FORNEY — This time, Henderson didn’t need a second-half comeback.
In an emphatic performance that will surely get the state’s attention, the Lions jumped out to a 14-point halftime lead and never looked back in a 56-20 dismantling of ninth-ranked Lindale in a Class 3A Division I regional playoff on Friday night at City Bank Stadium.
Henderson, the defending state champion, scored 21 points in the third quarter to take a 42-7 lead into the fourth. The Lions had to rally from 15 points down in the second half to beat the Eagles in the regional round last season.
Henderson (10-2), which has recorded three consecutive rout victories after suffering two straight losses in district, advances to meet Celina, which defeated Lucas Lovejoy, 37-17, Friday in the third round. The game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday at Memorial Stadium in Mesquite.
Lindale, whose only losses came against Henderson and top-ranked Chapel Hill, completed the season at 10-2.
The fleet-footed Lions won the game on the ground, finishing the night with 50 carries for 438 yards while attempting only 12 passes. Jay O’Neal led the surge with 17 carries for 181 yards and a touchdown, while Jamal Kind carried the ball 13 times for 111 yards and three scores.
Lindale’s Trey Acy ran for 124 yards and two TDs.
Henderson blew the game open in the third quarter, which featured O’Neal extending the lead to 28-7 on a 42-yard touchdown run with 9:19 remaining. The lead blossomed to 35 points about six minutes later, leaving no doubt about the Lions keeping their title defense alive.
Henderson scored three touchdowns in the second quarter to enter the break with a 21-7 lead, thanks to a pair of TD runs by Kind and a 39-yard punt return by Patrick Brown. The Lions finished the half about 200 yards on the ground, seemingly moving the ball at will against the Eagles.
Henderson could’ve made the difference even bigger, but was stopped on downs three times while deep inside Lindale territory. O’Neal carried the ball nine times for 88 yards in the half.
Henderson 56, No. 9 Lindale 20
Class 3A Division I Regional Playoff
At City Bank Stadium, Forney
Lindale 0 7 0 13 -- 20
Henderson 0 21 21 14 -- 56
HEN — Jamal Kind 9 run (William Mann kick), 11:11
LIN — Clay Price 74 pass from Josiah Johnson (Luc Swimberghe), 9:36
HEN — Kind 9 run (Mann kick), 7:27
HEN — Patrick Brown 39 punt return (Mann kick), 1:50
HEN — Jay O’Neal 42 run (Mann kick), 9:19
HEN — Del Barnes 20 run (Mann kick), 7:20
HEN — Kind 2 run (Mann kick), 3:15
HEN — Diamante Wright 1 run (Mann kick), 10:35
LIN — Trey Acy 20 run (Swimberghe kick), 8:42
LIN — Acy 9 run (kicked failed), 7:01
HEN — LaMarcus Brown 3 run (Mann kick), 1:44
First Downs 14 23
Rushes-Yards 36-181 50-438
Comp.-Att.-Int. 9-20-0 7-12-0
Passing Yards 144 43
Penalties-Yards 2-20 6-40
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 1-1
Punts-Avg. 7-31.0 1-50.0
RUSHING — Lindale, Trey Acy 16-124, Clay Price 13-40, Demarcus Lynch 7-17. Henderson, Jay O’Neal 17-181, Jamal Kind 13-111, LaMarcus Brown 7-71, Patrick Brown 4-35, Diamante Wright 6-24, Del Barnes 2-16, Stephen Reese 1-0.
PASSING — Lindale, Price 7-17-0—62, Johnson 2-3-0—82. Henderson, Barnes 7-12-0—43.
RECEIVING — Lindale, Dakota Meurer 2-35, Aaron Smith 2-18, Acy 2-7, Josiah Johnson 2-2, Price 1-74, Josh Moore 1-8 . Henderson, L. Brown 3-19, P. Brown 3-20, Jamie Anthony 1-4.