Lindsay senior Travis Skinner nailed a 43-yard field goal as time expired Friday to propel the Knights past the Honey Grove Warriors 24-21 in the bi-district round of the Class A Division I playoffs.
Skinner was calm and collected as he sent the winner through despite the fact that he had yipped a 28-yard attempt in the second quarter and was given “ice” time to think about that by Honey Grove before the final try.
“I kept telling myself our playoff run was not going to end tonight,” Skinner said.
The Knights put themselves in position to win the in the third quarter when Coach Cody Bounds elected to start with a squib kick into a formidable northerly breeze.
Skinner bounced it to Honey Grove’s Dijon Finney at the 29 and he returned it to the 36. A run for no gain and two badly missed passes gave the Warriors a three-and-out, but they had a weapon of their own in punter John Velis who sent a 63-yarder that died at the Lindsay one.
The Knights needed first downs and quarterback Dawson Holt got one with a pair of sneaks, then running back Robert Arend gave Lindsay, who played from behind throughout the first half, their first lead with an 88-yard gallop.
Skinner’s kick on the extra point try made it 21-14.
Another squib kick gave the Warriors good field position at the Honey Grove 47 and three incompletions brought on Velis for a 47-yard punt.
A wild pitch by Holt put the Knights in the hole at their own five and Bounds had Skinner quick kick on third and long to put Honey Grove at midfield.
The Knights stopped three running plays to force a third Warrior punt. Velis mishit that one and sent it out of bounds at the Lindsay 23.
The third frame ended with Honey Grove having been held to three yards total offense on three possessions.
“We talked about the second half kickoff and thought we could get a good squib kick if we went into the wind,” Bounds said. “I cannot say enough about how well the kids played to make that work the way it did.”
The defense continued to shine in the fourth with Neely Rose dropping Warrior runner Jeremy Patt for a 6-yard loss and Honey Grove quarterback Dillon Baugh slipped while trying to reverse direction and lost another six.
Arend was stripped of the ball on Lindsay’s ensuing possession for the game’s lone turnover and Warrior running back Corwin Louis broke a tackle near the line of scrimmage and went 45 to the Knight five.
Louis scored two plays later and the PAT kick by Edgar Quiroz knotted the bout 21-21.
The Knights took the ball at their own 25 with 5:48 remaining and used 12 plays to pick up three first downs and reach the Warrior 26 for Skinner’s heroics. A 29-yard pass from Skinner to Arend on third and long was instrumental in keeping that drive going.
Honey Grove led 7-0 at the end of one after a Dean Fleitman punt into the wind gave the Warriors good position at the Knight 42. Baugh bobbled the snap, then went through the middle for 25 and Darius Brown scored with a 5-yard run against the flow.
Lindsay answered early in the second quarter with a 1-yard plunge by Arend.
Honey Grove went back in front 14-7 on a 64-yard burst from Brown.
The Knights were bottled up on three running attempts and faced a fourth and six when Holt, operating from the spread, took a direct snap and rolled right. He stopped and tossed left to Arend and he went 47 yards to the Warrior three.
Honey Grove appeared to have Lindsay stopped on fourth and goal from the one, but the Warriors were called offside.
Arend swept to the left and went in for an apparent touchdown on the next play, but a holding call nullified that and set up Skinner’s first field goal try. He got too far under the ball and it fell well short of the needed 28 yards.
The Knights then forced a Honey Grove punt and a Skinner run of 49 yards got them into the red zone at the 15.
Skinner took another direct snap and headed toward the line of scrimmage, then leaped and tossed over Honey Grove heads to Madison Parkhill for the touchdown that led to the 14-14 intermission score.
The Knights will face Valley Mills in round two with that game scheduled Friday in Burleson.