ARLINGTON — In a rematch two years in the making, Cameron Yoe turned the previous script on its head, and turned Daingerfield over five times in the process.
The Yoemen jumped to an early lead and utilized the five turnovers en route to a convincing 38-20 win over the Tigers in the Class 2A Division I state championship game Friday at Cowboys Stadium.
The Tigers beat the Yoemen 33-27 in the 2010 title game, scoring a late touchdown to secure their third straight championship. This year, Yoe dominated early and built a 28-0 lead minutes into the second quarter.
“Unfinished business,” said Yoeman linebacker Somari Wright, named Defensive MVP after recording 14 tackles, two tackles for loss and an interception.
Senior running back Keaton Denio rushed for 163 yards and a score for Yoe, earning Offensive MVP honors in the process. His touchdown run of 31 yards gave the Yoemen (15-0) a 21-0 lead with 0:51 to go in the first, at which point Yoe had racked up 102 yards compared to -8 for Daingerfield (12-4).
Yoe got started by pinning Daingerfield to its own 3 after a punt on the Yoemen’s first possession. Zach Riola then picked off Keris Alexander at the 9 and three plays later Zach Felts snared a 9-yard touchdown toss from Jason Kopriva.
The Tigers went three-and-out on their next series and were forced to punt out of their own end zone following a 13-yard loss on a sack. The snap for the punt was mishandled and punter Carlos Macias was unable to get a kick off. Edgar Luna fell on the loose ball in the end zone and Cameron Yoe went up 14-0 on two touchdowns in 2:03.
“I don’t think it’s nerves,” Daingerfield coach Aric Sardinea said of the slow start. “It’s been two years since we’ve been here. Our kids, this community, this is what we do. We’re a playoff football team; we’re a state championship community. It’s in our blood line. We just missed a few opportunities.”
Daingerfield senior Edwin Mims, bottled up early, finished with 205 yards and two scores passing along with 64 more yards on the ground. Of his 269 total yards, 213 game in the second half.
“We didn’t play our best ball,” said Mims, weilding crutches after suffering an ankle injury late in the game.
Daingerfield senior receiver Shawn Hooks hauled in 10 passes for 154 yards, both game highs, and put Tigers on the scoreboard on a 13-yard run midway through the second quarter to make it 28-7.
After Yoe upped its lead to 35-7 late in the third quarter, Hooks caught a 10-yard TD from Mims as time expired on the third quarter. Tykeema Wilson’s 10-yard touchdown reception from Mims with 8:32 to go pulled the Tigers within 35-20.
However, the Yoemen recovered the ensuing onside kick and Michael Evan booted a 42-yard field goal to make it a three-score game with 5:28 to go, ending Daingerfield’s hopes of beating Yoe for a state title for the second time in three years.
“It means a tremendous amount to our program,” Yoe coach Rick Rhoades said. “To be that close in 2010, knock on the door and not quite get there, and then to be able to get there this time and win it, just an unbelievable thing for our program.
“I’m so happy for our kids, for our community; it’s just an unbelievable thing. This is the fourth time I’ve been here. To finally win one is unbelievable, it’s the best thing in the world.”
Class 2A Division I
Cameron Yoe 38, Daingerfield 20
At Cowboys Stadium
Cameron Yoe 21 7 7 3 — 38
Daingerfield 0 7 6 7 — 20
YOE—Zach Felts 9 pass from Jason Kopriva (Michael Evan kick), 8:18.
YOE—Edgar Luna fumble recovery in end zone (Evan kick), 6:15.
YOE—Keaton Denio 31 run (Evan kick), 0:51.
YOE—Colton Shuffield 14 pass from Kopriva (Evan kick), 9:36.
DAI—Shawn Hooks 13 run (Carlos Macias kick), 7:03.
YOE—Felts 14 run (Evan kick), 1:56.
DAI—Hooks 10 pass from Edwin Mims (pass fail), 0:00.
DAI—Tykeema Wilson 10 pass from Mims (Macias kick), 8:32.
YOE—Evan 42 FG, 5:28.
Att. — 12,327
First Downs 17 15
Rushes-Yards 35-196 25-84
Passing Yards 171 245
Penalties-Yards 11-65 4-28
RUSHING—Cameron Yoe, Keaton Denio 22-163, Zach Felts 2-39, Aaron Sims 2-7, J’Juan Anderson 2-6, Jason Kopriva 4-(-4), Team 3-(-15). Daingerfield, Edwin Mims 13-64, Shawn Hooks 5-39, Cordarius Alexander 4-5, Team 1-(-12), Keris Alexander 2-(-12).
PASSING—Cameron Yoe, Kopriva 19-29-0—171. Daingerfield, Mims 13-19-0—205, Alexander 5-14-3—40.
RECEIVING—Cameron Yoe, Sims 5-68, Felts 4-18, Austin Christy 3-35, Jalen White 3-31, Colton Shuffield 2-18, Denio 2-1. Daingerfield, Hooks 10-154, Tykeema Wilson 6-80, Mims 1-12, Keaton Key 1-(-1).