HOUSTON — The bright lights of playing at NRG stadium, home of the Houston Texans, didn’t phase the Port Neches-Groves Indians or the Lindale Eagles in the 5A Division II Region III area playoff game Friday night.
Both teams came out firing in the first half but it was the Indians who sustained the fireworks in the second half to advance to the regional round of the playoffs with a 50-28 over the Eagles.
PNG (9-3) scored on the second play of the game as quarterback Roschon Johnson dashed 66 yards for the touchdown and the quick lead. However, the Eagles responded on their first offensive play of the game on a double pass from Dillon Heinaman to Brayson Campbell who hit a streaking Conner Boyette for a 74-yard touchdown. Landon Love added the PAT to tie the game 7-7.
Lindale (7-5) would take the lead on an impressive 55-yard drive that included two fourth down conversions. Running back Jordan Jenkins scored from seven yards to put the score 14-7. The Indians returned the favor quickly on a 65-yard pitch and catch from Johnson to Jose Ceja to knot the score at 14-14.
The Eagles scored again on the first play of the second quarter on a 43-yard bomb from Heinaman to Brennan Moore. Landon Love was true on the PAT for the 21-14 lead. Surprisingly, it would be the last score for the Eagles until the waning moments of the game. The Indians scored twice to end the first half on top 29-21.
In the third quarter, PNG quarterback Johnson showed why he is a University of Texas commit as he scored on two electrifying runs of 87 and 73 yard runs as the Indians stretched their lead to 43-21. Johnson ended the night with 266 yards rushing and 234 yards passing. The Indians would score again after an interception to put the game out of reach 50-21.
Heinaman ended the night with 235 yards passing and two touchdowns. Jenkins had 96 hard earned yards on 19 carries and senior receiver Brennan Moore had 109 receiving yards and one touchdown.
Port Neches-Groves advances to play undefeated Fort Bend Marshall next week in the regional round of the playoffs.
Lindale ends its most successful season since 2011 under the guidance of second-year head coach Chris Cochran.
Lindale 14 7 0 7 - 28
Port Neches-Groves 14 15 21 0 - 50
PNG – Roschon Johnson 66 run (Mario Oceguero kick), 11:10
LIN – Conner Boyette 74 pass from Brayson Campbell (Love kick), 10:51
LIN – Jordan Jenkins 7 run (Love kick), 3:30
PNG – Jose Ceja 65 pass from Johnson (Oceguero kick), 2:45
LIN – Brennan Moore 43 pass from Heinaman (Love kick), 11:54
PNG – Johnson 1 run (Oceguero kick), 9:48
PNG – Ceja 44 pass from Johnson (2 pt conversion), 2:07
PNG – Johnson 87 run (Oceguero kick), 9:27
PNG – Johnson 73 run (Ocerguero kick), 5:58
PNG – Cooper Hammond 9 pass from Kaleb Wuenschel (Ocerguero kick), 4:53
LIN – Jaymond Jackson 8 pass form Heinaman (Love kick), :25