CLASS 3A DIVISION I
Region II Championship Game

Pottsboro Carindals (11-2)

vs.

Mineola Yellowjackets (11-2)

7:30 p.m. Friday
Royse City ISD Stadium, Royse City

Coaches

  • Pottsboro: Matt Poe
  • Mineola: Joe Drennon
Last week

Next week
  • Winner plays Brock or Wall, Class 3A Division I state semifinals
Playmakers

Pottsboro

  • WR/DB Myles Mitchusson, Sr., 5-10, 155 (67 catches, 1,055 yards, 13 TDs; 45 tackles, 4 INTs, 3 forced fumbles)
  • QB Hunter Watson, Jr., 6-4, 195 (7 games played, 65 of 110, 1,049 yards, 9 TDs, 4 INTs, 112 carries, 667 rushing yards, 10 TDs; committed to Texas A&M baseball)
  • RB/LB Carson Rein, Sr., 6-1, 195 (138 carries, 815 yards, 12 TDs; 85 tackles, 9 for loss, 1 sack, 2 forced fumbles, 1 INT)
  • LB Eric De la Cruz, Jr., 5-10, 185 (83 tackles, 9 for loss, 4 sacks, 1 INT, 1 fumble recovery)

Mineola

  • QB Jeremiah Crawford, Sr., 5-10, 185 (179 carries, 2,099 yards, 34 TDs, 44 of 93, 807 passing yards, 15 passing TDs, 6 INTs
  • RB Chantz Perkins, Sr., 5-6, 155 (118 carries, 982 yards, 13 TDs)
  • DB/WR Cameron Sorenson, Jr., 6-2, 170 (116 tackles, 4 for loss, 2 INTs, 2 forced fumbles)
  • DB Noah Sneed, Sr., 6-0, 195 (97 tackles, 2 for loss, 3 forced fumbles, 4 fumble recoveries, 1 INT, 5 PBUs)
  • LB/WR Kartney Hampton, Sr., 5-8, 165 (66 tackles, 5 for loss)
  • DL Drason Tenner, Sr., 5-9, 255 (88 tackles, 20 for loss, 2 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery, 8 QB hurries)
  • LB/TE Michael Drennon, Jr., 6-1, 210 (72 tackles, 6 for loss, 1 sack, 5 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries)
  • DL Devon Goguen, Sr., 6-4, 190 (80 tackles, 26 for loss, 8 sacks, 12 QB pressures, 5 fumble recoveries)
  • ATH Kourtland Sinches, Sr., 5-10, 165 (59 tackles, 18 for loss, 6 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 12 QB hurries)
Just the facts
  • Friday's game is a rematch of the 2014 Class 3A Division I, Region II championship game.
  • Mineola won that contest in the final minutes, 14-7, en route to a state championship game appearance.
  • Like the 2014 game, this year's Region II championship contest will be played in Royse City.
  • The Yellowjackets have not lost a playoff game to a Region II team in Class 3A Division I since falling to the classification after the 2013 season.
  • Mineola quarterback Jeremiah Crawford is East Texas' leading rusher with 2,099 yards on the ground.
  • Yellowjackets running back Chantz Perkins needs 18 yards to hit the 1,000-yard mark on the season despite missing time earlier this season.
  • Mineola's defense has 119 tackles for loss in 13 games. That's an average of more than nine takedowns behind the line of scrimmage per contest.
  • The Yellowjackets' defense also has more than 30 takeaways through 13 games.
  • Both of Mineola's losses this season came to teams in Class 4A. It also beat a 4A opponent in Wills Point, which went two rounds deep in the playoffs.
  • Mineola will travel 56 miles to Royse City. Pottsboro, just northeast of Sherman, has a 78-mile trip to make.
Mineola defensive lineman Drason Tenner will try to give the Yellowjackets a nice push in Friday's contest. (Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)

Key matchup: Mineola's dominant defense versus Pottsboro's balanced offense.

In addition to more than 30 takeaways and 119 tackles for loss, the Yellowjackets defense lowered its points against average per game to 16 points with last week's 21-7 win against Howe. It has been a great season for the unit in spite of somewhat of a down year offensively compared to last season's state semifinalist team.

Denison quarterback transfer Hunter Watson, a junior and a Texas A&M baseball commitment, is the key cog in Pottsboro's effort to settle the score with Mineola after a narrow loss in the 2014 Class 3A Division I, Region II championship game.

Watson has thrown for more than 1,000 yards in seven games played and is the team's second-leading rusher with another 667 yards on the ground. He missed the early games this season while appealing for eligibility from the University Interscholastic League.

Myles Mitchusson will be a familiar face from the 2014 contest, albeit with a much more prominent role on both sides of the ball. He made four catches for 22 yards in the last meeting as a sophomore, but he's now a 1,000-yard receiver in addition to the team's interceptions leader on defense.

Pottsboro's leading running back is Carson Rein. He compares nicely to White Oak running back Connor Hearron in size and speed.

Beyond those three key pieces are depth skill players. The group has 20 of the team's 55 offensive touchdowns, but their numbers don't pop much individually.

This is a game that comes down to Mineola's defensive front. All three of Pottsboro's stars are linked by the amount of time their offensive line can give them.

Rein needs space to take a handoff and begin the progress down the field. Watson needs space to scramble and also to get a good pass away. Mitchusson needs a good ball to catch.

The numbers are there to indicate the Yellowjackets are capable of penetrating the opposing offensive line.

Defensive linemen Devon Goguen and Drason Tenner, both seniors, have big roles to play. They'll enter the meeting Friday with 46 combined tackles, 10 sacks and 20 quarterback hurries.

Linebacker Kourtland Sinches and Michael Drennon add another 26 combined tackles for loss and another 16 quarterback hurries.

 

Don't be surprised if: Mineola's offense has a big bounce back game.

The past two weeks have been interesting between a slow start against Whitesboro and a unit that failed to help the team pull away in last week's relatively small victory over Howe. A good offensive start has to be one of the main things head coach Joe Drennon is preaching in preparation for Pottsboro.

Look to running back Chantz Perkins to help lead the charge. If he gets going early, he will help take the pressure off of run-first quarterback Jeremiah Crawford.

Perkins needs 18 yards to reach the 1,000-yard club despite missing time earlier in the season. Crawford, meanwhile, is East Texas' leading rusher through 13 games.

Mineola running back Chantz Perkins could ignite the entire offense with a few big runs early in the contest.