LINDALE — Jacksonville came so close to dealing Lindale a colossal upset Friday night at Eagle Stadium, but in the end Lindale was able to hold on and earn a 36-34 victory over the Tribe.
The win locked up second place in District 9-5A-II for the Eagles (6-4, 5-2). Lindale will host Montgomery next week in a Class 5A, Region III bi-district affair.
Jacksonville ended the year with a 3-7 overall record, 2-5 in conference.
Jacksonville was without the services of three defensive starters on Friday. Two were not available due to off the field issues that occurred earlier in the week and TCU-commit Deshawn McCuin was unable to play due to injury.
The Indian secondary definitely missed not having McCuin on the field as Lindale quarterback Dillon Heinaman hurled four touchdown passes to three different receivers while also adding a rushing touchdown.
With Jacksonville in front 21-15 with 42 ticks left in the opening half it appeared the Tribe would be able to go into the locker room with the momentum, but Lindale, starting at the Jacksonville 34-yard line after a short kick off, needed just :39 to get into the end zone and reclaim the momentum.
Brendon Moore reeled in a 20-yard touchdown pass from Heinaman with :11.2 left to cut the Jacksonville lead to 21-15.
Lindale received the opening kick off in the second half after winning the coin toss and electing to defer at the start of the fray, and needed just three plays to cover 49 yards, with the drive being capped off by a 15-yard scoring strike to Colton Brown that gave the Eagles the lead for good, 22-21.
Trailing by two scores, 36-27, Jacksonville refused to give up and was able to add a late score when Jaylon Freeney caught an 11-yard touchdown toss from Tristen Shewmake with :59 to play in regulation. Following the extra point off of the foot of Alejandro Pina-Sanchez, Jacksonville sliced the Eagle lead to 36-34.
Shewmake went 15-of-30 for 219 yards and two touchdowns in the game. He also gave up an interception.
Chris Carpenter (7 grabs for 101 yards) and Joydasian Thompson (4 catches for 101 yards and a touchdown) were the top pass catchers for the Tribe. Lindale got on the board first when Heinaman rambled in from 30 yards out at the 5:55 mark of the opening frame. The Eagles were successful on a two-point conversion to lead 8-0.
Jacksonville then strung together three scores in a span of 4:58 to take the Indians' biggest lead of the evening, 21-8.
Carpenter returned a kick off 98 yards for a touchdown, Steven Gallegos picked off Heinaman pass and returned the ball 51 yards for a pick six and Shewmake ran in from a yard out to account for the Tribe's scores during the frenzy.
Jacksonville's remaining points came when Thompson hauled in a 9-yard touchdown pass from Shewmake with :12 left in the third quarter that reduced the Eagle lead to 29-27.