LINDALE — Last year John Tyler won the battle on the final day of the season but Lindale won the war.

Tuesday night at Eagle Stadium, the roles were reversed.

Lindale scored on three of its four shots on goal to defeat 10-man JT 3-0 and deny the Lions a perfect undefeated district season.

Last year JT beat Lindale in a shootout to end the regular season, but it wasn't enough to overtake the Eagles for the league title as they broke out chants of "district champs." On Tuesday, the Lions were the ones who were chanting "district champs" after the game.

"It was disappointing not to have a perfect district record, but 9-1's not too dang bad either," JT coach Howard Story said. "We're just looking forward to the playoffs now."

Despite the loss, John Tyler (20-2-3, 9-1) enters the postseason as the District 31-4A champion and will play Henderson at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Pine Tree High School.

The Eagles (5-5 in 31-4A), meanwhile, will take momentum into the postseason after handing the Lions their lone league setback, Lindale coach Jason Lawless said.

"They've only lost one game this year, so that was big for us going into the playoffs to get some confidence to beat a very good John Tyler team," Lawless said. "Even though they were down a man they're still good."

Lindale took an early lead off a sloppy clearance from the JT goalie, which deflected off Timmy Moyer and into the back of the net 12 minutes into the game.

As the Lions looked to respond, the game was turned on its head when the referee showed JT's leading goal scorer a red card for dissent.

John Tyler, already playing without second-leading scorer Jose Perez, who's out for the year, pushed for an equalizer but was caught on the break twice in the second half as the Eagles were able to capitalize on the man advantage.

With 31 minutes to play, Uriah Shipman put Jesse Emberley through on goal one-on-one with JT keeper Saul Uribe and Emberley coolly found the right corner to put Lindale up 2-0.

Moments later, another Eagles breakaway resulted in a penalty kick when the referee called for a hand ball on John Tyler. Shipman buried the ensuing shot low into the right corner for a commanding 3-0 advantage.

"We got the early goal and then the red card hurt them," Lawless said. "Then we got the second one I think that deflated them. Then the PK of course put it over the top."

Although much of the rest of the game was spent in Lindale's defensive half, the Eagles defense held firm and didn't allow any clear-cut chances at Dylan Boyd's goal, despite the Lions finishing with a 12-6 advantage in shots.

"I thought we continued to create opportunities even with only 10 players," Story said. "It was a good gut check for us. We need that going into the playoffs."

For Lindale, the win reversed a 7-1 defeat to the Lions earlier in the year.

"They got embarrassed and I kept bringing that up to them," Lawless said. "It was time for some payback.

"7-1, that's a butt-kicking. We got our revenge."

 
 

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