Yoemen, Cougars both looking to bounce back in week 3

Upsets happen every week in high school football. This past Friday, both the Cameron Yoemen and China Spring Cougars, both ranked highly within their respective divisions, were each upended by underdogs. The Yoemen lost a back-and-forth affair to Gatesville (31-26) while China Spring was upended at home by Huntsville (17-14).


Overall, China Spring sits at 1-1 on the season after taking down Lorena in their opener, 35-7. The score says it all in the loss to Huntsville as only two touchdowns were produced by Mark Bell’s squad. In 2016, China Spring had a 35-0 lead on Huntsville in the first half before coasting to the 55-8 final.


China Spring finished their 2016 campaign with a state semifinal loss to eventual 4A DI state champ Carthage, 26-20. A lot of that talent has now moved on.


“China Spring is definitely not the same team they were last year,” said Yoe head football coach Tommy Brashear. “They are still a very good team that is fundamental. They are very disciplined and the kids play very hard. They lost a lot of talented kids, but with that said, they have a lot of talent coming back as well.”


Much like Huntsville, Cameron looks to turn things around after suffering a 63-13 loss in this very game a year ago. That was the largest margin of loss on Yoe Field since Liberty Hill ran wild in 2007, 63-14. Liberty Hill proceeded to win their next five games en route to their second straight state championship. The plan in Cameron is for things to be a bit different this go-around.


“I see this being a competitive game,” said Brashear. “I don’t see them having a team that will blow us out.”



China Spring is returning a total of five starters from last year’s team, which averaged over 43 points per ball game.


Gone is quarterback Cutter Haigood and running-back Keaton Dudik, which had over 300 combined yards in this game a year ago. Both are now at Navarro College. Brett Cain, which led the team with 117 yards through the air, has also graduated.


“Offensively, they lost some key talent, but have some guys back there as well,” said Brashear. “Tyrick James is tall and plays running-back and slot for them. They are going to find a way to get him the ball. He is the go-to guy and he is pretty good at it.” James is currently a hard commit to Tulane University.


The Cougars are expected to be about an even 50/50 with regards to the run-to-pass ratio.



6 starters are returning from last season’s team which gave up an average of just 14.7 points per game.


Despite the early loss, that average is actually down to just 12 points. It’s the side of the ball that appears to be carrying the load at this point.


“They run a cover 4 on defense, and that is a softer coverage, but they are very good at it,” said Brashear. “They come up and tackle well. I personally think their defense is kind of outshining their offense at this point of the season. They have a few more returners over there as opposed to the offensive side.”


Playing at China Spring never an easy task

Cameron has lost four straight (2016, 2015, 2014, 2003) to China Spring, with the last victory coming in 2002, 39-8. Potentially making this matchup more difficult is that it’s on the road.


“Going to play in China Spring is never an easy place to play,” said Brashear. “Last time we were over there two years ago, we lost in a close game. We are probably going to have a lot of penalties. It’s tough to play over there.”


Advantage for Yoe?

There are two key areas that Brashear feels Cameron could have an advantage. The speed factor is nothing new.


“We definitely have the advantage in speed,” said Brashear. “They have a little team speed, but we have more of an advantage there.”


Another is the Yoe running game, which has averaged over 200 yards a game thus far.


“I am interested to see our o-line against their d-line,” said Brashear on the matchup. “They lost a lot of guys from the defensive front from a year ago and we have been running the ball really well. If we can win some battles in the trenches, that will only help us win this game.”


Sub-Varsity Update

Both the freshmen and JV football teams improved to 2-0 on the season with dominant wins over Gatesville. The Yoe freshmen shutout Gatesville 34-0 while the JV continued the dominance in a 28-0 win. Both teams will be at home versus China Spring tonight. The junior high opens the season on the road at China Spring.