County Rivals Lindsay, AP No. 3 Muenster to Battle for Bragging Rights, District Supremacy

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Photo: Blake Wood/Texas HS Football

LINDSAY, Texas — It’s no secret the Muenster Hornets tend to receive a large amount of publication, and not just in football.

The Western Cooke County school boasts defending state champions in boys basketball and baseball, as well as a top-five ranked football program in 2017. Even top athletic schools in Texas have a main rival lurking in the shadows.

In Muenster’s case, it’s Lindsay High School’s Knights.

Lindsay’s football program dates back to 1960 but the rivalry with Muenster began four years later with a shutout win over the Hornets in 1964. Since that time, the two programs continued their matchup, mostly in district competition, with back-to-back third-round playoff matchups in 2010 and 2011 being the highlight.

The 27th all-time meeting takes place this Friday at Henry B. Schroeder Knight Field in Lindsay, and this one has possible district title implications on the line.

Blake Wood/Texas HS Football

“It’s a neat, small-town rivalry,” said Lindsay Head Coach Charles Boles, who had previously coached in Muenster at the Sacred Heart School. “Everyone knows everyone, they all grew up close together. It’s a great showcase of successful schools and communities.”

Muenster has been a consistently strong program since head coach Brady Carney took over in 2010, recording 10 or more win seasons in every year but one. The Hornets are well on pace to tally another, currently riding an undefeated record behind an explosive offense averaging 54.5 points per game.

Guiding the offense is junior Parker McGrew, perhaps one of the more dynamic signal-callers in the region. McGrew has tallied a whopping 1,157 yards and 18 touchdowns through the air, but has also proven to be a credible dual-threat quarterback, adding 524 yards and eight scores on the ground.

He’s joined in the backfield by a strong stable of rushers, four of which have 100 or more yards on the season. Clay Stevens leads that bunch with 466 yards and five touchdowns and happens to be one of McGrew’s favorite passing targets, hauling in nine passes for 251 yards and four touchdowns this season.

The Hornet defense has been equally potent this season, allowing an average of 5.8 points per game with a pair of shutouts as well as allowing double-digit point totals only twice. The unit also boasts nine fumble recoveries and five interceptions. It’s led by Stevens with three.

Despite a setback to Valley View in the second game of the season, Lindsay carried a still solid start into District 8-2A DII play, topping Santo High School 35-21 last week.

“We did a great job,” Boles said about the week seven victory. “We made a fair share of mistakes, but overall it was a great effort. The intensity was there, and the kids performed well.”

The Knights are led by a dynamic dual-threat quarterback of their own in Brandon Craigie. The senior signal-caller has accounted for 556 yards on the ground on 90 carries as well as 1,043 yards through the air on 72 pass attempts. The offense also features a steady stable of rushers, namely Kyle Ott and Aaron Fleitman.

“We changed up our philosophy a little from last season,” Boles said. “It’s really paid off for us, I’m proud of the way they’re playing.”

The Knights offense is averaging 38.6 points per game, while the defense allows an average of 16.5 points. While they are both decent numbers, the question may be if each they hold up against the Associated Press No. 3 state-ranked Hornets.

“Muenster is outstanding,” Boles continued. “Depending on which poll you look at, they’re the first, second or third-ranked team in the state for a reason. Parker McGrew is running the show very well, and they’re by far the best defensive team we’ve seen all season.”

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