Yoemen begin playoff run with West

After finishing the regular season at 8-2 and earning the number two seed out of district 10-3A, the Cameron Yoemen are now ready for the third part of the season - the playoffs.  Whenever you mention football and playoffs in Cameron it gets people talking, and all you have to do is look at the trophy case to see why. 


Cameron has played in four straight title games dating back to 2012.  The expectation of deep playoffs runs won’t be changing in 2016 as the quest for a fifth straight title appearance will begin tonight when the Yoemen meet West in the bi-district round of the playoffs.  


West (5-5) comes into the playoffs as the number three seed out of district 9-3A.  The Trojans struggled during non-district play with losses to Rockdale (33-21), Mart (26-13) and Carrollton Ranchview (35-7), but recovered with a 5-2 record since that point to earn their second straight trip to the postseason.


“What I’ve noticed about West is that they have gotten better each and every week,” said Yoemen head coach Tommy Brashear.  “We had some film from earlier in the year, and like most of us, they didn’t look real good then.  That holds true for everyone else.  As the year has gone on, you have seen them improving.  That is a sign of a well-coached team.  They are a very hard-nosed team and their kids play extremely hard.”


West picked up district wins over Elkhart (23-16), Whitney (47-14), Groesbeck (32-26), Palestine Westwood (77-14) and Eustace (42-13).  The two district losses have come to Teague (14-10) and Malakoff (42-0). 



In 2015, the Trojans were known for having a true dual threat attack offensively.  West threw for over 2,500 yards last year, but the quarterback and two top receivers have since graduated.  This year, the focus is more on the ground game. 


“Offensively, they like to run the ball,” said Brashear.  “They are about 70 percent run and 30 percent pass.  They want to run the ball, but are efficient in the passing game.  I would compare them to Troy in a lot of ways, being physical up front on both sides of the ball.” 


Overall, a total of six starters return on offensive from last year.  QB Nathan Gerik is one of the newcomers that will be leading the offense.  The Trojans will use a host of backs but Kore Webre and Dawson Sulak will be the go to receivers when the ball is thrown. 


In 2015, West averaged 38.8 points per game.  That average has dropped to 27.2 points per game in 2016. 



West hangs its hat on defense.  With eight starters returning from last season, including the top leading tackles, the run defense has been stout.  That was on full display in district when West nearly beat Teague before a late comeback in the fourth quarter. 


“They are physical on the defensive side of the ball and they gave Teague all they wanted in that game,” said Brashear.  “We got that film in trade and it was a very close game.  They took away the run game from Teague by putting a lot of people in the box.  I told the kids to not overlook anyone, because they played Teague to a 14-10 ball game.”


West has had success against teams that like to run the ball, and they may try to take that away from Cameron in this game. 


“They give you a lot of different looks but they like to keep seven in the box and stop the run and make you beat them with the pass,” stated Brashear.  “We have to prepare for that and expect that.  Hopefully we can get them out of that and open up the offense with the pass and run.  


West gave up 23.7 points per game last season and that is holding about even this year at 23.3. 


Region III - the best in the state?

Region III has always been known as a strong part of the state in the 3A game, but this year it appears to be even more amplified with strong teams in every district.


“Region III is always extremely tough and this year is no different,” said Brashear.  “If you look at the polls, the top 10 is full of region III teams.  I think the way we fell as the number two seed actually might be better because a lot of those higher ranked teams have to play each other before we get to them.  It's a very tough region.  If you make it through, it will only make you better for that semi-final and state championship game.”


Keeping the streak going

Getting to one state championship game is hard enough, much less four in a row.   In Cameron, things are a little different as that is where this team expects to be come December. 


“Being a first year head coach, it’s very important to me personally,” said Brashear.  “I don’t want to be the guy that lets the community down.  The team feels the same way.  They want to keep the tradition going.  Our goal is to get back to the state game.  To do that, we can’t look ahead and we have to take it one game at a time just like we do every year.”


10-3A playoff schedule

R10 Cameron (8-2) and T9 West (5-5) will matchup on Thursday, Nov. 10 from Waco ISD (7:00 p.m.).  The Yoemen will be the home team.  All of the other district games are on Friday.  W10 Rockdale (9-1) draws F9 Groesbeck (5-5) at Waco ISD (7:30 p.m.), T10 Franklin (8-2) will battle R9 Teague (8-2) at Midway (7:30), and F10 Troy (4-5) will try to upset undefeated W9 Malakoff (10-0) at Midlothian (7:30).