The Lindsay Knights are in first place after a 42-20 win against Alvord.

Lindsay clinched a playoff spot and climbed to first place in the district Friday night.

The Knights took down Alvord 42-20 at Knight Field, pulling away after an attempted Bulldog comeback.

Lindsay (5-4 overall, 3-1 District 5-2A-1) is one win away from its third-consecutive district championship after taking down the last team undefeated in district play.

Alvord (6-3, 3-1) and Tioga are still tied with Lindsay for first, but the Knights beat both and control the tiebreakers.

Lindsay coach Jeff Smiley said he was proud of his team.

“Thought we played well in all phases,” Smiley said. “It was pretty much a complete game for us last night.”

The Knights led early, but the Bulldogs didn’t go away quietly. Jacob Johnson scored a pair of rushing touchdowns to shrink Lindsay’s lead to 21-20. The Bulldogs went for two and the lead but didn’t get it.

Lindsay senior Ivan Reyes responded a few minutes later with a 21-yard touchdown run, pushing the Knights’ lead to 28-20. He scored another touchdown in the fourth quarter, and junior Dawson Foster scored one of his own.

Lindsay stopped Alvord on fourth down after Foster’s score, then ran out the clock to secure the win.

Smiley said the way the Knights responded to Alvord getting back in it was one of the highlights of the night.

“Offensively, we get the ball, we go down, we have a really nice drive and score,” Smiley said. “That was a great response, and I was really proud of our kids for that.”

Lindsay held Alvord scoreless for the final quarter and a half. The Bulldogs’ 20 points was the fewest they have scored in a district game this season.

Smiley said the defense played well outside of a couple plays.

“I feel like we really stopped the run,” Smiley said. “They hit a couple of passes on us. We were in really good coverage, and their kid just made a really good catch. It was a nice throw. They’re as good offensively as anybody we’ve played. So, to be able to handle them the way that we did, we feel pretty good about that.”

Foster led the way for Lindsay with three touchdown runs and a pick six. Foster did not start the season as the quarterback, but he has been called upon the past few weeks and will be for the foreseeable future.

Smiley said Foster gets better every week.

“He still has a way to go,” Smiley said. “Nobody’s going to work any harder than he does. Every week, you just see him getting a little more confidence and becoming a little bit more comfortable.”

After dropping their district opener, the Knights have won three-straight games. Smiley said the Knights have shown resolve since the loss to Collinsville.

“We weren’t going to accept that, and we knew we had to get better,” Smiley said. “These kids have come to work, come to practice every day. They give everything they have. They’re very coachable. Just very proud of our kids, how they’ve responded to some negative situations this year.”

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