A new season begins at McGregor on Friday

The Cameron Yoemen look at the season in three different parts. The first part of that season - the pre-district schedule - is now over. The second part will begin this Friday night when the Yoemen travel over to McGregor for the 10-3A league opener.


Cameron finished non-district with a disappointing 1-3 record, but that is not changing any of the expectations for this year’s team.


“I know we are off to a 1-3 start and we do not accept losing as an option,” said Yoe head football coach Tommy Brashear. “We knew our pre-district was going to be tough. We obviously expected to win more games, but I feel like we have gotten better from playing tough competition and that should help us in the long run.”


McGregor finished their non-district with an even 2-2 mark. The Bulldogs have wins over Sunnyvale (15-7) and Marlin (23-17) while suffering defeats to Groesbeck (23-10) and Mart (43-22).


McGregor is returning a total of 8 starters from last year’s team that finished 4-6 and missed out on the playoffs.


In terms of the series between Cameron and McGregor, the Yoemen hold a 14-3 all-time advantage. The Bulldogs won the first matchup between the two in 1940 (12-0), but Cameron has won the last 12 meetings, which included a bi-district playoff victory in 2015.



The Bulldogs only return a total of four starters from an offense that averaged just over 35 points per ball game in 2016. Under first-year head coach Judd Thrash, that total is down to just 17.5 in four games this year.


Though a new head coach is in place, a lot of the same schemes and formations remain the same.


“They are very similar to what we’re used to offensively,” said Brashear. “I know they have a new coach and new coordinators, but the offense is very similar. There may be a little difference with runs out of certain formations, but it is still the spread offense. They may get in more of the two-back gun than they have in the past.”


Expect to see plenty of carries from #7 Johnathan Phenix, a University of Houston commit. The running-back had run for 195 yards and scores 2 touchdowns in the first three games.


Quarterback Jared Lorenz has been generating the most yardage, with 386 through the air and another 355 on the ground in those same game.


“#7 is a big play threat that is very fast,” said Brashear. “The quarterback runs the ball well and is a hard-nosed runner. They have weapons at receiver including the Irons kid. I feel like they have been struggling a bit offensively, but they do have some weapons on that side of the ball.”



McGregor also has 4 returners on the defensive side of the ball which will base out of the 4-2-5.  


This unit gave up 27.5 points per game in 2016 and that average has slightly improved to 22.5 in 2017.


“They have been playing good defense,” said Brashear. “They have two real strong and stout defensive tackles. Inside linebacker #8 is a returner who is their leading tackler. Other than the Mart game, they have been holding people to some pretty low scores.”


A few of the top starters on offense will also play key roles on defense.


“A lot of their skill kids play both ways,” said Brashear. “#7 plays defense. The quarterback also plays on defense. Hopefully that plays well for us at the end of the game and they are more worn out than we are.”


Advantage for Yoe?

So far this season, Cameron has managed to get positive results from their rushing game, which has averaged 187 yards per game. The Yoemen may look to use their size advantage up front to keep that trend going and pick up a much-needed win.


“Our run game has been real strong this year and I think we can run it again,” said Brashear. “It will probably be a running-back by committee with Westbrook, Fripp, England and Vargas. They will share some of the running. We will have to see how Fripp comes along throughout the week with the sprained ankle.”