The Mineola Yellowjackets were rolling. Up big in their Class 3A Division I playoff opener against the Sabine Cardinals, it seemed like nothing could slow down the eventual Texas state champions that night at Panther Stadium on the Bullard High School campus.
That is, until Sabine High School made the football “disappear.”
Trailing 49-0 in the third quarter, the Cardinals clung to life. The outcome wasn’t unexpected, considering Sabine was a 2-8 football team facing an 8-2 juggernaut riding an eight-game winning streak. But Sabine wasn’t going quietly into the night just yet.
On fourth down, Sabine lined up to punt. The play they drew up, though, was nearly blown up from the beginning. (In the video below, notice Mineola’s defensive tackle figure out this trick out like he’s David Blaine.) One broken tackle later, and it went down on the score sheet as a 75-yard touchdown run by Eli Morris to break the shutout.
Sabine’s Disappearing Ball Trick Play
In punt formation, senior quarterback River Bennett fakes like he just received a short snap. A few play fakes and muddle huddle in the backfield draws the eyes of (almost) the entire Yellowjacket defense before all four players run in opposite directions.
Turns out, the long snapper kept that thing tight against his backside for a fumblerooskie of sorts, which junior fullback Eli Morris collected. After breaking the initial Mineola tackle, the field opened like Moses and the Red Sea as No. 7 raced 75 yards for the touchdown.
Sabine scored again on a 72-yard touchdown run by Glenn George, but the damage was done. Mineola throttled Sabine, 55-14, and advanced to the second round of the state playoffs.
Mineola quarterback Jeremiah Crawford led his team to the school’s first state title in a 35-14 win over Yoakum. Crawford, who had 276 rushing yards and four touchdowns in the state championship game, finished his high school career with over 10,000 total yards and 145 touchdowns.
Clearly, Sabine was overmatched, but emptying their bag of tricks at the perfect time earned an all-time highlight.
This post was originally posted on July 15, 2020, but acting like this never goes out of style.