Yoe goes 3-0 in pool, upset in first round of 7-on-7 state championships

Heading into last week’s state 7-on-7 championships in College Station, Cameron was slated to be in one of the toughest pools in the entire draw with the likes of Celina, Needville and Abilene Wylie on the schedule. The Yoemen passed that test with flying colors, raising eyebrows with a perfect 3-0 mark.


“I was proud of the kids and they way they responded that first day,” said Yoe head football coach Tommy Brashear. “Their focus was good and they came out and started well. Sometimes we tend to get off to slow starts and that was something we had been working on. I was very happy the way they started with Celina.”


However, 7-on-7 is known to have its swing of high and lows. In the first round of championship play on Friday morning, the Yoemen fell to Wimberley in an overtime thriller, 28-27.


It was a game that went back-and-forth, with the Yoemen having their chances throughout.


“We got down to the 1-yard line a couple of times and we couldn't get it in,” said Brashear. “We had plenty of opportunities, but we didn’t make the plays we needed to. They made a few more plays than us and they are a very good program.”


Right before regulation with the game tied at 21, Yoe quarterback Zack Andress found receiver Kadrian Hammond near the goal line. Unfortunately no referee was in good position to make a call, and after a lengthy conversation, Hammond was ruled out at the one with no time left for another play.


Wimberley scored on their first possession of overtime and got the extra point to go up, 28-21. Andress connected with running-back DJ Fripp to keep the Yoemen alive, but the ever-important extra-point attempt failed, sending the Texans to the second round. Wimberley proceeded to lose to Kaufman, 32-20.


“I thought the defense played well the entire game,” said Brashear on the two second-half stops for the Yoe. “I actually thought our defense played well pretty much the entire tournament. We made some plays on offense too, but we just could not pull it out.”


The pool play games were equally as tight, but Cameron managed to come out on top in all of those - 34-32 over Celina, 34-26 over Needville and 34-27 over Abilene Wylie.


Despite finishing second in the pool, Abilene Wylie proceeded to advance all the way to the championship game from the other side of the bracket. Graham captured the championship, 27-20.


Other notables in the first round included Giddings, Gatesville, Rockdale and West, who were bounced after one game. Lexington fell to San Augustine in the second round, Navasota fell to Graham in the semis, while China Spring lost to Wylie in the other semifinal.


7-on-7 assessment and what’s next


Another 7-on-7 season is in the books with the start of 2-a-days just a month away. There were many positives to be taken away, including how dynamic the offense has been the past few months.


“Our offense has spread the ball around, which is our philosophy,” said Brashear. “Going into the third game on the first day, Hammond, Westbrook and Moore all had three touchdowns, so it was spread around.”


Incoming junior Kadrian Hammond has stepped into a big role this summer in one of the starting outside receiver slots.


“Kadrian Hammond has possibly been the most impressive guy throughout 7-on-7,” said Brashear. “I feel like he is growing and maturing and getting better each time out. Moore has had a real good 7 on 7 season and Iverson is learning that outside receiver spot. Holt has really good hands and has done a good job as well. The quarterback and receivers got better and learned each other.”


There are still pieces to the puzzle missing on the defensive side of the ball, but all signs point to improvement from this unit.


“We might be better at this point as opposed to last year with the understanding of our coverages and communicating” said Brashear on the defense. “Coach Balch and I talked about that the other day, and we feel like we’re ahead of where we were last year. Again, that is in 7-on-7 and you don’t have your d-linemen, but as far as coverages and understanding of our coverages, I feel like we are ahead of where we were last year.”


July will not be a month off for the pre-season number one ranked Yoemen. Preparation for the start of 2-a-days now has the full attention of the players.


“We have been doing that all June for the most part as well,” said Brashear on off-season workouts. “A lot of them have been showing up. The only week we really take off is the July 4th week. After that, we’re back at it with our summer workouts getting ready and prepped to go. We’re working on speed, agility and getting stronger.”


Practice is set to begin on Monday, August 7.