BATTLE OF THE BELL 2009

As Townsend goes, so go the Yoemen
BY BILL MARTIN Reporter Sports Editor

CAMERON—Steven Townsend is an anomaly covered

in shoulder pads.

While his size would indicate

that he was more runner than passer, teams would be

wise not to heed to stereotypes.

Townsend falls perfectly in line with a string of standout Cameron quarterbacks, that includes Brian Scott, Billy Pittman and Ryan Mullins, all of who were district MVPs and played college ball.

However, at 5-foot-10, Townsend is the smallest of that group, which might hinder his ability to play quarterback at the next level or even play collegiately at all.

Rockdale Coach Jeff Miller disagrees with that assessment.

"He's what people in college are looking for," he said. "A strong kid that can throw the ball. He's fun to watch play."

This is the senior's third season as starter and he is off to another rousing start, already throwing for nearly 800 yards—tops in District 24-3A.

In his two previous seasons, Townsend threw for 3,433 yards and tossed 44 touchdowns, divided up almost evenly.

"You can't frustrate him," says Miller. "He's starting his 26th or 27th game for them, he's pretty unflappable and he keeps everything together for them. And, he's fun to watch play."

"He's a good, smart, footballsense kid," says former Cameron Coach Mike Mullins, now at Killeen Harker Heights. "He understands the game."

Townsend has also embraced new coach Rick Rhoades' new no-nonsense approach to the way the program is run.

"As a senior I've got to be a leader and it is my job to help others," Townsend said. "I try to set a good example and be respectful."

"My first goal is a district championship, then, lead my team to state."

Townsend and some of his teammates had an opportunity to work on their skills during this summer's 7-on-7 football tournament.

The Yoemen lost in the quarterfinals round at the 7-on-7 state tournament, but got in some valuable practice.

"We worked on our routes and getting our timing down," Townsend said of the summer play.

Townsend's favorite targets so far have been unheralded receivers Tommy Anderson (13-193) and Dave Brown (12-167).

Steven Townsend has thrown for over 4,000 yards in his career. Steven Townsend has thrown for over 4,000 yards in his career. Rhoades is also trying to find time for his son Jack to take some snaps under game conditions, attempting 22 passes in spot duty.

The 6-foot-2 Rhoades is the tallest player on the Cameron roster and starts at wide receiver.

Townsend has also run the ball more this season more than he has in the past, already picking up 234 yards

"He does both really well," said first-year Cameron Coach Rick Rhoades. "He creates a lot of those opportunities on his own. He's very good in the open field."

"They have the triple threat over there," Miller said. "Where do you go? What do you take away?"

Rivals.com

This is hardly Rhoades first encounter with a rival game. As a matter of fact, when he was at New Braunfels, he participated in the state's longest series when the Unicorns faced Seguin. They began playing in 1914.

"I was a part of that game for 11 years," Rhoades said. "You can't treat these games like any other game, you'd be crazy to.

Junior LeRaven Clark graded out the highest among Tiger linemen against Rouse. Junior LeRaven Clark graded out the highest among Tiger linemen against Rouse. "The easy thing is playing the game. The hardest thing is the next week, getting those kids up after playing in such an emotional game.

"This is what it's all about. These games are what separate high school football from college and the pros and that's what makes it so neat."

Is his team ready?

"Well, you're never where you want to be," Rhoades said. "I'm not satisfied where we're at, but I can't complain either.

"Our defense is really coming together as a unit and really doing some good things."

Is Rockdale ready?

"Defensively, there's no doubt we're ready," Miller said. "On offense I still don't know if we know what we're about yet, but we're showing some real good signs of being real good."

TIGER TRACKS

• Rockdale has won 13 of its last 15 regular season games and is 7-1 in last eight home games.

• Cameron has won 8 of the last 10, 16 of the last 20 and 24 of the last 30 Battle of the Bells.

• Starting right tackle Dillan Schnerr did not suit up for Friday's affair, nursing a shoulder, but will go Friday. Senior linebacker Shane Barcak made his surprise first appearance of the season, returning from shoulder surgery he had after last season. Starting guard Chris Ware suited up, but did not play, resting his aching knee.

• While the Tigers are ranked No. 13 in the Associated Press poll, they are 9th in both The Old Coach's poll and in Texas Football.

• The rarest of rarities happened Friday night when Waylon Boyd missed not one, but two extra points. Boyd has been the model of consistency since he took over the Tiger kicking chores last season and had a 38-straight (12-for-12 in 2009) streak going before missing after Justin Elliott's touchdown reception. Boyd got the streak going again on his next kick, but missed again after Daniel Brooks' touchdown run. Boyd is 59-of-63 in his career (94 percent).

• Logan David's 22-yard interception return for a touchdown Friday night is the senior's second time to hit paydirt in his career. As a sophomore in 2007, David scooped up a pass and rumbled 64 yards for a score in the Tigers' victory over Mexia.

• For the first time this season, Logan David did not lead the Tigers in tackles. That honor went to his little brother Derek with nine stops. Junior linebacker Anthony Montoya was next with six. Logan David had five, but still leads the team for the season with 43, followed by Derek with 34.

• Rick isn't the only Rhoades new to the Yoemen coaching staff. His brother Pete has come over from Johnson City to join his brother in Cameron. "It's fun to have him in the same town," he said. The two worked together at Rick's first coaching job in Refugio. Rick Rhoades has also worked with Yoe defensive coordinator Billy Anderson at both Converse Judson and Coppell.

• Break up the Rudder Rangers! After securing the first victory in school history last week against Brookshire-Royal, the Rangers have an actual winning streak going after hammering Hearne 49-14 Friday. Rudder travels to No. 6 Navasota this week to face the unbeaten Rattlers.


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2009-09-24 digital edition



The burn ban for Milam County has been lifted. Burning is always prohibited in the county's municipalities.


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