PREVIEW: Mineola and Hughes Springs to Meet in Hallsville
CLASS 3A DIVISION I
Region II Bi-District Playoff
Mineola Yellowjackets (5-5)
Hughes Springs Mustangs (8-2)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Bobcat Stadium, Hallsville
- Mineola: Luke Blackwell
- Hughes Springs: Chris Edwards
- Mineola: def. Winnsboro, 35-14
- Hughes Springs: def. Sabine 62-37
- Winner faces either Grandview or Pilot Point, area playoffs
- DB/WR/K Cameron Sorenson, Sr., 6-2, 170 (17 catches, 322 yards, 3 TDs; 96 tackles, 7 for loss, 3 PBUs, 1 INT; 34-36 PATs)
- RB/DB Curtis London, Sr., 5-8, 160 (87 carries, 410 yards, 6 TDs; 34 tackles, 1 INT)
- OL/DL Cameron Wise, Jr., 6-0, 285
- QB Shaw Franklin, Sr., 6-3, 155 (69-of-154, 1,154 yards, 10 TDs, 7 INTs; 143 carries, 1,053 yards, 11 TDs)
- RB Trevion Sneed, Fr., 6-0 (111 carries, 842 yards, 13 TDs)
- LB Preston Lankford, Sr., 5-9, 175 (128 tackles, 9 for loss, 1 sack, 1 INT)
- DE Alex Evans, Jr., 5-9, 155 (53 tackles, 12 for loss, 2 sacks, 5 fumble recoveries)
- Jacob Hurst, Sr. (65 tackles, 9 for loss, 1 forced fumble, 1 sack, 5 QBPs)
- OL/DL Hunter Brabham, Sr., 6-3, 235 (committed to Army)
- RB/LB Tra Craver, Sr., 6-2, 194 (181 carries, 1,334 yards, 16 TDs)
- OL/LB Zach Pilgrim, Sr., 5-10, 215
- OL/DL Harrison Reagan, Sr., 5-10, 180
- ATH Ty Menefee, Sr., 5-9, 155
- RB/LB Bryce Johnston, Jr., 5-10, 170 (80 carries, 487 yards, 3 TDs)
- WR/DB Chandler King, Jr., 6-3, 165 (7 catches, 242 yards, 5 TDs)
- QB/DB Andrew Gaul, Soph. (17-of-40, 360 yards, 7 TDs, 2 INTs)
Just the facts
- Hughes Spring's 2017 opponents have a cumulative record of 49-50 (.495).
- Mineola's 2017 opponents have a cumulative record of 55-45 (.550).
- Hughes Springs running back Tra Carter is averaging 7.4 yards per carry.
- The Mustangs are averaging 378.6 yards per game on the ground compared to only 41.4 through the air.
- Mineola quarterback Shaw Franklin is also averaging 7.4 yards per carry.
- The Yellowjackets are averaging 31.7 points per game.
- Hughes Springs is 17-16-1 all-time in the playoffs.
- Mineola is the defending state champion and has an all-time playoff record of 27-18-2.
Key matchup: Tra Carter and the Hughes Springs rushing attack against the Mineola defense. Carter has been absolutely carrying the load for the Mustangs thus far this season. Even though he missed the season finale, he still has well over 1,000 yards.
Hughes Springs is very much a run-first team. The Mustangs average nine times as many rushing yards per game as they do passing yards.
Meanwhile, Mineola has a handful of talented linebackers and defensive lineman to slow the game plan. Preston Lankford has led the way, but Alex Evans and Jacob Hurst are not to be ignored.
This game will likely come down to this battle. If the Mustangs can do what they normally do and put up yards on the ground, they will likely move on. However, with the Yellowjackets being equipped to foil their plans, the Mustangs might have to pass more times than they care to in this one.
Don't be surprised if: Shaw Franklin leads the way for Mineola. Franklin has developed into an offensive star in his first season as the starting quarterback. He can throw, but he does plenty of damage with his legs as well. He has rushed and thrown for more than 1,000 yards this season and has more than 20 touchdowns.
Hughes Springs will certainly look to slow him down, but that is easier said than done. He has seemed to enter another gear as the season gets closer to the end. Now, with everything on the line, expect Franklin to lead Mineola.