Lindale head coach Chris Cochran said his team was "two first downs" away from securing victory on the road Friday in its season opener at Kaufman.
Instead, a turnover in the final minutes deep in Eagles territory enabled Kaufman to go in front in a 19-14 loss.
"There were a lot of positives that we can pull from it," said Cochran, who is in his first year at the helm of Lindale. "We are up 14-13 with 4:30 to play and turn the ball over inside our own 20-yard line. Our defense played pretty dang good all night. They scored on the next play to go up."
The Eagles (0-1) had a final chance to answer, driving to midfield before the drive stalled out and the game was over.
Despite the loss, Cochran said Lindale took the first steps to where it wants to be. Lindale next plays Forney in its home opener at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Eagle Stadium.
"I was impressed with the way our kids played. They played really hard, and that is always our goal, to play harder than anyone in the state, and they did. Now we are just looking to build on that."
WHITEHOUSE WEARS DOWN HALLSVILLE
Whitehouse did everything it wanted offensively early on in its season opener Friday at Hallsville, except score points.
The Wildcats trailed 3-0 late in the second quarter when Clayton Cook cruised in for a 17-yard touchdown run to give Whitehouse a 7-3 lead at halftime. Whitehouse's defense and special teams took over in the second half to put Hallsville in difficult positions and keep the Bobcats in check.
"We had some key penalties that hurt (us in the first half) and we missed (some) field goals, but the boys played really well," said Whitehouse coach Adam Cook. "The defense played really well and we were definitely in control. They didn't get over 100 yards of offense until their last drive."
By that time, Whitehouse had capped off 27 unanswered points in response to its 3-0 second-quarter deficit.
"I was pleased with our punting game and the way that flipped field position for us," Cook said. "Jake Clemons averaged 46 yards per punt and Javier (Neal) was able to go get returns for us, too."
At quarterback, Clemons was an efficient 22 of 33 for 177 yards and a touchdown with Cook delivering 93 yards rushing and two scores.
"With the tempo we were running, we kind of wore them down a little bit," Cook said. "We were running a lot of personnel groupings on and off the field each play. For instance, (Cameron) Cantrell lined up on wide side one play, and then is on the other side the next play. We just have to do a better job of getting them on and off the field faster."
Whitehouse (1-0) now is set to face Chapel Hill on a short week Thursday in Game 1 of the Christus Trinity Mother Frances Football Classic. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. at CTMF Rose Stadium.
"We want to take the momentum of being 1-0, but there are still some things to work out," Cook said. "It's a rivalry game. It's the ‘Battle of Lake Tyler' and Chapel Hill always plays us hard. It will be an exciting atmosphere for us."
BULLARD NEARLY PULLS OFF MIRACULOUS COMEBACK
No coach likes to throw in the towel and Scott Callaway and his staff had no intention of doing that despite Bullard trailing 26-0 at the end of the first quarter Friday in the Panthers season opener at Malakoff.
"The kids look at you as a coaching staff as leaders, and if they see the air go out of us, they are going to follow that," Callaway said of he and his staff's demeanor. "We just kept coaching. We tell our kids to go for 48 minutes. We kept telling them every series to just keep playing and keep believing."
Bullard got on the board with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Cleet Bowman (finished with 386 yards passing, 3 TDs) to Will McCowin (finished with 5 catches for 159 yards, 2 TDs) and never stopped chipping away at Malakoff's advantage.
The Panthers trailed 40-14 early in the third quarter and responded with three unanswered touchdowns. A 78-yard TD pass from Bowman to McCowin cut the deficit to 40-34 in the fourth quarter.
Malakoff did not falter, scoring again to finish off a 48-34 final.
"We were within six and thinking if we can get a stop, we can get the ball and win the game," Callaway said. "Malakoff did what they had to do at the end, but I was proud of our kids. We responded to an adverse situation, and I was really happy with how our kids responded."
Bullard (0-1) goes back on the road Friday to face Groesbeck.
"We are going to build on what we did last week and get better as a football team," Callaway said.
BROWNSBORO GETS BIG TURNOVER IN FINAL SECONDS
The situation did not look good for Brownsboro as the Bears aimed for a season-opening win in Greg Pearson's debut.
The Bears led Canton 26-21, but the Eagles had driven down to the Brownsboro 2-yard line with under a minute to play. Canton tried to run the ball, but the Bears stuffed it, setting up second-and-goal with the clock now under 30 seconds.
Canton attempted a pass in the end zone and Brownsboro's Ashton Williams intercepted it to end the game.
"Our kids played hard and played relentless," Pearson said. "We got after it and we overcame a lot of missed assignments. We didn't play extremely well, but it was a good win."
Pearson said the missed assignments are understandable, considering Brownsboro has only been running the Wing-T offense now for a little over a month. Kevon Thompson did not show any trouble with the Wing-T, carrying 19 times for 190 yards and three touchdowns.
"We scored on four of our five possessions in the first half," Pearson said. "We only had two possessions in the second half. We had a 15-play drive that took 8:30 stopped by a turnover.
"We only created one turnover, but it was the main one that counted."
Brownsboro (1-0) goes on the road Friday to face Spring Hill, which is also undefeated after winning its opener 47-21 over Troup.
"Last year Canton scored 56 against Brownsboro. I just felt like our kids had relentless effort (last Friday)," Pearson said. "Now we play Spring Hill. Last year they beat us and we are hoping to change that outcome."