Jackets advance with 42-14 win; Mt. Vernon next

Posted 11/25/20

It was the best football of the year. Not the best football game, but the best-played football of the Yellowjackets’ 2020 season. 

Mineola dominated the Dallas Madison Trojans in the 3A area playoff Friday in Princeton and came home with a 42-14 win. [photos available]

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Jackets advance with 42-14 win; Mt. Vernon next


It was the best football of the year. Not the best football game, but the best-played football of the Yellowjackets’ 2020 season. 

Mineola dominated the Dallas Madison Trojans in the 3A area playoff Friday in Princeton and came home with a 42-14 win.  

The win was a total win. Mineola performed in every aspect of the game. From the kick-off tactics (which kicker Gustavo Sanchez executed faultlessly) to the line play, the Yellowjackets were on note and key.

The Jackets scored on their first three possessions with drives of 75, 88 and 90 yards. Trevion Sneed was not unstoppable; it just required three or more tacklers to bring him down. Sneed ground through the Trojan defense for 215 yards in the first half and finished with 301 yards on 26 carries. 

Once again he thrilled the orange and white faithful with one-of-a-kind runs. His first score came from 27-yards out. After a fumbled exchange, he eluded the immediate defenders, reversed field, gained the edge, stiff-armed one tackler, ran through another and outraced a final defender to the end zone boundary.

In Mineola’s second drive, he took a counter play through the right side and picked up 13 of the toughest yards one will ever see. On the third drive, he carried through the Trojan defense for 36 yards after hurdling one and shucking several would-be tacklers.

Possibly the best description of the game was a typical Sneed off-tackle which turned into a scrum. The Trojans managed to stand him up but he bulled ahead. Both teams rallied and the Yellowjackets pushed the scrum forward – five yards, 10 yards, 15 yards. Play was stopped when the Madison defense ripped off his helmet.

Sneed was not the only Yellowjacket who had a stellar night. Before going out with an ankle injury, Dawson Pendergrass was having a night shutting down the Trojans’ efforts to gain the edge of the defense. He also scored on a post-route for the Jackets’ second score. 

It was one of three touchdown passes thrown by TJ Moreland. Pendergrass, Hunter Wright and Kobe Kendrick each hauled in Moreland deep balls for touchdowns. The Mineola quarterback also made decisive and timely decisions running the quarterback option.

Madison was a talented team with plenty of speed and good size at the line. The Mineola defensive scheme strung out most Trojan attempts to gain the edge while defensive pursuit limited cut-back options. 

On the line, the Yellowjackets used great leverage to steer and turn the big defensive linemen enough to allow running room. 

After falling behind 21-0, Dallas Madison whistled a time-out. They were refocused by the coaching staff and drove the ball 60 yards in 1:21 to score. It was illustrative of just how quickly the Trojans could score. 

Mineola scored again just before the half when Moreland took a quarterback option 42-yards. The play was for naught however due to a blind-side block. At the half, the score stood 21-7.

Despite the physical dominance exhibited by the Jackets in the first half, the Trojans would get the second half kick-off. A potential Madison score would turn the game into a one-possession affair.

Madison picked up two quick first downs into Mineola territory. They appeared to be on the march when Yellowjacket Coy Anderson made one of the key plays of the game. He cut down a Trojan jet sweep play in the backfield for an 8-yard loss. It killed the Trojan drive. 

The Jackets promptly drove 83 yards for a score, and the game turned to Mineola’s favor for good.

An Adam Blalock interception ended Madison’s next drive. The Jackets added seven points on the ensuing drive to end the third quarter leading 35-7.

The Trojans scored early in the fourth quarter on a deep post route when the receiver out-jumped the defender to secure the catch. Mineola answered with a 56-yard scoring drive for the final points of the night.

The Mineola defense forced a fumble and a turnover-on-downs on Madison’s last two possessions. The Trojans discipline melted, and the crowd was subjected to someone from the Madison stands shouting repeated slurs at Mineola players, detracting from the game.

The Yellowjackets tallied 499 yards of offense from scrimmage. They limited Madison to 238 yards. Mineola reached the end zone on six of their eight meaningful possessions. When combined with their production in the bi-district win against Atlanta, the Jackets are operating on a 69% ratio of offensive scoring efficiency. That is quite a mark.

It should be noted however that with the upcoming regional matchups the competition steps up significantly. Mount Vernon, Grandview and Malakoff have some of the best football programs in the state. 

No one is looking past Mount Vernon. The upcoming game has the billing of an epic contest. The teams know each other well and there is no love lost between them. The Tigers will surely have some surprises in store for the Yellowjackets.

Mt. Vernon won the early district contest 23-20 on a 4th quarter field goal, the 11-1 Yellowjackets’ only loss. The winner will get Grandview, the two-time defending state champs, or Malakoff, state runnerup two years ago.

No doubt, Coach Blackwell and his team will be well-prepared and motivated to face the Tigers again. 

Mineola will face Mount Vernon on Friday, Nov. 27 at 1 p.m. in Sulphur Springs.