Yellowjackets begin playoff run with rout of Sabine


Devon Goguen is an opportunist.

With his team leading 21-0 early in the game, Goguen and his teammates wanted to get the ball back to the offense and needed to stuff the opponent while they were deep in their own territory. That didn’t happen exactly as planned. The ball was fumbled and Goguen picked it up and returned it for a touchdown and a 28-0 lead that his team would not relinquish.

The Mineola Yellowjackets (9-2, 6-0) defeated the Sabine Cardinals (2-9, 2-3) in the bi-district round of the Texas UIL playoffs 55-14 on Thursday at Panther Stadium in Bullard.

The contest was decided by halftime due to a suffocating defense and an efficient offensive unit, and the Yellowjackets took the opportunity in the second half to get some reps for the future of Mineola football.

It was a complete defensive effort in the first half for the Yellowjackets. They shut out the Cardinals and had two fumble returns for touchdowns. The first was a 47-yard return by Curtis London on the fourth play from scrimmage. Goguen returned the second fumble which brought his season total to three fumble returns for touchdowns.

Mineola held Sabine to 218 yards of offense, all on the ground as the defense intercepted two of the three passes attempted by the Cardinals. The second half saw the bench cleared and valuable playoff reps given to junior varsity players who were called up for the contest. The second and third teams did allow two touchdowns of 75 and 72 yards to Eli Morris and Glenn George but those two plays amounted to 147 of Sabine’s 218 yards of offense.

“I think we accomplished a lot tonight but I feel we have a ways to go and need to continue to do our jobs right,” said Goguen. “I was excited to score again, I thought I was done scoring earlier in the year but when you do things right and the opportunity presents itself, you make the most of it.”

Offensively, Mineola came. They saw. They scored.

Senior Jeremiah Crawford threw two touchdowns in the first quarter, finishing the night 3-of-4 for 80 yards and scoring passes to Kourtland Sinches and Michael Drennon, while also rushing for 83 yards on the ground with a 17-yard score. Chantz Perkins made the most of his four rushing attempts, finishing with 56 yards and two rushing scores of 22 and 14 yards.

The Yellowjackets scored only once in the second half but saw a glimpse of the future in quarterback Shawmon “Shaw” Franklin, who finished 1-of-2 for 5 yards passing and 14 rushing attempts for 98 yards and a 10-yard touchdown.

“We’re pumped and so excited,” said Perkins. “This is what we’ve been working so hard for is to get to the playoffs and show everybody what we’re really about.”

The Yellowjackets could have easily broken 100 points but Coach Drennon showed mercy and allowed several young players from the junior varsity squad to log playoff minutes in the second half.

“I’m awful proud for our younger guys,” Drennon said. “Anytime you can get on the field this time of year, that’s really good experience you can’t replicate.”

The Yellowjackets travel to T.A. “Cotton” Ford Stadium, on the campus of Greenville High School, this Friday at 7:30 p.m. to face the Whitesboro Bearcats (5-6, 3-2) for the area championship. The Bearcats defeated the Madison Trojans last week and boast a more traditional pro-style offense.

“We played them last year,” Perkins added. “Great team, great coaching staff and athletes just crazy. It’s going to be a really good game and we’re excited for it.”