Offense wins games - defense wins championships
My last column was about how much offense has changed over the last 60 to 70 years, so now I would like to remember some of the greatest defenses the Yoemen have recorded. Most fans will tell you they attend games to celebrate their teams when they score touchdowns.
That is when the stands come alive. But when the defense forces a punt or turnover, it is usually we got the ball so now we can score. Most of the older fans will say that Dick Young, Leo Jackson or someone else back in the 40s or 50s led the Yoemen to being known as great defensive teams, but from my knowledge of studying brother Max’s records, and my 65 years of attending and recording stats that a couple of others are the leaders. Max Graham spent five years as defensive coordinator for Coach Ed Cauley and three years as head coach.
In those eight years the Yoemen were ranked very high in the state defensively, especially in 1974 and 1975.
The 1972-1976 years with Cauley saw the Yoemen give up only 5.6 points per game in 56 games, including two years (74 and 75) when they were the top defensive team in the state in Class 3A. In those two years they gave up only 40 and 42 points (3.1 per game) in the 26 games played with (10-12) and (12-1) season records. After Cauley departed for Lufkin, Graham took over as head coach and in three seasons was 23-8 giving up a total of 315 points (10 points average). Then he left to join Cauley in Lufkin.
The other notable defensive coach was Hal Stanislaw (a Rockdale native and standout at TCU). He was head coach for four years (1968-1971), and amassed at total record of 20 wins 19 losses and one tie. In those four years there were no playoffs, but the Yoemen scored 481 points (12.0 average) while giving up 506 points (12.6 average). That puts him in second on points given up compared to the next place which is Leo Jackson from 1952-1957 at 13.1. Don’t have coach Jackson’s scores from his first time in the 40s. Anyway, I would say the Yoemen over the years have been mostly a complete team, putting together teams that are good on both sides of the ball, which is why they have stayed in the top ten for wins all time. That is a record that keeps Yoe fans coming to back their Yoemen at home or away. Keep it up Yoemen and Yoe Nation. Go Yoe!