Mineola can’t slow unbeaten Raiders

Posted 10/26/23

This could be Winnsboro’s year. The Red Raiders came to town last Friday and put on a pretty impressive showing, blanking the Mineola Yellowjackets 42-0.

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Mineola can’t slow unbeaten Raiders


This could be Winnsboro’s year. The Red Raiders came to town last Friday and put on a pretty impressive showing, blanking the Mineola Yellowjackets 42-0.   

Judging the Red Raiders football team from their 28-point performance in the first half of the game, before significant line-up changes ensued, did not disclose any overt weaknesses. 

Defensively, Winnsboro is anchored by three strong and active defensive linemen and a pair of aggressive linebackers. As a group, the secondary reads well and made sure-handed tackles. Most impressive was the defense’s ability to shed blocks quickly while looking through the block to the ball. 

As proof to their scheme, the Red Raiders held Mineola to under 100 yards net in each half.

On the offensive side, the Red Raiders have some size on their offensive line, which is often a huge advantage in Class 3A. They also have the ability to leverage the quick-hitting running of Tyson Johnson with the strong arm and accuracy of quarterback Kyler Finney.  

Johnson’s running style involves pushing past the key block at the point of attack just as that block is being made. The technique puts a defense under great pressure, as there is practically no time for the defensive front or linebackers to make a read. 

Add speed and strength and Johnson becomes quite a force for the Red Raiders. Also of note are a handful of tall, strong receivers, well-schooled in route running. 

Given so many options, it follows that the Winnsboro playbook is diverse and evolving. In the first half, the play calls of Winnsboro’s offense were split practically even between run and pass. 

On the night, the Red Raiders scored on a wide receiver screen, a stop-and-go, a post route, two short blasts through the interior and a 30-yard cutback through the Yellowjacket defense. They amassed 415 yards from scrimmage. 

The furthest penetration for the home side into Raiders’ territory came on Mineola’s last possession. On 4th down from the Winnsboro 28, a toss into the end zone was intercepted. 

The Raiders defense certainly keyed on Braydon Alley, who managed 31 yards on 13 carries. In the second half the running duties were largely filled by Trevor Singletary – likely to prevent wear and tear on Alley’s legs.  

It was tough sledding for the Jackets offense. The Raider defense must practice at length against the Raider offense. When Mineola tried to loosen the attack a bit, it was as if the Winnsboro defense anticipated exactly that play. 

Looking forward, Wood County fans can expect Winnsboro to make a significant post-season run this year. They can also expect to see Mineola in the second season.

Mineola travels to Emory Friday to play winless-in-district Rains, then hosts Commerce to end the regular season Nov. 2, with an inside track to the third-place playoff spot.