Don’t be fooled by winless Yoe
Which team do you think has the advantage as they face each other Friday?
In one of the state’s longest running feuds, the Tigers and Yoemen butt heads for the 84th time, 57 times in the Battle of the Bell at Tigerland Field where statistics and records are of little consequence.
“ You have to ig nore t heir record,” says Rockdale Coach Jeff Miller, participating in his sixth Battle of the Bell with a 2-3 mark. “They have played two very good teams.
“I know they lost a lot, but they are still the most athletic team we will see.”
Just a sophomore, Jason Kopriva has taken over for Class 2A player of the year Jack R hoades at quar terback and has been effective, throwing for 330 yards and four touchdowns while completing 58 percent of his passes.
“He’s getting thrown into the fire pretty quickly,” Rhoades said.
All- star wide receiver D.D. Westbrook has hauled in 10 passes for 136 yards.
Like Rockdale, the Yoemen’s running game is still a work in progress, averaging just 60 yards a game, led by junior Keaton Denio’s 123 yards.
Cameron appears to be generating enough offense, it just can’t find the end zone.
The Yoemen are led on defense by sophomore linebacker Somari Wright who had made 17 stops.
In the past five years, the Battle of the Bell has bounded back-andforth between the two schools, with Cameron winning in 2006, 2008 and 2010.
The Tigers have taken it home in the odd years of 2007 and 2009.
There hasn’t been a close game since the Tigers were victorious 25-22 in 2003, ending a seven year Yoemen winning streak.
Cameron, of course, holds a substantial lead in the series 60-22-2 overall and 39-17 in the Bell series.
According to recent trends, it’s Rockdale’s turn and the Tigers are the team with the most momentum game entering the annual rivalry.
Should Miller’s squad emerge as winners Friday night, he would become the third coach in RHS history to defeat Cameron three times, behind Ray Birchfield (1960- 66) and Fred Johnson (1973-80).
In last year’s contest, the Yoeman broke open a close game by erupting for 28 second half points to put the game out of reach.
“The Bell battle is always a big game for these kids,” Rhoades said. “Our goal is to reach the post-season and we should do that if we keep working the way we are.”
“Both teams are desperate for a win,” Miller says. “They don’t want to start out 0-3 and we want to validate our win Friday. A win here is really huge for both teams.
“Both teams will play hard. We’ll be ready.”
• Week one opponent Abilene Wylie fell to Stephenville 42-14.
• The Tigers dominated possession of the ball Friday night, 26:30 to 21:30 with 17 minutes of that coming in the second half. Salado had the ball just 5:44 in the fourth quarter.
• The Tigers scored twice on fourth down Friday night; once on a 27-yard hookup on fourth-and- 4 in the second quarter and again on the game winner on a 17-yard effort on fourth-and-goal. Rockdale was 3-of-3 on fourth down efficiency and 8-of-11 on third down.
• Sophomore linebacker James David led the Tigers in tackling for the second straight week with 12 stops. Markus Hayes was again second with eight.
• Besides the safety punt from Salado, both coaches gave their punters the night off and conversely, that meant both starting quarterbacks. The Tigers went for it three times on fourth down, while Salado tried for firsts five times.
• District 23-3A went 5-1 this past week, with the lone setback coming from Navasota which lost to Willis.
• Rockdale leads the district in total offense, averaging 394 yards per game.
• The Tigers are not running through the inflatable Tiger head this season because no one wanted to take responsibility for its upkeep.
|8||QB||Ethan||Brinkley, 6-||2, 180||Jr|
|7||WR||Clayton Gibbs, 6-||0, 170||So|
|72||LG||Josh||Pelzel, 6- 6,||270||So|
|52||C||Ty||Kirk, 5-9, 185||Sr|
|62||NG||Chase||Schrader, 5-||10,||205 Jr|
|3||CB||Zach||Felts, 5-7, 164||Jr|
|12||S||Martin||Rodriguez, 5-||11,||166 Sr|
|17||WB||Decrick||Westbrook, 6-||0,160 Sr|
|64||RG||Cameron Mueck,||6- 0,||234||Jr|
|66||LG||Jonathan Riggs,||6- 0,||234||Jr|
BATTLE OF THE BELL
Wins: Yoe 39, RHS 17
CAMERON AT ROCKDALE
What: The 57th annual Battle of the Bell—Rockdale Tigers (1-1) vs. Cameron Yoemen (0-2). Where: Tigerland Stadium (2,850 capacity). Natural grass. When: Friday, 7:30 p.m. Favorite: Cameron by 7. Last week: Rockdale def. Salado 51-42; Cameron lost to Waco LaVega 19-14. Series record: Cameron leads 39-17 in the “Battle of the Bell” and 60-22-2 overall. Cameron won 35-13 last year. District outlook: Cameron is picked first in District 12- 2A (McGregor, Troy, Marlin, Hearne, Academy, Florence) Yoe to watch: No. 17, senior WR D.D. Westbrook.