Written by Jon Machota
Turnovers fuel Cameron Yoe's 2A Div. I title win over Daingerfield
ARLINGTON — Two years removed from a state championship game loss to Daingerfield, Cameron Yoe made the most of its rematch Friday in front of 12,327 fans at Cowboys Stadium.
After grabbing a 28-0 first-half lead, Cameron Yoe capped its undefeated season with a 38-20 victory in the Class 2A Division I state title game.
“That start was crucial,” Cameron Yoe coach Rick Rhoades said. “Especially in a game like this, momentum is such a big thing. To be able to jump out to a lead like that, we were very, very fortunate.”
The tone was set in the first six minutes as Cameron Yoe, which won the turnover battle 5-0 and improved its turnover margin to plus-32 this season, capitalized on two Daingerfield mistakes. Senior linebacker Zach Riola intercepted a pass at the Daingerfield 9, and Cameron Yoe (15-0) scored three plays later on a 9-yard pass from junior Jason Kopriva to senior Zach Felts.
Five plays after that, senior nose tackle Edgar Luna recovered a fumbled punt in the end zone.
“I still can’t believe I scored in the state championship game,” said Luna, one of four players also on the 2010 team. “It was just slow motion, you look around and just try to be the first one there.”
The first quarter lead expanded to 21-0 after senior running back Keaton Denio scored on a 31-yard run. Denio was the game’s offensive MVP, finishing with 163 yards on 22 carries.
Defensive MVP honors were awarded to Cameron Yoe junior linebacker Somari Wright, who had a game-high 14 tackles and an interception.
“Unfinished business. That was our motto,” Wright said of the 33-27 loss in the 2010 title game. “We came too far. We had to finish strong. And we built on that energy.”
Senior wide receiver Shawn Hooks played well in the running and passing game, leading Daingerfield (12-4) with 154 receiving yards, 39 rushing yards and two touchdowns.