Yoemen to meet familiar foe in regional round

Cameron has been in the third round of the playoffs all but two times since their drop down in classifications.  East Chambers has been there twice in that same time span.  Both of those third-round playoffs runs have ended with losses to Cameron, and the Yoemen are looking to make it three in a row this Friday night with a trip to the state quarterfinals on the line.  

Cameron took down East Chambers, 45-25, in 2010 and then 54-21 in the 2014 playoffs.  In 2010, the two played at Shenandoah’s Woodforest Bank Stadium, which is exactly the same spot where this game is going to take place on Friday night at 7 p.m.  Cameron will be the visitors. 

“We have played them twice and beat them pretty good those two times, but looking at them this year I feel like they are a little more athletic,” said Brashear.  “It seems to me that they have a lot of weapons.  Their quarterback is a dual-threat and they like to run the ball with him and he has a cannon of an arm.”

East Chambers is coming into this contest at 11-1 on the year.  Season results include Kountze (W, 49-0), Hardin-Jefferson (W 48-24), Hamshire-Fannett (W, 35-14), Woodville (L, 42-31), Hardin (W 57-7), Orangefield (W, 41-0), Kirbyville (W, 49-28), Buna (W, 42-20), Anahuac (W, 57-21), Warren (W, 62-0), Crockett (W, 82-54) and West (W, 55-35).  

The Buccaneers are scoring more points than any 3A team through two playoffs contests, with 68.5 points per game put up.  However, out of all the teams still alive, they are giving up the most points at 44.5 per game.  

East Chambers is coached by Russ Sutherland, which has been the head coach since 2011.  Sutherland has a 57-24 record in those eight years.  



As you would expect with an offense that is averaging over 60 points per contest, there are several weapons spread out across the field.  The Buccaneers will line up in a variety of formations, with nearly everything coming out of the shotgun.  East Chambers is still run-heavy as they like to keep the ball on the ground 75 percent of the time.  

“They have two scat-back type running backs that they rotate in there,” said Brashear.  “They are both quick, shifty and fast.  They also have a outside receiver that they like to get the ball to on quick screens and they also throw it down the field to him.  They are heavy run and we have to stop that and make them beat us in the air.  With that said, you have to stop them when they do throw it.  We will have to play good, disciplined defense.”

Brashear did note that East Chambers will run a lot of counter plays with both the quarterback and running backs and compares their offense to Rockdale while saying their philosophy of multiple formations reminds him of Gatesville.  

In their 12 games, East Chambers has rushed the ball 377 times for 3,631 yards while they have thrown it 128 times for 1,468 yards.  

Both sophomore Ernest Ceasar (107 carries, 1,337 yards) and junior Nolton Shelvin (97 carries, 1,079) have both surpassed the 1,000 yard mark on the ground.  Junior quarterback Kameron Smith has also ran for 644 yards while completing 73 of his 121 pass attempts for a 60.3 completion percentage.   A lot of that production may come from the fact that the East Chambers offensive line is just as big or bigger than Diboll.  



On the flip side, the East Chambers defense has struggled with the three most difficult offenses they have played this season.  A large majority of the schedule has seen East Chambers play run-heavy football teams, which included both Woodville and West.  Crockett was the first team that could throw the ball and that resulted in 41 first half points.  

“From what I’ve seen, Crockett was the first team that I saw that could throw,” said Brashear.  “Crockett had success in the air, and once they had that success it opened up the running game.  I envision us with a similar type of approach. Crockett was athletic but I feel we are more of a disciplined team.  I think that will play into our favor.”

Junior linebacker Isiah Hart is the team’s leading tackler, as his 119 tackles nearly doubles the next player.  Senior defensive tackle Tyrone White does lead the way with 18 tackles for loss and four sacks.  

In the win over West, East Chambers gave up yards and points, but managed to make the plays necessary to win.

“I was impressed on what they did with West on defense,” said Brashear.  “They created some turnovers with West turning it over three times.  They have a real good outside linebacker.  On the defensive line, the nose guard is a big, stout kid that does not get driven off the ball much.  


Keys to victory

There is no doubt that looking at the way both of these offenses have scored points in the first two playoff games we could be looking at a shootout of sorts.  In a game like this, a key turnover could be the difference.  “I think it’s going to be the game where the team that executes the best and makes the fewest mistakes wins,” said Brashear.

Ideally, Brashear and his defensive staff would like to limit the production of this offense and put them into situations they are not used to seeing.  “Defensively, we need to get some stops and get them doing some things they don’t feel comfortable doing,” Brashear said.