Ranking the Yoemen’s 2017 opponents

As I do every year, I want to take a look back to the 2017 season and give you a breakdown of Cameron’s opponents and how I had them ranked, from weakest to toughest The pool of teams was smaller than usual as Cameron only played 11 games this past season, so I will go ahead and list everyone.


11. Jarrell (W, 55-0)

After going 11-1 in 2015, Jarrell has fallen on hard times in a big way the past two seasons, finishing with a combined 1-19 overall record. The Cougars were shutout in six of their 10 games and the Yoemen managed to collect one of those in their most dominant victory of the season.


10. Little River Academy (W, 41-0)

The Bees were just a step ahead of Jarrell, whom they beat to begin district play by a slim 20-14 margin. The Bees have just generally struggled with Cameron over the years and that did not change all that much in a 41-0 shutout win. I knew this Academy team was going to struggle after watching them open the season with Rogers.


9. Troy (W, 35-0)

Much like Academy, Cameron has never had many problems with the Trojans, and we saw much of the same in the Yoemen’s third shutout of the district schedule.


8. McGregor (L, 31-25)

Though Cameron lost this game, I felt it was undoubtedly their worst performance of the season and ultimately led to the fourth place finish in the district. McGregor beat Cameron for the first time since Cameron dropped down to 3A in 2010, but this was one that you felt slip away on multiple occasions.


7. Gatesville (L, 31-29)

This was another game that many will argue that Cameron simply should not have lost. But, Cameron has had problems beating the Hornets in the past. After beating the Yoemen, this team raced out to a 6-0 start. Gatesville then ran into China Spring, La Vega and Liberty Hill to close out 13-4A DI play and lost all of those games. The Hornets then fell to Canyon Lake in the opening round, 31-21 to finish with a four game losing streak.


T6. Bellville (W, 40-14)

Things looked really good for the Yoemen after they dominated Bellville on their home turf on a Saturday opener. It was, by far, Cameron’s most impressive win of the year and ended up being a quality win. Bellville began the season 0-3, but ended up finishing second in their district behind Rusty Nail’s Madisonville Mustangs, and advanced to the third round of the playoffs before bowing out to Salado.


T6. Bay City (L, 30-29, OT)
I went back and forth with this game and Bellville, so I just called it a tie. These teams had different styles, but I think had they played in the postseason, you would have seen a very close ball game. I have to give credit to Coach Lupe Florez, which did a great job of turning around this program in short order. Florez is now the head man at 6A Clear Brook out of the Houston area. Bay City was an area finalist in 4A DII.


4. Franklin (L, 38-34)

This is yet another game many felt Cameron had no business losing. The Yoemen gave up 17 unanswered points, including a 29-yard touchdown pass with just 6.7 seconds remaining on the fourth quarter clock to sneak away from Cameron with their first-ever win in the series. The Lions were a solid team, advancing to the third round before falling hard to Teague, 41-14.


3. China Spring (L, 21-14)

If you were a fan of defense, this was your game. Neither team could get in a rhythm offensively most of the night, but it was the Cougars and Mark Bell that picked up another win. This Cougars team was certainly down from their 2016 and 2015 state semifinalist and quarterfinalist squads, but these guys did end up in the third round before falling to Liberty Hill.


2. Teague (L, 40-14)

There was a lot of frustration and head scratching during much of the Yoemen’s regular season schedule. That all could have been wiped away with yet another win over the Teague Lions in the playoffs. That was simply not to be as the Lions dominated the Yoemen in all phases of the game from the opening whistle to the final horn. Teague rolled in their first three playoff games before meeting up with the eventual state champions.


1. Rockdale (L, 63-34)

Yes, this is the team that Teague lost to. It was also the same team Cameron fell to for the second consecutive season to keep the bell across the river. Rockdale scored a series record 80 points on the Yoemen in 2016, and backed that up with scoring yet another series record - 51 points in a half. The Tigers really improved from the beginning of the season to the team that took down Teague, Yoakum and Brock in the finals, and I give a lot of credit to that coaching staff. These guys were the undisputed champs and simply the best of the best on this schedule.