Top 13 Yoemen games since 2010 - Part IV

4. Daingerfield (2010)

In 1981, Cameron played in their first ever state championship against the Gilmer Buckeyes.  Things turned out well as the Yoemen took home the school’s first title, 26-3.  29 years later, Cameron was back in the state game - this time versus the Daingerfield Tigers - another East Texas power.  The Tigers were playing in their third consecutive championship game, and had won the previous two over Cisco (26-8) and Bushland (62-14).  


It was a battle for the ages, but Daingerfield secured the three-peat on a deep touchdown pass in the final seconds, 33-27.


The Yoemen did not win the state championship in 2010.  That game hurt for some time for everyone involved, but what that group accomplished was truly special.  That season not only revitalized the program, but it set the standard for future players to put on that Yoemen jersey.  There is not a season that goes by that Cameron does not expect to be competing for a state championship.  


The Game


The back-breaking plays for the Yoemen in this game were the first and last snaps from the Daingerfield offense.  To start things off, Tigers QB Tyler Boyd connected with receiver Darrin Terry for 82 yards to go up 7-0 just 13 seconds into the game.  


The Yoemen would answer back, mounting a six play, 46-yard drive to tie things up at 7 with four minutes in the first.  QB Jack Rhoades and receiver Thomas Rinn connected and kicker Martin Rodriguez sent through the extra point.  


Both teams scored once more in the second quarter.  Daingerfield went 80 yards in just over two minutes, with the drive being capped off with a Steve Edmond 13-yard TD reception.  Yoe return man and RB Damyon Kelley set up the Yoemen with excellent field position at the Tiger 25-yard line after a 68-yard return. However, Cameron would cough up the ball at the seven.


The Yoe defense turned momentum right around as multiple players met Boyd in the backfield.  The ball was fumbled and LB Ty Morgan was there to fall on it in the end zone for a score.  Both teams had failed to convert on extra points and the game was tied at 13 heading to the second.  


That quarter was all Tigers, as a pair of touchdowns put Daingerfield up at the half, 27-13.  


The second half was a much cleaner game for Cameron.  After allowing Boyd to run and throw for over 300 yards, that amount was cut in more than half at 141 yards in the final two quarters.


After the defense held the Tigers on the 21-yard line, Cameron scored 10 plays later. Kelley ran one in from 10 yards out to move the game to 27-20 with 9:47 left.


With 1:44 remaining, Cameron had the ball at their own 24 in a must-score situation.  Rhoades hit Quinn Haynes for 35-yards before connecting with Zach Brashear for the 22-yard score.  Martin hit the ever-important extra point to tie things up at 27 with just 47 seconds remaining.  


With the ball at their own 35 and just over 30 seconds remaining in the game, the Tigers knew they had to go for the win.  To note, at one point in the season Daingerfield was not kicking extra points due to a poor conversion rate.


The call was a deep, over the top pass to Keyarris Garrett, which got behind the Yoe secondary for a 69-yard score to seal the deal.  


Top Performers

Offense: Jack Rhoades (20-32 passing, 233 yards, 2 TD), Damyon Kelley (14 rushes, 75 yards, 1 TD), Zach Brashear (3 receptions, 70 yards, 1 TD), Quin Haynes (5 receptions, 67 yards), Dede Westbrook (6 receptions, 44 yards, 29 rushing yards), Thomas Rinn (2 receptions, 40 yards, 1 TD)

Defense: Cheyenne Black (25 tackles, 1 tackle for loss), Jairo Campa (22 tackles, 1 tackle for loss), Deantana Holt (19 tackles), O’Neil Spells (18 tackles, 2 tackles for loss), Edgar Luna (13 tackles, 2 tackles for loss), Jordan Beckhusen (14 tackles, 1 interception), Ty Morgan (14 tackles)


3. White Oak (2013)

It’s hard to imagine that anything could have topped Cameron’s thrilling 28-26 win over the Hallettsville Brahmas in the 2013 state quarterfinals.  However, I believe this semifinal game did just that.  


Down 21-7 in the third quarter with limited production, things were not looking good.  However, Cameron was known for being a second half team.  The Yoemen proceeded to score the final 17 points of the game, and got a game-clinching interception from Michael Gelner in the final seconds to earn a trip back to the state finals, 24-21.


White Oak began the game with a balanced attack of run and pass, and completed a 79-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown run by quarterback Dylan Gale to put the Roughnecks up 7-0.  The Yoemen stalled on their opening drive, and White Oak quickly had the ball back on Cameron’s side of the field.  That was when defensive back Reid Nickerson picked off a poorly thrown ball to end the threat.  The turnover theme would play a big role moving forward.


From there, both defenses settled in and forced punts from the opposing offenses.  White Oak was set to kick the ball away from their own 21.  The punter took the snap and rolled out to his left.  All-state linebacker Somari Wright was there waiting, easily blocking the attempt which went out of bounds at the 5.  Three plays later, Traion Smith rumbled in from one yard out to tie things up at 7 with 7:01 left in the second.  


White Oak had their most most productive stretch of the game the final minutes of the first half.  It appeared that the Yoemen had all the momentum after intercepting a pass near the goal line, but the offense moved backwards and was forced to punt.  Moments later, Gale placed a ball between two Yoe defenders to allow Michael to collect his second score of the game.  


White Oak would up the lead to 21-7 at the break after a 2-yard TD reception to Riley Lakin with no time left on the clock.  That would be the final time the Roughnecks crossed the goal line.


In the first half, White Oak had outgained the Yoemen 305 to 21 in terms of yardage, but the score was still well within reach.  


To open the second half, running-back Traion Smith had “the run” of the year.  Faced with a 3rd and 26, there was a high probability of a screen pass or draw coming.  It was the screen, but the play was still to Smith, who broke a total of four would-be tacklers all the way to the Roughneck four.  Quarterback Jason Kopriva then connected with Myles Brooks to bring the deficit down to 21-14 early in the third.  


That score held up until the fourth, before the Yoemen struck again.  After a quality punt return from Colt Labay set things up at the 30, Smith took in his second rushing score of the game, this one over the right side of the line.  Evan nailed the extra point, and we were tied at 21 with 10:27 remaining.  


Momentum was 100 percent with the Yoemen as White Oak quickly went three and out.  Kopriva and the offense managed to get down to the 19 to set up Evan, who was true to give the Yoemen a 24-21 lead with just 6 minutes left.  


After holding, Cameron had the ball and could ice things with a first down.  It was not to be and the Roughnecks had the ball one more time with 1:16 on the clock.  A pair of completed passes saw the ball sitting at the Yoe 33 with under 40 seconds.  


Gale went back to the pass.  The look was to the left, but he under threw a ball right into the hands of Michael Gelner, who took the interception and went down to lock up a trip back to the state finals.  


Top Performers

Offense: Jason Kopriva (10-19 passing, 107 yards, 1 TD), Traion Smith (17 rushes, 66 yards, 2 TD, 68 yards receiving), Aaron Sims (4 receptions, 21 yards)

Defense: Somari Wright (20 tackles, 1 sack), Reid Nickerson (12 tackles, 1 interception), D’Andre Adams (10 tackles), Tralund Webber (7 tackles, 2 sacks), Jalen White (4 tackles, 1 interception), Michael Gelner (7 tackles, game-clinching interception), Colt Labay (4 tackles, 2 tackles for loss).  


2. Tatum (2010)

To be this high on the list, you know this game had to mean a lot to Yoe Nation.  Since the state championship in 1981, Cameron had many trips to the state quarterfinals, but only once got past that hurdle.  That would be the 1987 season with Cameron shutting Corrigan-Camden, 13-0.  


There had been many opportunities since that point, but that hurdle could not be crossed.  That all changed in 2010 with the class 2A state quarterfinals in Ennis.  


That season, both Cameron (12-0) and Tatum (12-0) entered that showdown with perfect records.  It was a game where the Yoemen were considered the “underdog”.  Tatum - entering as the #1 team in the state - had defeated now 4A power Gilmer in non-district and had outscored Marlin and Crockett by a combined score of 105 to 7 in the opening two rounds.


However, Cameron also had plenty of success, downing La Vega and Navasota in non-district, while easily coasting by Newton (70-26) and East Chambers (45-25) in the first two playoff games.


Tatum’s dynamic duo of QB Jalen Overstreet (Texas) and BJ Allen (Baylor) had been rolling up yardage the entire season, and they went to their bread and butter in the opening drive.  The Eagles got off eight plays - all on the ground - but the Yoe defense held and forced a punt.


After trading possessions, the Yoemen had the ball at the Tatum 39.  On the fourth play, QB Jack Rhoades found Thomas Rinn on a slant over the middle for 18 yards and the first points.  


On their fourth drive of the game, Tatum had their most legitimate scoring opportunity at the Yoe 30.  Overstreet then went back to pass and threw it right to Jesse Westbrook, who intercepted the ball and returned it back to the original line of scrimmage.  


It took 13 plays, but Cameron added on their second score later in the second as Rhoades hit Rinn again with an over-the-top pass in the back of the end zone.  That was the final score of the half as Cameron led 13-0.


With little to no production on the ground in that first half, the Eagles opened things up a bit with more passing to start the third.  That resulted in the first score of the game, as Overstreet connected with Allen for 16 yards.  The Yoe lead had been trimmed to 13-7.  Just six minutes later, the Eagles struck again.  This time, Allen went through a small crease and was gone for 68 yards.  Just like that, it was Tatum up, 14-13.  


After being held relatively quiet for nearly three-quarters of the contest, it was time for Yoe RB Damyon Kelley to break through and shine.


The senior had runs of 45, 56 and 23 yards, all resulting in touchdowns.  The defense also stood pat during that time, which was more than enough to punch their ticket to the semifinals in a 35-14 victory.  


Rhoades on the performance: “He (Kelley) came through big time,” said Yoe AD and head football coach Rick Rhoades. “It was a great effort by him individually and by the offensive line to open those holes. On one of his touchdowns, Justin Sapp threw a great block.”


Top Performers

Offense: Jack Rhoades (18-32 passing, 217 yards, 2 TD, 25 rushing), Damyon Kelley (21 carries, 199 yards, 3 TD), Thomas Rinn (6 receptions, 88 yards, 2 TD), Quin Haynes (4 receptions, 36 yards), Dede Westbrook (1 reception, 33 yards), Zach Brashear (2 receptions, 37 yards)

Defense: Cheyenne Black (24 tackles, 1 fumble caused, 1 fumble recovery), Ty Morgan (18 tackles), Edgar Luna (18 tackles, 3 sacks), Trevion Sims (15 tackles), Jairo Campa (14 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 fumble recovery), Jesse Westbrook (1 interception), O’Neil Spells (14 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 fumble caused), Deantana Holt (11 tackles, 1 fumble caused).