NACOGDOCHES — Friday’s state quarterfinal showdown between Lindale and Kilgore — a rematch from the regular season finale — lived up to the billing.
And Lindale four-star running back Jordan Jenkins continued to add to his résumé.
Jenkins rushed for 257 yards on 39 carries and found the end zone seven times to give Lindale a 56-42 victory at SFA’s Homer Bryce Stadium, sending the Eagles to the state semifinals for the first time in program history.
“It’s special,” Lindale head coach Chris Cochran said. “It means so much ... to the dudes who were on this field doing it. They worked extremely hard. They believed they could do it. They aren’t surprised by this. That’s why I’m proud of them. It means a lot to our school and to our community. We’ve got a lot of people following us and are excited about us. I’m just glad we get to continue to keep playing. It’s a special deal.”
Lindale will meet either Corpus Christi Miller or Austin LBJ in the state semifinals for the right to play in the Class 4A Division I state championship on Dec. 18 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. CC Miller and LBJ are scheduled to play at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in San Antonio.
In the first meeting between Lindale and Kilgore, Jenkins ran for 321 yards and six touchdowns in a 47-40 Eagles win.
Kilgore actually kept Jenkins in check through the first 24 minutes, holding him to 58 yards on 12 carries. He did find the end zone twice, though.
But in the second half, Jenkins made sure his Eagles weren’t done playing, carrying the ball 27 times for 199 yards and five touchdowns.
Jenkins’ first touchdown of the night came with 6:59 left in the second quarter on a 2-yard run to put Lindale up 6-0 after the extra point was no good.
Kilgore got all the way down to the 2-yard line on the next drive. DJ Walton and Levi Thornton knocked Trayveon Epps back for a 7-yard loss on third down, and the fourth down pass was incomplete.
After converting a fourth down on a fake punt, Lindale completed a 91-yard drive with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Sam Peterson to Jaymond Jackson to make the score 13-0 with 51 seconds left in the first quarter.
Kilgore finally got on the scoreboard with 7:18 left in the second quarter as Dalton McElyea found Donovan Adkins for a 37-yard touchdown.
The Eagles came right back less than two minutes later with a 6-yard touchdown run by Jenkins to push the score to 20-7.
McElyea and Adkins were at it again as Kilgore needed just four plays to go 72 yards, capped by a 31-yard pass from McElyea to Adkins with 2:36 left in the half.
After a Lindale punt, McElyea went to the air again and threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Brian Brown with 43 seconds left in the half to take a 21-20 lead.
Lindale got the ball first in the second half and a strong kickoff return by Jacob Seekford set the Eagles up near midfield. That allowed Jenkins to carry the ball four times and finish the drive with a 1-yard touchdown to put Lindale back in front.
With Kilgore backed up to its own end zone, the Eagles got pressure on McElyea and nearly got a safety. However, the ball was fumbled and recovered by Cody Swaim at the 2-yard line. Jenkins ran it into the end zone on the next play and ran in the 2-point conversion to make the score 35-21 with 7:35 to play in the third quarter.
Jenkins added an 18-yard touchdown run with 2:31 on the clock to push the score to 42-21.
Kilgore started mounting a comeback as McElyea connected with Jermaine Roney for a 60-yard touchdown with 1:10 left in the quarter. With 8:48 remaining in the game, Trayveon Epps scored a 7-yard touchdown to cut the score to 42-35.
Jenkins added touchdown runs of 4 and 31 yards with 5:43 and 3:33 remaining to put the Eagles back up by 21. McElyea threw one final touchdown pass to Cade Pippen with 2:32 left.
Kilgore attempted an onside kick that was recovered by Lindale, and Jenkins and the Eagles were able to pick up enough first downs to run out the clock.
McElyea was 17 of 31 for 373 yards and five touchdowns. Brown had five catches for 100 yards, Roney four catches for 112 yards and Adkins four catches for 91 yards and two scores. Epps finished with 134 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries for Kilgore (10-4).
Peterson was 16 of 23 for 191 yards and a touchdown for Lindale (12-2).
Christian King and Jackson were among the defensive standouts for the Eagles.
Lindale 56, Kilgore 42
Kilgore 0 21 7 14 — 42
Lindale 13 7 22 14 — 56
LIN — Jordan Jenkins 2 run (Kick failed), 6:59
LIN — Jaymond Jackson 13 pass from Sam Peterson (Landon Love kick), :51
KIL — Donovan Adkins 37 pass from Dalton McElyea (Chris Baldazo kick), 7:18
LIN — Jenkins 6 run (Love kick), 5:25
KIL — Adkins 31 pass from McElyea (Baldazo kick), 3:36
KIL — Brian Brown 13 pass from McElyea (Baldazo kick), :43
LIN — Jenkins 1 run (Love kick), 10:43
LIN — Jenkins 2 run (Jenkins run), 7:35
LIN — Jenkins 18 run (Love kick), 2:31
KIL — Jermaine Roney 60 pass from McElyea (Baldazo kick), 1:10
KIL — Trayveon Epps 7 run (Baldazo kick), 8:48
LIN — Jenkins 4 run (Love kick), 5:43
LIN — Jenkins 31 run (Love kick), 3:33
KIL — Cade Pippen 4 pass from McElyea (Baldoza kick), 2:32
First Downs 25 28
Rushes-Yards 27-161 47-287
Passing Yards 373 184
Comp.-Att-Int. 17-31-0 17-24-0
Punts-Ave 4-37.5 4-39
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 0-0
Penalties-Yards 8-75 9-72
RUSHING — Kilgore, Trayveon Epps 20-134, Dalton McElyea 7-27. Lindale, Jordan Jenkins 39-257, Sam Peterson 7-28, Case Brooks 1-2.
PASSING — Kilgore, Dalton McElyea 17-31-0 373. Lindale, Sam Peterson 16-23-0 191, Airik Williams 1-1-0 (-7).
RECEIVING — Kilgore, Brian Brown 5-100, Jermaine Roney 4-112, Donovan Adkins 4-91, Cade Pippen 2-14, Corey Rider 1-34, Matthew Tyeskie 1-22. Lindale, Jacob Seekford 5-55, Evan Alford 4-49, Jaymond Jackson 2-22, Daniel Franke 2-12, Case Brooks 1-27, Airik Williams 1-21, Jordan Jenkins 1-5, Sam Peterson 1-(-7).