Yoe looks to continue strong start at Gatesville

It’s no secret to anyone that Gatesville has traditionally given the Yoemen problems on the gridiron. Even when it appeared that Cameron was about to win back-to-back games over the Hornets in 2017, it all ended in a split second as a fumble went into and through the end zone, allowing the Hornets to escape from Yoe Field with a 31-29 win.


“Last year’s game was a heartbreaker,” said Yoe head coach Tommy Brashear. “We had a lot of mistakes including a touchdown called back with two men in motion and then we fumble into the endzone. There were several games last year that were heartbreakers and Gatesville was one of them. I personally would like to get that bad taste out of my mouth and get the win.”


Gatesville now holds a 12 to 9 overall advantage in the all-time series, making them one of a very few programs to have a winning record versus the Yoemen.


“A lot of people get up for Cameron,” said Brashear. “I coached in Gatesville for a few years and they really get up to play Cameron. They see it as a big challenge and they get in there and compete. I see this team being the same. They are probably not as talented as last year’s team, but they do what they do well. They like to run smashmouth football and run it right at you. They have tough, hard-nosed runners.”


Cameron won their season opener over Mexia in week one, 49-34 and had their bye in week two due to late scheduling changes. It was not ideal to have the bye this early, but Brashear and his team got the most out of it.


“The bye went good and I think we got better last week in practice and the kids had the right attitude going into it,” said Brashear. “There may have been one beginning of practice where I got on them, but they picked it up after that. I’d rather have it later in the year, but we made the most of it. All of the coaches went out scouting and saw a lot of football games.”


Gatesville began the 2017 season hot, starting out 7-0 before dropping their final four games of the year to China Spring (43-16), La Vega (49-7), Liberty Hill (42-35) and Canyon Lake (31-21) in bi-district.


With the loss of 30 seniors from last year’s team, it was not a surprise to see the Hornets predicted to finish last out of 5-4A DI, which has strong programs such as Stephenville, La Vega, China Spring and Brownwood ranked higher up.


So far in 2018, Gatesville has lost to Midlothian Heritage (21-6), which is ranked as the number six team in 4A division one, and took down Robinson in week two, 42-28.


Gatesville is coached by Kyle Cooper, which has been in charge of the program since 2007.


Offensively, Gatesville is returning a total of four offensive starters from a team that averaged 33.9 points per game. The Hornets do not have a main formation they like to line up in like Cameron’s spread, but one thing we do know is they like to run the ball.


“They are going to get in a ton of different formations, but run the same plays out of them trying to get angles on you,” said Brashear. “They are always a little more run heavy, but even more so this year. They are playing to their strength and that is how they’re going to win ball games. They are going to control the clock and wear you out.”


On defense, Gatesville returns more than half of their starters with six coming back from a squad that gave up 25 points per game in 2017.


With the lack of speed, expect this unit to play somewhat conservative against the Yoemen.


“On defense, they are going to try and prevent the big play, somewhat like Lorena in a sense by keeping the safeties back a bit,” Brashear said. “We are going to take what they give us. If they are giving us the shallow to medium routes, we are going to take that. They have been doing a good job of stopping the run and we will have to challenge them there.”


Brashear did note that Gatesville may have the size advantage, but it may not matter if you can’t catch the ball carrier.


“We will have the advantage of speed in this game,” Brashear said. “They have a few kids that run well but we have a bunch that run pretty good. If we can stop the run then we can get them into second and long situations and put them into passing type situations. They will take a shot every now and then to their good athletes but they like to run.”


10-3A Week 2 Results: Rockdale 35, Caldwell, 17; Lampasas 42, Lago Vista 7; Lexington 49, Troy 28; Manor New Tech 36, Eastside Memorial 0; Jarrell 48, Florence 15; Salado 35, Academy 7.


10-3A Week 3 Schedules: Cameron Yoe (1-0) Vs. Gatesville (1-1); Lexington (2-0) Vs. Rockdale (1-1); Troy (1-1) Vs. Robinson (1-1); Little River Academy (0-2) Vs. Hempstead (2-0); Riesel (2-0) Vs. Jarrell (1-1); Austin Crockett (0-2) Vs. Manor New Tech (1-1); Lago Vista (0-2) Vs. Comfort (0-2).