Kolt Schuckers scrimmage

Lindsay quarterback Kolt Schuckers throws a pass during the Knights' scrimmage against Paradise on Aug. 12.

The Lindsay and Era football teams will face off in their season-openers for the fourth-consecutive year Friday.

The Knights and Hornets will meet in Lindsay. They have played one another every year since 2014 despite no longer sharing a district after Lindsay’s move to Class 2A Division I in 2018.

Lindsay (11-1 in 2020) is coming off a regional semifinalist finish to last season. The Knights dominated every regular season opponent as they claimed their second-straight district title.

Era (1-9) is rebuilding. After going 6-5 in 2018, the Hornets have struggled, winning just once since.

Lindsay coach Jeff Smiley said preseason went well for the Knights, so they’re ready to go.

“I think we’re right on schedule,” Smiley said. “Maybe a little ahead defensively (and) special teams-wise. Offensively, I think we’re where we need to be… We need to get better in all three phases, but I feel like we’re on schedule. I feel like we’ve had a good camp.”

Era coach Terry Felderhoff is set for his second season in charge. With most of last year’s players back and a normal offseason, he said the Hornets are better than this time last year.

“A year ago, everything needed explained, and things moved a lot slower,” Felderhoff said. “(This year), things moved a little faster through practice and things like that just from familiarity. We’ve made great strides, but we’ve got (a) good ways to go yet, too, no doubt.”

Lindsay has a new offense this year with more two-back sets and some wing-T looks. Smiley said the Knights will be more balanced this year, but that doesn’t mean all-state quarterback Kolt Schuckers won’t still be a big part of the plan.

“We have one of the best quarterbacks in the state of Texas in 2A,” Smiley said. “We’d be foolish not to use him in that regard. We will throw it, but you’re just going to see a more balanced team, maybe a little more ball control. That type of thing.”

Felderhoff said the Hornets can’t focus soley on Schuckers because Lindsay also has an effective run game.

The Knights have dominated this series over the years, and they aren’t showing any signs of slowing down. Still, Felderhoff said he isn’t too worried about it.

“The non-district games, it’s just about getting better each week,” Felderhoff said. “Obviously when district rolls around, they become more important. (Lindsay is) dang good, no doubt. We’re going to go give it our best shot and see what happens.”

With the Kraut Bowl looming next week, Lindsay must be careful not to look ahead or underestimate Era, despite recent results. Smiley said the Knights must take things one week at a time, and they aren’t thinking about Muenster yet.

He also said he expects an improved Era this season.

“They have really good participation, the best that they’ve had at least since I’ve been coaching against Era,” Smiley said. “So, there’s some excitement over there in that program. I think they’ll be improved…, so I look forward to a good matchup.”

Lindsay and Era kick off the season at Henry B. Schroeder Knight Field at 7:30.

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