Yoemen can't hold off Franklin's second half surge

Momentum swings are very common in football.  On Friday night the Cameron Yoemen held much of the momentum throughout the first half against the Franklin Lions, taking a 28-14 lead into the halftime break.  The tides shifted dramatically after the teams returned from the locker room with the Lions scoring 17 unanswered points, which was followed by a 29-yard touchdown pass with 6.7 seconds left to shock the Yoemen on homecoming, 38-34.  


Cameron (1-5/0-2) had broken Franklin's 17-point run late in the fourth quarter when quarterback Zack Andress capped off a 96-yard drive with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Zi'Zirrius Holt to put the home team back up, 34-31 with 1:03 remaining.  


That was before Franklin (4-2/2-0) went 64 yards in under a minute to take the game.  With only 13 seconds remaining and faced with a 4th and 9, the call was a pass over the top to Jared Pedraza, who had a step on defenders.  


“It was a set play and it was coming to me," said Pedraza on the call.  "In my mind, I'm going to catch this no matter what.  I ended up with the ball and after that I knew it was sealed."


Franklin quarterback Colton Ortner was nearly sacked plays earlier, but rebounded with quite possibly the best throw of his career.  "I threw the ball up.  I knew the route he was running and I trusted him," Ortner said.  


The win could not have been more satisfy for long-time Lion head coach Mike Hedrick, whose team had fallen 11 yards short of a comeback win just a season ago in this same game.  


"I remember last year," said Hedrick.  "We busted a play down and I thought we were going to go in.  We made that play this year.  Things are so close in terms of talent.  It was just a great win for us."


For Cameron, you could not have asked for a much better start, with a score in the opening drive of the game and a two-touchdown advantage at two separate points in the first half.  


Dynamic receiver Iverson Westbrook carried the load early, hauling in touchdown catches of 34 yards and 59 yards before running in his third score of the game from 1-yard out at the 9:18 mark of the second quarter.  


That is the point that Franklin made adjustments, not allowing Westbrook to continue and steal the show.  


"They did do some things different defensively towards the end of the first half and they stuck to those things in the second half," said Yoe head coach Tommy Brashear.  "They were trying to get some help with Iverson, putting at least two people on him.  You start looking at other players, and we have the people to do that, but we have to execute."


Those adjustments did leave less Lions in the box, allowing for the Yoemen to be more aggressive with the running game.  However, it never materialized as Cameron finished with just 134 yards on 34 carries.  


"Fripp is not 100 percent," said Brashear on his starting running-back.  "He had a few good runs but he can't quite cut on that ankle yet.  We rotated Iverson and Nico in there some.  Andress had a few decent runs as well.  When they put everybody in coverage like that, we have to find a way to run the ball with whoever it is."


In the third, Cameron was handed a gift at the Lions 27 after a punt could not be handled.  Later in that drive, the Yoemen were faced with a fourth and one.  The call from Brashear was a 35-yard field goal attempt, but the kick sailed wide left.  Cameron finished a combined 0-4 on extra points and field goal attempts on the night.  


"We have been having trouble getting a yard," Brashear said on his decision to kick the ball.  "In practice we make those field goals pretty regular and also make our extra points pretty regular.  I don't really know what to say about that.  We have two good kids in Cardona and Lewis.  We have to make those in the game."


In addition to the game-winning catch, Pedraza led the Franklin ground game with 128 of the 305 total ground yards.  


"It was my line," said the junior on his success.  "I put my trust in them and I was able to make some plays and I ended up having a big night.  I have a lot of confidence in myself.  I would not call it cocky, but every time I touch the ball I feel I am going to do something with it."


Franklin will host McGregor for homecoming next week while Cameron will look to pick up their first 10-3A win of the season in a battle of 0-2 teams at Jarrell.  




Cameron Yoe

First Downs: 23

Rushing: 34-134

Passing: 27-37-1, 322 yards

Punts: 2-38.5

Fumbles/Fumbles Lost: 3-3

Penalties: 3-20



Rushing: Iverson Westbrook, 12-77; D.J. Fripp, 10-31; Zack Andress, 9-28

Passing: Zack Andress, 27-37-1, 322 yards

Receiving: Iverson Westbrook,10-144, Ki'Zirrius Holt, 6-74



First Downs: 13

Rushing; 37-305 yards

Passing: 104 yards

Punts: 3-37

Fumbles/Fumbles Lost: 2-2

Penalties: 7-53



Rushing: Jared Pedraza, 10-128; Datron Dilon, 10-99; Clayton Rosprim, 13-92

Passing: Colton Ortner, 7-11-0, 104 yards

Receiving: Jared Pedraza, 2-44; Nick Lopez, 1-23