Classless rivals

What division either school is in matters little in river rivalry

Seniors Dillan Schnerr and Anthony Montoya plan to defend The Bell and hope to keep its residence in Rockdale for a second straight year for the first time in 33 years. Reporter/Bill Martin Seniors Dillan Schnerr and Anthony Montoya plan to defend The Bell and hope to keep its residence in Rockdale for a second straight year for the first time in 33 years. Reporter/Bill Martin In storied rivalries such as one which the history Rockdale and Cameron have produced, intangibles such as ranking or classification has little bearing on the psyche of the players on either team.

A prime example is the legendary 1975 contest (see column at left) which is considered the greatest game in the 83-game series.

Rockdale entered the game as upstart in Class 3A and Cameron was No. 1 in Class 2A. It hardly took the luster off that titanic contest.

Friday’s game marks the 84th meeting between the two neighbors, the 55th in the Battle of the Bell.

“It’s a huge game because we want to be 3-0,” said Rockdale Coach Jeff Miller.

“Of course we want to get the bell back,” says Cameron Coach Jack Rhoades. “But we also want to get better as a team.”

This year’s game is a paradox in the fact that it is being played so early in the season and, it’s not a district contest.

The last time the Tigers and Yoemen did not reside in the same neighborhood was 1998- 1999 when Cameron was situated in a 3A district with Waco area schools.

The last time the two teams faced each other and weren’t in the same class was 1975.

The earliest the two teams have played in was the season opener in 1911, 1912 and 1917.

“All that doesn’t make any difference,” Miller said on the eve of his fifth battle of the Bell. “This is one of the great games in the state of Texas and means a whole lot to both communities, kids and coaches.”

This group of Tigers is trying to become the first to maintain a hold on The Bell in 33 years.

The 1976-77 teams were the last to tame the Yoemen two years in a row.

Should Rockdale get the better of Cameron on Friday, Miller would become just the third coach in RHS history to defeat the Yoemen three times, joining Ray Birchfield and Fred Johnson.

The Tigers will have to fly in the face of history for that to happen. The last time the Tigers won in Cameron was 2003.

The 2010 version looks for both teams to play to their strengths: Cameron is going to air it out; Rockdale is going to grind it out.

The two protagonists are Cameron quarterback Jack Rhoades and Rockdale running back Daniel Brooks.

Both have put up impressive numbers in just two games.

The 6 -foot-3 R hoades has thrown for just under 500 yards in two games, including 351 last week against Waco LeVega on 19-of-25 accuracy.

Decrick Westbrook, who is quickly becoming a star on both sides of the ball, snagged eight passes for 178 yards and two scores, including a 78-yarder.

Brooks assaulted the Tiger record book last week with 300 yards rushing and has accumulated just under 500 in two outings on an economical 32 carries.

Naturally, the game is probably going to hinge on penalties, turnovers and special teams play.

“Three things we haven’t quite figured out yet,” bemoaned Miller. “I think our success is going to depend on whether we are going to be able to control the football. To go get points and keep their offense off the field.

“If we win it will mean we have improved as a team, which is what we’re trying to do.”

Tiger Tracks

• Friday’s victory was Jeff Miller’s 60th career win.

• In just nine “healthy games”, Daniel Brooks has already accumulated 1,161 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns. Brooks missed four games last season with a hip pointer.

• The Tigers may have solved their kicking game problems with Cassius Moore taking over all kicking chores. The little-used senior began the game as the punter and also kickoff specialist and then subbed for Noe Zelaya on extra points and was 2-for- 2. He averaged 37 yards per punt, 10 better than last week when Terral Dixon was the punter. The Tigers are 6-for-14 on extra points so far this season. The Tiger kicker the past two seasons, Waylon Boyd, missed just eight in two years.

• The Tigers are mostly healthy for Friday’s game. Devontre White will miss his second straight game with an undisclosed knee injury. Anthony Montoya (lower back), Excell Nelson (knee) and Richard Vasquez (ankle, knee) are also questionable.

• Backup linebacker Markus Hayes leads the Tigers in tackles after two games with 19, one more than Derek David.

• Friday’s victor y over Salado improved the Tigers’ record against the Eagles to 3-0-1. Rockdale’s last win over Salado came in their last meeting 50 years ago, 44-6.

• Former Tiger Tyler Wright had another substantial night Friday with six catches for 72 yards and a touchdown, but his Granbury team was shocked by Byron Nelson 14-13 which was the Bobcats’ first victory in school history.

• The Caldwell Hornets continued to roll up big numbers with a 63-0 win over Austin Crockett. The score was 49-0 at halftime. The Hornets have outscored opponents 89-0 in two games.

• All six District 23 -3A teams played at home last week, with Giddings and Smithville falling. Giddings’ 34-31 loss to Brookshire-Royal is not a huge shock. B-R knocked the Buffaloes out of the playoffs in the first round last season. THE STARTING LINEUPS

No. Pos. Player, Ht.-Wt. Class
8 QB Ethan Brinkley, 6-2, 180 So
3 RB Daniel Brooks, 5-7, 150 Jr
12 FB Richard Vasquez, 5-10, 175 Sr
7 WR J.J. Lewis, 5-9, 165 Sr
20 WR Dillon Goodman, 5-10, 135 Jr
6 TE Derek David, 6-3, 225 Jr
62 LT LeRaven Clark, 6-6, 250 Sr
71 LG Sal Bishop, 6-4, 250 Sr
50 C Patrick David, 6-0, 235 Jr
57 RG David Monroe, 6-1, 200 Sr
76 RT Dillan Schnerr, 6-4, 250 Sr
50 NG Patrick David, 6-0, 235 Jr
62 DL LeRaven Clark, 6-6, 250 Sr
71 DL Sal Bishop, 6-4, 250 Sr
18 LB James David, 6-2, 205 Fr
11 LB Anthony Montoya,5-10,200 Sr
10 LB Jared Carpenter, 6-2, 220 Sr
6 LB Derek David, 6-3, 225 Jr
9 CB Austin Morrow, 5-7, 150 Sr
11 CB Terral Dixon, 5-9, 160 Jr
2 S Casey Burrough, 5-8, 160 Sr
12 S Richard Vasquez, 5-10, 175 Sr

No. Pos. Player, Ht.-Wt. Class
6 RE Keaton Denio, 5-11, 180 S0
58 RT Deantana Holt, 6-1, 265 Sr
74 NG Edgar Luna, 5-10, 205 So
54 LT Jairo Campa, 5-10, 164 Sr
11 LE Jarret Beckhusen, 5-10, 164 Sr
22 LB O’Neil Spells, 5-10, 205 Sr
10 LB Ty Morgan, 5-11, 180 Sr
25 CB Tre Anderson, 5-7, 164 Sr
8 S Jake Young, 5-11, 166 Sr
17 S Decrick Westbrook, 6-0,160 Jr
2 CB Trevion Simms, 5-11, 180 Sr
16 QB Jack Rhoades, 6-2, 180 Sr
3 RB Damyon Kelley, 5-7, 150 Sr
1 WB Quinn Hayes, 5-10, 170 Sr
17 WB Decrick Westbrook,6-0, 160 Jr
4 WR Thomas Rinn, 5-7, 164 Sr
12 WR Justin Sapp, 5-10, 180 Sr
77 RT Josh Smitherman, 6-2,236 So
50 RG Jakob Kostroun, 6-0, 234 Sr
64 C Rey Rangel, 5-11, 270 Sr
60 LG Ricky Dominguez, 6-0, 234 Sr
68 LT Ines Rangel, 5-11, 270 Sr

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