Mineola Takes On Nearly Identical Pottsboro Team In State Quarterfinals
Class 3A Division I
Region II Championship
Mineola Yellowjackets (10-3)
Pottsboro Cardinals (12-1)
2 p.m. Saturday
Royse City ISD Stadium, Royse City
- Mineola: Joe Drennon
- Pottsboro: Matt Poe
Road to the regional final
- Bi-district: def. Pattonville Prairiland, 52-14
- Area: def. Commerce, 42-14
- Regional semifinal: def. Pilot Point, 34-27
- Bi-district: def. Caddo Mills, 44-13
- Area: def. Redwater, 38-21
- Regional semifinal: def. Whitesboro, 37-14
- Winner plays Brock-Shallowater winner, state semifinals
- QB Jeremiah Crawford, Soph., 5-10, 155 (54 of 108, 1,124 yards, 9 TDs, 9 INTs, 192 carries, 1,540 yards, 20 TDs)
- RB Chantz Perkins, Soph., 5-7, 155 (199 carries, 1,571 yards, 18 TDs)
- MLB Juan Vargas, Sr., 5-10, 213 (162 tackles, 9 for loss, 3 INTs, 4 forced fumbles)
- DL Trevor Keener, Sr., 6-4, 260 (150 tackles, 22 for loss, 4 sacks, 2 forced fumbles)
- DE Casey Gilbreath, Sr., 6-0, 185 (92 tackles, 19 for loss, 6 sacks, 5 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries)
- DB Noah Sneed, Soph., 5-10, 165 (67 tackles, 8 INTs, 1 defensive score)
- K Willie Tinajero, Jr. (47 of 48 PATs, 8 of 9 FGs)
- QB/DB Zane Prichett, Jr. (112 of 188, 1,961 yards, 17 TDs, 3 INTs, 192 carries, 1,559 yards, 21 TDs; 38 tackles, 5 INTs)
- RB Thaddeus Flinn, Sr., 5-8, 165 (186 carries, 904 yards, 13 TDs)
- WR Myles Mitchusson, Soph. (46 catches, 893 yards, 12 TDs)
- LB Patton Lyons, Jr., 5-11, 185 (170 tackles, 10 for loss, 6.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles)
- S Zane Martinez, Jr., 6-0, 175 (103 tackles, 2 forced fumbles)
- LB Questin Stumpff, Jr. (102 tackles, 5 for loss, 1 forced fumble)
Just the facts
- Mineola has not played in a regional final since 1962.
- Pottsboro also is enjoying a special season. Since a 1-9 record in 2009, the Cardinals' best finish was a third round appearance against Daingerfield last season.
- Quarterback Jeremiah Crawford and running back Chantz Perkins both average more than 100 yards on the ground per game for Mineola. The two leading rushers have taken 87.5 percent of the Yellowjackets' carries this season.
- Mineola's defense has been very impressive. It averages about 15 points given up per game and has collected 20 takeways and more than 50 tackles for loss.
- Pottsboro is a well-balanced offense, but leans to its running game with 3,268 yards of a total 5,710 yards coming on the ground. The unit averages about 37 points per game.
- Defensively, the Cardinals' defense averages 15.8 points given up per game.
- The two teams share one common opponent. Pottsboro defeated Pilot Point, 22-7, on Oct. 31. Mineola defeated Pilot Point last week with a late touchdown pass, 34-27.
- Pottsboro, situated a few miles northwest of Sherman, will travel 67 miles to Royse City. The Yellowjackets will drive 64 miles one-way.
Key matchup: Too many to identify one. Mineola and Pottsboro are strikingly similar teams with a preference to run the ball, the ability to pass when needed and incredible individual defensive stats.
Much like Pottsboro did in the regular season, the Yellowjackets pretty much imposed their will against a common opponent in Pilot Point with the ground game. A late fumble allowed Pilot Point to tie the game with less than 1:30 to go and Mineola ended up winning the game with a long screen pass to Jesse Creswell under the 50-second mark.
The Yellowjackets played a good game on defense. It forced forced three fumbles, managed to recover one, held Pilot Point to two punts and blocked two PATs in a quick game dominated by rushing attacks.
Mineola has 20 takeaways this season and a staggering number of tackles for loss thanks to an outstanding defensive front.
The Carindals' offense will probably face its toughest defensive challenge yet.
Expect running back Chantz Perkins and quarterback Jeremiah Crawford to shoulder the offensive load once again this week for the Yellowjackets. The two players combined for 296 rushing yards on just 50 attempts last week, an average of nearly six yards per play.
Pottsboro's linebacking corps will present a major challenge. Linebackers Patton Lyons and Questin Stumff have combined for 272 tackles this season. Safety Zane Martinez has another 103 tackles for the Cardinals and should be able to help the squad force Mineola to sustain drives rather than ripping off a high volume of long runs.
Mineola will have to execute to perfection against Pottsboro's defense. It did a good job against Pilot Point with the only bad marks being the late fumble and two punts after drives ended against a stiff wind.
Don't be surprised if: A big special teams play defines the game. The two sides are very evenly matched. There is definitely room in Friday's state quarterfinal playoff for the third phase, special teams, to make an impact.
Pottsboro has scored twice on kickoff returns this season. Mineola's Perkins or Crawford are options late if the Yellowjackets need a big return.
Mineola kicker Willie Tinajero has converted 47 of 48 PAT kicks this season and 8 of 9 field goals with a long of 37 yards. Pottsboro's Abdul Mal has hit on 60 of 64 PATs and is 10 of 12 on his field goal attempts. His long is 50 yards and he is consistent within 39 yards.