Brock capped a perfect 16-0 football season Thursday by claiming the Class 3A Division I championship with a 43-33 victory against Cameron Yoe at NRG Stadium.
Brock, ranked No. 2 in the final Associated Press 3A state poll, has played two years of UIL competition and three varsity seasons in football.
The Eagles rallied from a 20-7 deficit late in the second quarter with 36 second-half points, but still had to hold off No. 4 Cameron.
“Usually people say we’re a second-half team,” said running back Tyler Gray, who led Brock with 151 yards rushing on 28 carries. “We ana lyze what they do on the field, go inside and make adjustments, and get it done.”
The Yoemen, who had won three consecutive state championships, looked to be in control before their Class 3A Offensive Player of the Year, running back Traion Smith, went down with a severe right leg injury with 2:46 left before the half.
Smith had 133 yards on 15 carries with two touchdowns and had set Cameron Yoe up for another score when the injury happened.
“Obviously, [Traion Smith] going down for them was huge, I hated to see it,” said Brock coach Chad Worrell. “I always hate to see something like that happen to any kid, and I’m sure emotionally that had an impact on them.”
After a 39-yard touchdown run by Smith, the teams traded punts before an interception by Brock’s Kyle Thiel sparked the Eagles.
Running back Leddy French, the offensive player of the game, reeled off 31 yards on the first play of the drive and capped it with a 7-yard touchdown run on the first play of the second quarter to give Brock a 7-6 lead.
Two uncharacteristic turnovers by the Eagles, their first in the playoffs, led to two second-quarter Cameron Yoe scores. A fumbled punt was turned into a 13-yard touchdown run by Smith. A second fumble at the Yoemen 36 was later turned into a 1-yard Jordan Wells scoring run with 2:09 left in the half to put Cameron Yoe up 20-7.
Smith set up Wells’ score on a 16-yard run down to the Brock 2-yard line, where he was injured on the play.
French, who rushed for 133 yards on 18 carries, and Cooper Warren had two scoring runs each for Brock in the second half, but Cameron turned to the air to keep the game close.
Defensive lineman Mikey Golden scooped up a Cameron Yoe fumble and returned it 19 yards for a touchdown and a 36-26 lead with 7:54 left. But Cameron quarterback Jacob Smitherman countered with a 7-yard scoring pass to Iverson Westbrook cutting the lead back to three.
Titus Gossett recovered the ensuing onside kick for Brock and 6 plays later French put the game away with a 14-yard scoring run.
It was the most points the Eagles have given up in two years of UIL competition, but Zane Young, the defensive player of the game and defensive player of the year in Class 3A, and the rest of the Eagles’ defense held Yoe to 13 second-half points.
“Everybody made a big deal about Brock not having been here before, but they’ve been here in basketball and have been in a championship environment,” Cameron coach Rick Rhoades said of the Eagles who have won 15 UIL state titles in team sports and have made 27 title appearances. “Give their kids credit, and the coaches credit, they made the plays they needed to win the ballgame.”