ARLINGTON -- Chantz Perkins put the final touches on Mineola's dream season with an 8-yard touchdown score with no time on the clock.

That cut Cameron Yoe's final margin of victory down to 70-40 Thursday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. The Yellowjackets fell a bit short of the ultimate goal in their first ever football state championship game appearance.

"This was an incredible experience," Perkins said. "It didn't come out the way we wanted, but props to Cameron Yoe. They're a great football team. Really, really fast and knew how to score. I don't want to say they beat us. We kind of beat ourselves and ran out of time."

Yellowjackets quarterback Jeremiah Crawford reaches the end zone on a 10-yard run to cut the team's deficit to 21-7 midway through the second quarter. (Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)

The Yoemen, who won their third consecutive state title, capitalized on a Yellowjackets mistake right out of the game.

Mineola won the coin toss and elected to receive. The kick went unfielded and Cameon Yoe recovered the ball at the 17-yard line.

Traion Smith scored on a 3-yard carry a minute and one second into the game. The key Yoemen back added two more scores before the first quarter was over.

With Yellowjackets sophomore quarterback Jeremiah Crawford, however, anything seemed possible early.

Cameron Yoe obviously wanted to hold Perkins in check. The running back put up 372 yards in last week's state semifinal win against Shallowater.

Trailing 21-0 after one period of play, Crawford led Mineola (12-4) on a 13-play, 94-yard drive and capped it with a 10-yard run. He finished the game with three total scores and 158 yards on the ground alone.

Crawford briefly left the game midway through the final quarter with a leg injury, but after getting some attention on the issue limped with the team through the final moments of the game.

"The kid plays with a lot of heart and a lot of passion," Yellowjackets head coach Joe Drennon said. "He's a sophomore. He's going to be back and better than he was this year."

Sophomore defensive back Kartney Hampton brings down Cameron Yoe quarterback Reid Nickerson. Sophomore safety Aaron Stanford crashes down in support. (Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)

Cameron Yoe (12-4) continued its barrage despite the good moments Mineola put together.

Receiver Aaron Sims, who will walk on with Oklahoma, finished his night with 153 yards and three scores on just six catches. He delivered two backbreaking touchdowns in the final minute of the first half, including a score that gave the Yoemen a 42-13 lead.

Quarterback Reid Nickerson completed 15-of-21 passes for 311 yards and five scores through the air. Smith added a fourth and fifth score on the ground in the second half. Sicory Smith also broke 100 yards receiving in the game for the Yoemen.

The Yoemen led 70-27 with under a minute to play.

Perkins seemingly finished his sophomore season with the 47-yard score and 50 seconds to play, but freshman defensive back Dalton Harris stripped backup runningback C.J. Canady and Perkins punched in the final score of the season with no time remaining.

"We've been down, we've been tied, we've been to overtime," Drennon said. "We just don't quit. Luckily, we got a fumble. I know their backups were in, but our guys wanted to go score again. They did it and put it in the back of the end zone. I'm proud of the effort."

Between senior linebacker Juan Vargas, senior defensive tackle Trevor Keener and end Casey Gilbreath, the Yellowjackets defensive front will have to be rebuilt in the offseason.

A majority of the 2014 state championship game team will return, however. The team has said goodbye to just seven seniors.

There was some optimism Mineola will be back on the big stage immediately following the loss.

"I'm pretty proud of my kids and what we've done this year," Drennon said. "We're going to be back in the playoffs next year. How far you go, you never know. Like I said before this game, you've got to get a break to get to where you're at today. Maybe we'll get that break and be back next year."

Mineola comes off the sideline to shake the Yoemen's hands after Thursday's state championship loss. (Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)

 

Cameron Yoe 70, Mineola 40

Class 3A Division I State Championship
At AT&T Stadium, Arlington

Cameron Yoe    21   21     21      7    --    70
Mineola             0      13    14     13    --    40

First Quarter
CAM-- Traion Smith 4 run (Eric Sanchez kick), 10:59
CAM--Traion Smith 4 run (Sanchez kick), 6:44
CAM--Smith 17 run (Sanchez kick), :30
Second Quarter
MIN--Jeremiah Crawford 10 run (Willie Tinajero kick), 6:27
CAM--Sicory Smith 63 pass from Reid Nickerson (Sanchez kick), 5:41
MIN--Crawford 13 run (kick failed), 1:54
CAM--Aaron Sims 43 pass from Nickerson (Sanchez kick), :58
CAM--Sims 39 pass from Nickerson (Sanchez kick), 0:00
Third Quarter
MIN--Noah Sneed 61 fumble return (Tinajero kick), 11:03
CAM--Sims 47 pass from Nickerson (Sanchez kick), 10:13
CAM--Smith 19 run (Sanchez kick), 9:58
MIN--Michael Drennon 7 pass from Crawford (Tinajero kick), 6:28
CAM--Smith 1 run (Sanchez kick), 1:37
Fourth Quarter
CAM--Jordan Wells 23 pass from Nickerson (Sanchez kick), 10:50
MIN--Chantz Perkins 47 run (Tinajero kick), :50
MIN--Perkins 8 run (No PAT attempted), 0:00

                                            CAM                 MIN

First Downs                         23                      18
Total Yards                          547                    349
Rushes-Yards                     35-236               45-318
Passing Yards                     311                    31
Comp.-Att.-Int.                   15-23-0              4-13-2
Punts-Avg.                           0-0                    2-35.0
Fumbles-Lost                       2-2                    1-1
Penalties-Yards                    6-52                  4-35

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS
RUSHING--Cameron Yoe, Traion Smith 22-123, Reid Nickerson 5-64, C.J. Canady 5-24, Aaron Sims 2-20, John Washington 1-5. Mineola, Jeremiah Crawford 21-164, Chantz Perkins 22-149, Seth Hudgins 2-5.
PASSING--Cameron Yoe, Nickserson 15-21-0--311, Jacob Smitherman 0-2-0--0. Mineola, Crawford 4-13-2--31.
RECEIVING--Cameron Yoe, Sims 6-153, Sicory Smith 5-106, Vincent Vargas 3-29, Jordan Wells 1-23. Mineola, Brent Wells 1-15, Kourtland Sinches 1-8, Michael Drennon 1-7, Chantz Perkins 1-1.