Yellowjackets claim 34-26 OT victory

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Mineola overcame a fourth quarter deficit, a torrential rainstorm, and a scrappy White Oak side to score a 34-26 overtime victory Friday night at Roughneck Stadium. The win, Mineola’s first in district, will be key in future playoff scenarios with only three remaining regular season games.

After stopping the Roughnecks in the game’s initial series, the Yellowjackets took over on their own 23 yard line. The initial off tackle play to Running Back Trevion Sneed went for three yards. On second down, Quarterback Shaw Franklin faked the same action to Sneed and then broke straight through the opposite tackle gap for a 74-yard gallop to the end zone. The extra point snap was fumbled, but within two minutes Mineola had the first six points on the board.

The Roughnecks answered back. After getting stuffed at mid-field by an aggressive Yellowjackets defense, White Oak went to the air. Senior Quarterback Dalton Sumrow hit Wide Receiver John Thomsett in stride for a 52-yard scoring strike on a well-executed post pattern. A two point conversion pass went incomplete and the score was tied 6 – 6 only four minutes into the contest.

The next two possessions for each side saw some offensive gains and spectacular effort, but generated no points. Each team stalled once due to drive-killing holding calls, while White Oak also turned the ball over on downs.

Mineola opened the second quarter taking possession on their own 25 yard line following that turnover on downs. The Yellowjackets embarked on a 15 play scoring drive behind the running of Sneed, who had eight carries including the scoring effort from two yards out, and Franklin who had five carries on the drive. The two point conversion effort failed due to a fumbled snap.

Buoyed by the score, the Yellowjacket defense stepped up and defended well in the next series. Junior Dalton Rodgers made a great play knocking away a well-thrown deep ball, while Senior River Simonek nearly intercepted a deep ball over the middle.

The Yellowjackets kept the momentum rolling by driving the length of the field in 2:33 to take an 18 – 6 lead into intermission. The 82-yard drive featured a critical 3rd down, 21-yard pass and run completion from Franklin to Sneed which took the ball out to the Mineola 40 yard line. A 32-yard Franklin scramble around the right end also featured prominently in the drive and put the Yellowjackets in business at the Roughnecks’ 28 yard line with 13 second to play. Taking advantage of a fallen defender, Franklin found Simonek on a go route down the left hash for the score. The two point conversion again failed.

The third quarter started with Mineola deep in their own territory. A three and out and a shanked punt handed the ball over to the Roughnecks at the Mineola 18 yard line. Three plays later White Oak scored on a 22-yard Sumrow pass which was arched just beyond the defender’s hands to Receiver Thomsett in the far corner of the end zone. As was the trend this night, the two point conversion failed. Three minutes into the third quarter the score was Mineola 18 White Oak 12.

It may have been the incessant rain, or the frustration of giving up a score after halftime, or the Roughnecks who had no quit in them, but on the next possession, the Yellowjackets just had a meltdown. Mineola took the ball on their own 24 yard line and 15 plays later punted the ball from their own 25 yard line. During this possession the Yellowjackets were flagged for six penalties, including three Unsportsmanlike Conduct fouls. On the night Mineola was flagged 16 times for 130 yards, almost equaling Sneed’s production for the night (140 yards on 28 carries).

At the end of the third quarter White Oak had driven the ball into Mineola territory. Facing a 4th and 10 from the Yellowjacket 33 yard line, the Roughnecks executed a hook and ladder which gave them a first down at the 12 yard line. Junior Running Back Bo Reddic carried the ball in on the next play, tying the game at 18. A successful extra point put the Roughnecks up 19 – 18 early in the fourth quarter.

Mineola struggled to get untracked in the fourth. Their next two possessions resulted in a 3 and out punt and a turnover on downs. That turnover on downs gave White Oak the ball on the Yellowjacket 43 yard line with just under four minutes to play. White Oak quickly capitalized on a 38 yard scoring strike from Sumrow to Thomsett. Thomsett shed two tackles on a catch and run for the score. The extra point was good making the score White Oak 26 Mineola 18.

The game and possibly the season hinged on the Yellowjackets’ next possession. Could they reach down deep and rally to tie the score in the final minutes? They took possession on their own 38 yard line. Sneed carried around right end for 7 yards. Franklin connected on an in route to put the ball just over midfield. On first down the Roughnecks broke up what looked to be a scoring strike on a deep post route. On second down Sneed slashed through the right side of the line on a 32 yard romp. Franklin was then dropped for a one yard gain at the 15, and on the sixth play of the drive, Sneed took a pitch from Franklin and burst into the end zone. The scoring exhilaration was guarded as Mineola still needed a two point conversion to tie. Franklin carried a quarterback option over the right side for the tying points. Not only could they rally, but they executed the tying drive with discipline and confidence.

White Oak still had 1:59 on the clock. The Mineola kickoff was a low screamer which hydroplaned down inside the Roughneck ten yard line. White Oak picked up one first down which expired the remaining time of regulation play. We were headed to overtime.

The Yellowjackets scored on the second play of overtime when Franklin took a quarterback draw up the middle from 17 yards out. A successful two point conversion run over left tackle made the score 34 – 26.

Mineola stopped White Oak on four straight plays and began the celebration. The game had a little bit of everything possible in high school football, and was played in a torrential rain. Both sides should be complemented for the commitment and drive demonstrated in this contest.

The Yellowjackets will look forward to hosting the Sabine Cardinals this Friday. The Cardinals will be coming off their upset victory over the West Rusk Raiders. It should be yet another great match-up.

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