AUSTIN - Yoakum scored a late touchdown to rally past Malakoff 28-24 on Friday in a Class 3A Division I state semifinal game at the University of Texas' Darrell K Royal Texas Memorial Stadium.
The Bulldogs (11-4) advance to meet Mineola (13-2) in the state championship game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. The title game is scheduled for 8 p.m. Thursday. Mineola defeated Wall 50-8 in the other semifinal.
Malakoff was hoping to make it an all-East Texas affair. Still, the Tigers had the best season in school history.
The Tigers (14-1) took their final lead of the game when quarterback Judd Miller hit Q.T. Barker for a 43-yard touchdown pass. Everado Garcia made the extra point and Malakoff had a 24-21 lead with 7:29 on the clock in the fourth quarter.
However, Yoakum marched down the field to go up 28-24 as Joshua Moore tossed a 4-yard TD pass to Ethan Owens. Jose de los Santos booted the PAT and the Bulldogs were ahead 28-24 with 4:22 on the clock.
Jordan Moore ended the Tigers' hopes when he picked off a pass.
Defensively, CJ Overton had a fumble recovery for the Tigers while Barker had his eighth interception of the season.
Malakoff had a 17-14 halftime lead.
The Tigers took a quick 9-0 lead. Malakoff got on the board with a safety when the Yoakum punter dropped the snap in the end zone with 9:30 showing.
Later, Bre'shawn Williams rushed to pay dirt from 9 yards out. Garcia's PAT made it 9-0.
With 2:18 on the clock in the first, Yoakum got on the scoreboard as Jordan Moore hauled in a 9-yard TD pass from Bryson Hagan. De los Santos booted the extra point to pull the Bulldogs within 9-7.
The Bulldogs went on top 14-9 when Henry Enoch scored from the 3. De los Santos made the PAT with 9:04 on the clock in the second.
With 6:01 left before halftime, Malakoff went back on top 17-14 as Williams scored on a 27-yard run. He then ran in for the two-point conversion.
After a scoreless third quarter, Yoakum took a 21-17 lead when Montreal Jones scored on an 11-yard run. After de los Santos' extra point, the Bulldogs were on top with 7:29 to play.