‘Jackets plow Farmers in homecoming

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The Mineola and Farmersville match-up last Friday gave Mineola fans just about everything they could hope for. The Yellowjackets were on top of their game in a 40-3 homecomng win against the Farmers. 

The Yellowjacket offense appeared to have been fully installed for the season. The options revealed against Farmersville had not been fully exercised in the previous two games.  The use of motion on most offensive snaps is likely a key feature of the scheme which will take Mineola into district play. 

Mineola clearly had their best blocking night of the young season. The offensive line played with controlled aggression, the backs and receivers blocked well downfield, and Junior Montrell Williams had a great night carrying the ball. The Jackets scored on five of their six first half possessions. The game was over at halftime. 

Each of the Mineola drives was marked by stellar team and individual play.  The initial score was on a 16-yard wide receiver screen. The throw and catch were executed well, but the keys to the play were two blocks on the perimeter which allowed the receiver to spring free. Two plays earlier, on a fourth-and-11 from the Farmers’ 33-yard line, the Jackets hit Williams on a screen play for 17 yards. In probably his best game yet this year, Junior Jackson Anderson was leading the screen play downfield.

Kobe Kendrick came up with the next big play. The Farmers were pinned back in their territory. On a third-and-8, Kendrick fought off the offensive tackle all the way to the Farmers quarterback and sacked him for a big loss. The ensuing punt took a crazy bounce which set Mineola up for their second score. 

The offensive line surged forward and gave Williams plenty of momentum as he picked up two quick first downs. Cole Castleberry then carried the ball in untouched for the score on a jet sweep.

Wiley Franks and Dawson Pendergrass both made important stops in Farmersville next series. Their recognition of screen passes on separate plays held the Farmers to a three-and-out.

Mineola went 64 yards to register their third touchdown of the night. Williams used his field vision and acceleration to contribute 40 yards on the drive. Quarterback Thomas Hooten carried the ball in from the 3-yard line as he skillfully played off the right side offensive line blocking. With 10 minutes yet to play in the half, the Jackets led 20-0.

Pendergrass filled a hole from his secondary position and upended the Farmer ball carrier on a fourth-and-1. The play created a turnover on downs at mid-field. Mineola scored four plays later as quarterback TJ Moreland found the end zone on a quarterback option. 

Moreland wasn’t done yet. He stepped in front of a Farmersville receiver in the next series of plays and intercepted a ten yard in-route. Williams slashed through the defense on the next play for a 42-yard score. It was Williams’ best run of the night. After breaking through the line, he split four converging Farmersville tacklers, and cut to run over the nearest tackler in order to get into the end zone.  At the half, the score stood 33-0.

The Farmers did not come all this way to roll over. They came out and fought in the second half. Twice they drove the ball deep into Yellowjacket territory. Early in the third quarter they turned the ball over on downs at the Mineola 18-yard line. A Jackson Anderson sack contributed greatly to this stop. 

In the third quarter, the Farmers had first down at the Jackets three yard line. The Yellowjacket defense buckled down and forced Farmersville into a fourth-and-12.  The visitors kicked a field goal to avoid a shutout.

There were a lot of positives to take note of during the Yellowjackets’ home season opener. Everything from offensive consistency, to back-ups providing quality snaps, to the directional kicking effectiveness of Gustavo Sanchez. Mineola will need everything that was featured. The early season is revealing a collection of very good future opponents: Gladewater, Sabine, Tatum, West Rusk await.

Next week the Jackets will contend with the speedy and well-coached Big Sandy Wildcats in the final tune-up before district play. The Wildcats are coming off a 43-31 shoot-out loss to Timpson after beating Alba-Golden 60-34 and losing to St. Augustine 70-7 in the season opener.

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