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CBS19 COACH OF THE WEEK: Mineola's Luke Blackwell

After pulling off the upset in the bi-district round of playoffs, Coach Luke Blackwell with the Mineola Yellow Jackets has earned Coach of the Week.

MINEOLA, Texas — The Mineola Yellow Jackets entered the bi-district round of playoffs Friday night as heavy underdogs against the Jefferson Bulldogs, who were fresh off of a district championship win.

The Yellow Jackets won in dominating fashion, knocking off the one seed 31-13, earning Luke Blackwell coach of the week.

“Even though we were underdogs in the first round, we didn't think we were typical for four-seed either," Blackwell said. "And we felt like a lot of our district play in some of those tough non-district games were going to prepare us for the playoffs going forward.”

Mineola was led by Dawson Pendergrass, the leading rusher in the region and the state. Pendergrass turned off the lights with 36 carries for 214 yards and three touchdowns.

"I honestly can't take all the credit because I wouldn't be where I was today if I didn't have my line blocking for me, getting their blocks, right receivers, running the routes and taking their blocks," Pendergrass said.

It was an all out team effort, cultivated in district play. The Class 3A Division I is in one of the toughest districts in the region and Mineola's losses all came from current playoff favorites, Mount Vernon, Winnsboro, and Pottsboro.

"Our schedule really put us in a position be battle tested," Blackwell said. "And I think people don't realize the district that we are in, top to bottom, I think it's the best in the state. Every week is a test. Some of those we won and some of those we lost, but I felt like it was an important step for us in that process, because I feel like we were continuing to get better."

Jefferson ends the season with an 8-3 record, while Mineola moves on to the area playoffs to take on the Grandview Zebras at 7 p.m. Friday at Mesquite’s Hanby Stadium.

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