterback Noah Hildebrand scored a two-point conversion with 37 seconds left in the fourth quarter to lift the Nacogdoches Dragons to a key, 25-24, District 16-5A win over Lindale on a soggy Friday night at Eagle Stadium.
It represented the second, one-point loss in a row for the Eagles, who fell to Lufkin, 28-27, on Oct. 23.
Lindale is now 2-3 in district play and Nacogdoches is also 2-3.
The win also fanned the playoff hopes of the Dragons, who have now won two district games in a row with two to play.
Lindale must win out – next week on the road against Ennis and on Nov. 6 against Whitehouse in Lindale – and have some help from other teams in the district to earn a postseason berth.
Friday’s game was originally moved up to 6 p.m., but was delayed another hour and 55 minutes due to the thunderstorms rolling through East Texas.
The Dragons wasted little time in grabbing an early lead as Brandon Jones sprinted 79 yards on Nacogdoches’ first play from scrimmage.
Lindale’s offense wasn’t as crisp in the first half with its first four possessions ending with three punts and a fumble.
Jordan Lawless got the Eagles on the board with 10 seconds left in the half with a 32-yard field goal to make it a one score game at 10-3.
In the third quarter, Lindale roared to life, thanks to three fumble recoveries which set up touchdowns from Ryan Taylor -- from 32 yards to tie the game at 10 with 11:31 left in the third period and from two yards out to give the Eagles a 17-10 lead with 8:53 left.
Nacogdoches tied the game when Hildebrand found Alex Gregory on a 77 yard scoring toss with 1:19 left in the third.
Two possessions later, Lindale used some trickery in the form of a fake punt from Lawless to earn a first down on fourth and 6 from the 50. Lawless sprinted 27 yards to the Dragons’ 23.
On the next play, Taylor bolted up the middle and scored his third touchdown of the game to give the Eagles a 24-17 lead with 4:34 left.
The Dragons then put running back Phillip Jones to work who carried six times for 53 yards in the drive, including the final two yards for the touchdown.
After a Lindale timeout, the Dragons then opted to roll the dice with the two-point conversion and Hildebrand made sure it was a winner.