Yoemen overcome miscues to hold off West

In the playoffs, winning is the name of the game.  Looking sharp in the process is a plus, but advancing on is really the only thing that matters when the final second ticks off the clock.  On Friday night from Waco ISD Stadium, we didn't get that traditionally strong playoff performance that Cameron fans have become so accustomed to over the years, but it was enough to get it done in a 35-19 win over the West Trojans.  


Throughout a good portion of the first half Cameron (9-2) looked in sync with a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter.  Things were up and down after that point as the Yoemen created four turnovers on defense, but a majority of those never turn into points.  That, in turn, allowed West to (5-6) to stay in the game when it appeared it could have been out of reach.  


"I felt like we had some good weeks of practice," said Yoemen head coach Tommy Brashear.  "With the bye, I felt like our timing was a little off and we were inconsistent.  It's probably the worst I've felt with a win, but I'll take the win however I can get it.  We definitely need to watch some film and get some things fixed."


West, which had not been known for a strong passing game, ended the night with 293 yards through the air.  All three of the Trojans scores came on big pass plays, starting with a 28-yard pass from QB Nathan Gerik to Romeo Hernandez.  


West added on a pair of even bigger pass plays in the fourth, with Gerik hitting Hernandez for 77 yards and Kory Webre for 73 yards.  Fortunately for Cameron, a response was there most of the night.


Before the big plays from West, Cameron had jumped out to a quick 21-0 lead to begin the second half with Sicory Smith's 89-yard touchdown return.  


"We've seen them kick it deep and a lot of teams won't kick it deep to us," said Brashear.   "We were expecting them to, and I'm glad they did.  They are a good team and they haven't been hurt by kicking it deep very often.  We executed well and had some good blocks.  Those were huge points in this game the way it turned out."


Being down by 21, West was forced to put the ball in the air.  Some of those passes ended in scores, but it was a double-edged sword as Gerik did throw four interceptions on the night.  


"Those special teams points and the turnovers by the defense were big plays in this game," said Brashear.  


Bryce Welsh was a stronghold on the defensive unit, starting off the turnover parade.  Welsh's interception set the Yoemen up in great field position inside the West 20, and a few plays later QB Zack Andress finished it off with a 17-yard run.  


In addition to the interception, Welsh had multiple pass break-ups on the night.  


"I think as a whole, we did really, really good," said Welsh.  "We came out firing.  We had four turnovers, and overall I think we played great."


Running back Nico Vargas continued his stellar freshmen campaign by capping off the Yoe scoring with a 45-yard run over the right side of the West defense.  That ended up being nearly half of the Yoemen's 103 yard on the ground.  


Cameron had multiple other opportunities to put the game away after the other turnovers, but West stood tall and turned Cameron away when trying to get positive yardage on the ground.  


"We knew they were real solid up front, with some big, strong and physical kids," said Brashear.  "We knew the run game was going to be difficult.  It was a little frustrating and we have to get our run game going."


Cameron now advances on to the area round of the playoffs to take on the Woodvilles Eagles.  Woodville defeated Anahuac on Thursday night, 44-23.  Early indications have the game being played at Woodforest Bank Stadium in Shenandoah.  The Yoemen last played Newton there in 2012.  





1st Quarter

Cameron: Zack Andress 12-yard pass to Iverson Westbrook - Eddie Luna kick - 7-0 Yoe - 6:36


2nd Quarter

Cameron: Andress 1-yard pass to Sicory Smith - Luna kick - 14-0 Yoe - 9:33


3rd Quarter

Cameron: Sicory Smith 89-yard kickoff return - Luna kick - 21-0 Yoe - 11:44

West: Nathan Gerik 28-yard pass to Romeo Hernandez - kick failed - 21-6 Yoe - 6:48


4th Quarter

Cameron: Andress 17-yard run - Luna kick - 28-6 Yoe - 9:36

West: Gerik 77-yard pass to Hernandez - run failed - 28-12 Yoe - 4:55

Cameron: Nico Vargas 45-yard run - Luna kick - 35-12 Yoe - 3:20

West: Gerik 73-yard pass to Kory Webre - Adolfo Rodriguez kick - 35-19 Yoe - 2:59





First Downs: 14

Rushing Yards: 24-103

Passing Yards: 226

Passes: 16-23-0

Punts: 2-22.5

Fumbles/Fumbles Lost: 1-1

Penalties: 6-40



Rushing: Nico Vargas, 2-50; Zack Andress, 11-29; Jordan Wells, 1-18

Passing: Zack Andress, 16-23-0, 226 yards, 2 touchdowns 

Receiving: Sicory Smith, 4-89; Iverson Westbrook, 6-74; Jordan Wells, 2-31; Jordan Young, 3-23; Garrett Roeder, 1-9



First Downs: 16

Rushing Yards: 34-90

Passing Yards: 293

Passes: 14-27-4

Punts: 1-23

Fumbles/Fumbles Lost: 0-0

Penalties: 3-45



Rushing: Nathan Gerik, 23-66; Paeton McFarlin, 7-17; Jacob Bates, 2-9; Romeo Hernandez, 1-5

Passing: Nathan Gerik, 14-27-4, 293 yards, 3 touchdowns

Receiving: Kory Webre, 4-124; Romeo Hernandez, 5-120; Daniel Derick, 3-33; Dawson Sulak, 1-15