Yoakum goes undefeated at Edna 7-on-7 tournament Saturday

Keldy  Ortiz

June 22, 2013 at 1:22 a.m.

EDNA - Yoakum last played in the state 7 on 7 football championship in 2010 as an alternate.

The Bulldogs earned a berth of their own Saturday at the Cowboy 7-on-7 Division II state qualifying tournament.

Yoakum qualified by advancing to the final.

But, the Bulldogs weren't done, defeating Port Isabel 33-27 in the championship game to go undefeated in the tournament.

"If you asked me can we go undefeated, no. But I knew we would qualify for state," said Yoakum 7 on 7 coach Mike McCracken. "In Yoakum, we're blessed with skilled kids."

Unlike previous state qualifying tournaments, McCracken said Yoakum had all its players Saturday.

The Bulldogs took the lead against Port Isabel late in the second half.

They maintained the lead thanks to a deflection by incoming senior safety T.J. Hights as the clock expired.

Hights also helped on the offensive side, making key catches when the ball was thrown to him.

"We probably could have laid back and let them win because we already qualified, but we had a lot of determination," Hights said. "We got what we needed to do done."

While the win was helpful, McCracken was glad that players were all on the same field.

The state tournament is scheduled for July 11-12 in Leander and the Bulldogs should be able to sharpen their skills for the upcoming season.

"They actually are running their routes between receiver and quarterback," McCracken said. "This only helps them."

Hights welcomed the opportunity to play with his teammates.

"It's timing, just going out there and playing, knowing what each player is going to do when a situation happens," he said. "Certain players know what certain players can do and what certain players can't do."

Incoming senior quarterback Chase Hermes was pleased with the team's performance in the tournament.

"Most of the routes we run are what we do Friday nights," he said, "so we'll be pretty good."



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