Mineola suffers second half woes

Posted 9/21/23

The Bullard Panthers loosed their offensive firepower on the Mineola Yellowjackets in the second half and went home with a 49-10 win Friday.

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Mineola suffers second half woes


For one half it was one of the best football games of the season. However, the Bullard Panthers loosed their offensive firepower on the Mineola Yellowjackets in the second half and went home with a 49-10 win Friday.

With a long view, it appeared that Bullard just wore down the Jackets, after Mineola put up fierce resistance in the first half. The game went into the break with a 14-10 Bullard lead.  

The visitors appeared to be having their way with their initial possession and drove the ball deep into Jacket territory. Just short of the goal line, the Panthers fumbled. 

On the ensuing series, the Jackets tried a deep go-route which was picked, returning the ball to the Bullard 40-yard line.

This time the Panthers pushed it across on a quarterback scramble around the left end. 

Mineola evened the score early in the second quarter with a nice 60-yard drive. Quarterback Braydon Alley carried it over the left side for the score. 

Bullard marched down the field to the Jacket 30-yard line. Safety Braelyn Geremonte came streaking from deep in the secondary to cleanly pick a pass in the middle of the field. Geremonte had just missed intercepting a ball on a deep post route in the end zone, when the interception popped from his grasp as he and the receiver fell to the ground. This time, he was sure-handed and gave Mineola the ball back. 

Mineola ended up turning the ball over on downs, and Bullard struck quickly, taking a 14-7 lead.

The Jackets drove 70 yards in the closing minutes of the half. Noah Turner slotted a 27-yard field goal to close the score to 14-10. 

Coming out after the break, Bullard dominated the action. They matched their first-half total yardage from scrimmage (226 yards and 232 yards) and scored on each of their five second-half possessions. 

They did it largely by getting their offensive playmakers into open space. Once Panther backs and receivers had a free stride, they were elusive and speedy.

The Yellowjackets could not get untracked. A poor punt snap gifted the ball to Bullard for the Panthers’ first score. 

Alley, the Mineola workhorse and leader, exited with a wrist injury. Although he returned, it was clear that the injury effected the team.    

The Jackets mustered only 63 of their 228 total yards in the second half. Bullard simply sent their defense to a point 3 yards behind the center. 

As the game progressed, Bullard became more and more confident, and the scoring spigot had been opened. 

There were some stand-out performers for the home side. Not enough can be said for the toughness of Alley. Many more defenders will underestimate his toughness, speed and strength this year. 

Also putting in stellar performances were wide-out Colton McMahon, defensive lineman Juan Villanueva and senior defensive specialist Mario Bautista. 

In addition to making a circus catch on a deep ball in the first half, McMahon returned a kick-off for a score which was nullified by penalty.  

Villanueva and Bautista seemed to function as the heart and soul of the defensive side. 

The Jackets will travel to Mt. Vernon to open district play Friday. TheTigers are coming off an eye-opening loss at Liberty City.