Jackets fall in area playoff round

Posted 11/24/22

Any hopes Mineola had of advancing in the 3A state football bracket were dashed in the final 25 seconds before halftime in the area playoff game Friday against Grandview. 

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Jackets fall in area playoff round


Any hopes Mineola had of advancing in the 3A state football bracket were dashed in the final 25 seconds before halftime in the area playoff game Friday against Grandview. 

Late in the half, the Jackets had moved 65 yards to get on the board. They still had plenty of life and were looking to take that momentum of a score just before halftime into the third quarter. They had come from further behind this year (than the correct 21-7 deficit against Grandview).

After a touchback on the kick-off, the Zebras began with a wide receiver screen. The play broke for a big gain down the western sideline of Mesquite’s E.H. Hanby Stadium. An inadvertent face mask on the tackle moved the ball further to the Jacket’s 26-yard line. Seven seconds were left on the clock.

The Zebras threw 15 passes in the game. All but four were wide receiver screens. Two of those other routes were for touchdowns. One was a flag route for a touchdown on the first possession of the third quarter. The other came with :07 showing on the clock before halftime. 

Grandview had scored in 18 seconds of elapsed time to restore their three-touchdown advantage. At the half the score stood 28-7. 

The effect of that score was obvious to any observer. It broke the will of the Yellowjackets. There would be no historic comeback in Mesquite on this night.     

Grandview came out after halftime and went into a five-wide formation with extended line splits. Then they threw three wide receiver screens and mixed in some run game attacking the edges of the Mineola defense. They scored on that initial third-quarter possession to go up 34-7.

In fact, the Zebras scored on seven of their eight possessions. Only their last drive did not produce points. Grandview rolled up 467 yards from scrimmage and largely controlled the line of scrimmage throughout. 

Grandview had opened the scoring by taking advantage of as Yellowjacket fumble which gifted them a short field. They went up 14-0 at the end of the opening quarter with a 79-yard drive. The quarterback scrambled in from 12 yards out. 

Largely on the sheer guts and strength of Dawson Pendergrass, the Jackets drove 66 yards in 13 plays. They stood inches away from the goal line on fourth down. The Zebras created a logjam on the snap of the ball and denied the score.  

Grandview then drove 98 yards to go up by three touchdowns. The score came on a 72-yard quarterback lead sweep. Missed tackles plagued Mineola all night.

Early in the fourth quarter, Mineola fans were treated to a standard Yellowjacket scoring drive: 61 yards in 15 plays. Pendergrass, who had 163 yards on 31 carries for 5.3 yards per carry, had his two best runs of the night on the drive, for 20 yards and 15 yards.

The Grandview defense largely denied Pendergrass his cut-back lanes throughout the game and limited Mineola to the point of attack. Aggressive pursuit and solid block-shedding kept the Jackets in check most of the game.         

The Zebras added two more scores, late, to build the final margin. 

Mineola’s season – a great season by any measure – was shaped by a methodical running game which shortened the game by denying the opposing team possession of the ball. When it works, it can keep a more talented team in check. However, if the opposing team cannot be kept out of the end zone, the system cannot keep pace. Such was the case Friday at Hanby Stadium.