MINEOLA YELLOWJACKETS
AT
PALESTINE WESTWOOD PANTHERS

7:30 p.m. Friday
Panther Stadium, Palestine

Coaches
Mineola: Joe Drennon
Westwood: Roger Mays

Next week
Mineola: vs. Tyler Grace
Westwood: at Huntington

Playmakers
Mineola

  • RB/LB Dac Shaw, Sr., 6-2, 200 (committed to TCU)
  • QB Tyler Hudson, Sr., 5-10, 160
  • OL Hunter Creech, Jr., 5-11, 220
  • WR Henry El Hallaoui, Sr., 5-11, 170
  • RB Rhett Self, Jr., 5-8, 160
  • WR Kendall Boyd, Jr., 6-2, 165
  • TE Lucas Flournoy, Sr., 5-10, 170

Westwood

  • RB Keke Hicks, Sr., 5-7, 145
  • DE Dra Ross, Sr., 6-1, 205
  • FB Nick Hicks, Sr., 5-11, 235
  • RB Aaryon Robinson, Sr., 5-9, 195
  • DT Ashton Reeves, Jr., 5-11, 175
  • OL LaRodney Brown, Sr., 5-3, 240
  • K Pedro Umanzor, Sr., 5-9, 135

Just the facts

  • Mineola is back in Class 3A after a brief, two-year stay in 2A. In the last two season, the Yellowjackets have gone 17-6 with back-to-back playoff appearances after reaching the playoffs just twice in the previous 20 years.
  • The 'Jackets will likely rely on Shaw quite a bit on both sides of the ball. The TCU pledge ran for 1,400 yards and 28 touchdowns and made 95 tackles (20 for loss) with six sacks as a junior.
  • Hudson will be Mineola's new quarterback after attempting just six passes all of 2011.
  • Westwood, meanwhile, is moving down to 2A after a rough couple of seasons in 3A. The Panthers are just 3-17 in the last two years, including an 0-10 campaign in 2010.
  • Hicks and Robinson should be getting plenty of touches in 2012 after the two combined for 1,652 yards on the ground last season.
  • In the Panthers' last two season openers against Chapel Hill, Westwood has been outscored 124-33.

Key matchup
: Mineola's running game vs. Westwood's defensive front. There's no secret about Mineola's game plan on offense. It calls for a heavy dose of Shaw out of the backfield. The Yellowjackets are breaking in a relatively inexperienced QB, so the more Mineola can rely on the running game the better Hudson. Westwood, despite losing its season opener 74-23 to Chapel Hill a season ago, only surrendered 161 rushing yards. It will be up to the Panthers' defensive front to force Mineola into putting it in the air.

Don't be surprised if: Both teams come into the season opener flat on offense. While Mineola and Westwood both return impact players at the skill positions, there will be a lot of new faces along both offensive lines. Whichever team can avoid the costly penalties and inopportune turnovers stands a good chance to begin the year on a winning note.