Top 13 games since 2010 - Part 1

The Yoemen easily coast to their third consecutive state title over Mineola, 70-40.  



Today marks the start of my personal top 13 Yoemen football games since 2010. I originally planned on including 10 games, but there would have been a number of outstanding games left off the list. This week features games 13 through 10, with three games to be featured weekly until number one is revealed.


13. Malakoff (2015)

I am starting out my top 13 games since 2010 with what was the most improbable comeback during that span. In this area round game, Cameron had trailed 32-7 in the second quarter, and pretty much all Yoe fans were left speechless. However, Coach Rick Rhoades and his players stayed composed, ending the game on a 38-12 run to pull out the 45-44 win.


Cameron scored two touchdowns in the second quarter to bring the game to 33-23 at the half. A 56-yard pass from Jacob Smitherman to Sicory Smith set up a 9-yard run by Traion Smith for the first score. After a Jaylon Bryant interception, the Yoemen scored four plays later on a 17-yard pass from Smitherman to Iverson Westbrook.


Cameron continued to claw back in the third as Smitherman capped off a drive with a 2-yard run. Malakoff would score at the beginning of the fourth, but missed on the kick and the Tigers led by only eight. The Yoemen would later tie the game on a Sicory Smith 4-yard touchdown reception, followed by a Smitherman to Traion Smith pass on the two-point conversion.


Cameron would then take their first lead since the early part of the first quarter when Traion Smith rumbled in from 1-yard out. The Logan Boyett kick was good to give the Yoemen the 45-38 lead.


Malakoff would score, and score quick as QT Barker took the ensuing kickoff return nearly 100 yards to bring the game to within one point. However, the reverse pass trick play on the two-point conversion was picked off by Traion Smith to seal the deal.


Offensive Top Performers: QB Jacob Smitherman (18-25, 230 yards, 2 TDs), RB Traion Smith (22 carries, 187 yards, 2 TDs), Sicory Smith (11 receptions, 159 yards, 1 TD)

Defensive Top Performers: Eddie Luna (11 tackles), Traion Smith (1 interception), Jaylon Bryant (1 interception), Johnny Alexander (1 interception).


12. Wall (2013)

Next up on the list is Cameron’s second state championship victory over the Wall Hawks in 2013, 35-14. The Yoemen were coming off of back-to-back dramatic wins over Hallettsville in the quarterfinals and White Oak in the semifinals to clinch their second straight trip to state.


Going into the game, Cameron had the unique challenge of preparing for the veer option offense. The offense was predictable in terms of knowing the run was coming, but stopping something you have never seen is easier said than done.


In the first half, it was really a back-and-forth grind that ended deadlocked at 14. Wall broke through first with a 52-yard touchdown from running-back Brent Matschek. After a 68-yard kickoff return from Aaron Sims, Traion Smith quickly followed that up with a 2-yard TD run to tie things up. The Yoemen scored again with the ground game, with production on the ground from Smith and Aaron Sims on the reverse. The Hawks proceeded to go on a 13 play, 72 yard drive to tie the game up at the break.


The biggest momentum shift may have come on Cameron’s first drive of the second half. Faced with a 4th and 5 from their own 49-yard line, the call was a fake punt pass. It worked to perfection as Shuffield hauled in the catch. Smith later plowed in from five yards out to give his team a 21-14 advantage.


On Wall’s next two ensuing drives, linebacker Michael Gelner stipped the ball loose. The Yoemen recovered each time and proceeded to score to secure the championship.


Offensive Top Performers: RB Traion Smith (22 carries, 157 yards, 4 TDs), Jason Kopriva (14-19 passing, 109 yards, 1 TD), Aaron Smith (3 rushes, 45 yards; 4 catches, 47 yards).

Defensive Top Performers: Somari Wright (14 tackles), Tralund Webber (7 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 1 fumble recovery), Michael Gelner (8 tackles, 2 fumbles caused).


11. Mineola (2014)

Cameron’s third straight state championship win came over the Mineola Yellowjackets in 2014. This game made the list not because it will go down as a state championship classic, although I don’t think you will find very many Yoe fans complaining.


What made this game so thrilling was the offensive execution that the Yoemen displayed most of the evening in the 70-40 win. Cameron also scored 70 points in the previous week’s win over Edna (70-34). The 70 points tied the record for most points scored in a state championship game.


The very first play of this game pretty much spelled out how things played out the rest of the way. When Eric Sanchez's opening kickoff was not fielded by return man Chance Perkins, Johnny Alexander was there to give the Yoemen all the momentum by recovering the ball at the Mineola 17-yard line. Just three plays later Traion Smith was able to break tackles up the middle, giving the Yoemen a lead that would never be relinquished.


The most thrilling play of the first half came in the final seconds, as QB Reid Nickerson launched a ball to the endzone for Aaron Sims. Multiple defenders were in the area, but the senior was somehow able to haul in the pass to give the Yoemen a commanding 42-13 half-time lead.


The Yellowjackets would try to re-gain momentum early in on the 3rd with a 61 yard fumble recovery touchdown by Noah Sneed. However, there was no stopping the Yoe offense in this contest as another Sims TD catch (47 yards) and Smith run (19 yards) put the Yoemen up 56-20 with still plenty of time left in the 3rd period.”


The final Yoe score of the night was setup by the defense as DB John Washington intercepted his second pass of the night at the Cameron 45-yard line. Jordan Wells then got in on the action, catching the 23-yard TD pass from Nickerson.


Top offensive performances: QB Reid Nickerson (16-21, 311 yards, 5 TDs), Traion Smith (22 carries, 123 yards, 5 TDs), Aaron Sims (6 catches, 153 yards, 3 TDs), Sicory Smith (5 catches, 106 yards, 1 TD).

Top defensive performances: Eddie Luna (10 tackles, 1 tackle for loss), Ryan Cullen (10 tackles), John Washington (4 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 2 interceptions).