District play opens this week with a major showdown in Cooke County.
Lindsay will host Collinsville on Friday night as both teams look to stake an early claim to District 5-2A-1 supremacy.
Collinsville (2-3) has a young team that has shown positive signs. The Pirates are looking to end Lindsay’s reign and take home the title.
Lindsay (2-3) had a few slip ups in non-district play, but it remains the team to beat.
Lindsay coach Jeff Smiley said the Knights had a productive bye week and are ready to start district play.
“This is a new season, a new beginning for us,” Smiley said. “That’s what we’re selling the kids. We’ve been through a tough non-district, and we feel like it’s prepared us for our district play. We’re excited. Again, it’s a new season. It wouldn’t matter if we were 5-0 or 0-5 right now. It’s a fresh start, and we’re looking forward to Friday night.”
It isn’t homecoming, but this game will be a homecoming for one player. Collinsville sophomore Logan Jenkins transferred from Lindsay this summer after his father, Derrick Jenkins, stepped down as Lindsay baseball coach to take the same role at Collinsville. He played in four games last season as a Knight, completing eight of nine passes.
It didn’t take Jenkins long to earn the starting quarterback role in Collinsville. He has thrown for 807 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Collinsville coach Garrett Patterson said facing his old team should be a fun experience for Jenkins.
“I think he’s going to be prepared to play,” Patterson said. “I think he’s definitely going to be amped up a little bit, so we’re going to have to make sure he’s really not too keyed up, not too hyped up. That way, he can make his reads, and he can deliver the football.”
On the other side, senior Kolt Shuckers has thrown for 780 yards and seven touchdowns in four games played. The Knights are leaning more heavily on the run than in years past, with several players contributing to Lindsay’s 1,125 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns.
Patterson said Collinsville will need to play well defensively against a potent Lindsay offense.
“I think that they’ll definitely try to run the football at us,” Patterson said. “Throwing the football, they’ve got some really, really good athletes. (Jaxon Williams), they’ve got (Colt Hanks). Those two kids pop into my mind right away of them trying to get the ball to them down the field. I think really they’re probably going to try to test us in the run game, and we’re going to have to prove worthy in it.”
Lindsay entered the season as the favorite in the district, but the Knights enter this matchup with the same record as Collinsville.
Smiley said the Pirates have been getting better every week, so the Knights will need to play well in all phases.
“We’re going to have to control Logan and not let him extend plays,” Smiley said. “We’ve got to make plays in the secondary and not let them extend drives and not give up big plays. That’s a key for us. If we don’t give up big plays, make them earn everything, I think we’ll be in pretty good shape, but that’s easier said than done.”
Kickoff at Henry B. Schroeder Knight Field is set for 7:30 p.m.