Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Cameron Yoe defends 2A crown with four Traion Smith TDs
ARLINGTON — Cameron Yoe successfully defended its Class 2A Division I championship on Thursday night, playing a dominating second half in claiming a 35-14 win over Wall at AT&T Stadium.
Cameron Yoe (15-1 overall) was locked in a 14-14 tie with Wall at the half, but used a combination of three forced turnovers and a bruising ground game to pull away.
“I’m very proud of the kids and the coaches for the season that we had,” said Cameron Yoe coach Rick Rhoades. “Last year, it seemed like things fell into place for us during our state run and this year our guys had to overcome a lot of obstacles to get back here.”
The biggest obstacle for Cameron Yoe may have been the Wall first half defense, but Yoe started to wear them down in the third quarter to help set up the eventual game-winning drive.
Going 85 yards on 15 plays, Yoe took a 21-14 lead with 11:19 in the fourth quarter on a 6-yard scoring catch by Aaron Sims from Jason Kopriva.
Special teams also came into play during that series, as Yoe used a fake punt to keep the offense on the field.
“We’ve practiced that fake punt play all year long, just never had a chance to use it,” Rhoades said. “We had two options on that play, and Wall took away one but Jason made a great throw and Colton (Shuffield) made a great catch.”
The Yoe defense then stepped up with a pair of fumble recoveries on the next two Wall drives, setting up short fields for the offense.
And the offense converted both chances, with Traion Smith scoring on touchdown runs of 11 and 2 yards to push the Yoe lead to 35-14 late in the contest.
Smith bruised the Wall defense for 157 yards on 22 carries and four touchdowns, helping to keep the chains moving for Yoe.
“Going in we felt like we could run the ball against Wall,” Rhoades said.
While the game ended in a runaway affair, the contest was a nailbiter for the first half as both teams exchanged scoring drives in each quarter.
Wall took a 7-0 lead on a 54-yard run by Brent Matschek (107 yards rushing) in the first quarter, with Yoe answering on a 1-yard scoring plunge by Smith with 1:12 left in the opening period.
Smith then scored on a 2-yard run late in the second quarter for Yoe for a 14-7 edge, with Wall countering with a 10-yard TD run by Kris Gutierrez with 10 seconds left in the half.
The championship win was Yoe’s third in school history, going with last year’s title and a Class 3A title in 1981. Wall was making its first-ever appearance in a state championship game in football.