TLU strengthened by bond of brothers

More news about: Texas Lutheran

Brent and Cameron Peavy have been playing football together since they were 5.
Texas Lutheran athletics photo

Football at its very foundation, is a game for children.

For twins Brent and Cameron Peavy, it’s a game that started as small kids -- a 5-year-old Brent announcing that he would be the quarterback, Cameron happy to play along as the receiver -- and has carried them into an explosive senior season at undefeated Texas Lutheran University.

The boys have had plenty of opportunity to pursue other interests, to walk away from football, to choose individual paths. But the bond of brotherhood has been stronger than everything else.

In junior high school, the boys told their parents, Darrell and Kayren Peavy, that they would go to separate colleges. But Kayren laughs about that one -- the closer they got to graduating from high school in Houston, the more they actually visited colleges and talked about separating, the more improbable that seemed.

Brent was determined to play football. He had to find a school close enough that his parents could still drive to all of his games, just as they have since fifth grade. Incoming head coach Danny Padron and the Bulldogs were a fit.

In the end, as it always has, brotherhood won out.

“Brent talked to Coach Padron and basically I just followed behind Brent,” Cameron said. “We knew we wanted to go to the same college.”

Cameron, who played shooting guard to Brent’s point guard on the St. Pius X High School basketball team, ultimately turned down a basketball scholarship to play football with his brother. That shouldn’t have been a surprise to anyone. The brothers don’t often choose to be separated.

“You won’t see one with out the other,” Padron said. “They’re in classes together, they’re in everything. They do everything together.”

Cameron’s commitment to football has always been split with his own love for basketball -- his mother’s game in high school. It’s no secret. Padron knows it. Brent and Cameron openly discuss it. But Brent is the older brother, the quarterback of the Peavy team, and he called the play. Cameron wanted to play the game -- any game -- with his brother more than he wanted to play basketball with anyone else.

“They just really do have a special bond,” Kayren said. “They really do. I guess it meant more to him to play with his brother than anything.”

The problem was, the Bulldogs already had a young quarterback. While Cameron cracked the starting receiving corps as a sophomore, Brent was still staring at the possibility of playing a backup role until his senior year.

That, the twins admit, was a strange feeling. Padron saw them struggling. From the time they were 5, tiny kids tossing a football in their backyard, Brent has always been the quarterback.

“I had to put trust into another quarterback,” Cameron said. “Which I haven’t done -- at all in my life. Because every time we’ve ever played football together, he’s always been my quarterback, and we’ve always been on the same page. … And also it was the fact that I knew football was mainly his sport and I kind of was more into basketball.”

People always wanted to split them up. Other kids in the subdivision tried to insist that the boys play on separate teams in pickup games. Youth coaches tried to position Cameron at other places on the field -- wouldn’t he like to play running back, or somewhere in the defensive secondary?

Football is a game for kids. But adults make the rules. For once, kid brothers won out over the grown ups. Cameron’s dad told him to stand by what he wanted.

“He [Brent] told them he would stand there and wait until they called his number,” Kayren said.

But the Bulldogs called Cameron’s number first. And Brent, who chose Texas Lutheran and football, waited.

“It was a little hard for me to have to sit behind,” Brent said. “But at the time, Coach Padron thought that I wasn’t ready and I always respect his decisions and he’s usually right. … As far as seeing Cameron out there on the field, it was hard because yeah, I really wanted to play with him.”

Padron says the boys considered leaving. Because if one left, the other would certainly follow.

But the presumed starting quarterback failed to return for the Peavy twins’ junior year and Brent stepped into the job a year earlier than he’d expected. Even then, after two years of waiting, he might not have been fully prepared. Brent says he tried to force some throws, he wasn’t as perceptive about taking what the defense gave him -- maybe he wasn’t as diligent in watching film as he could have been.

The last three games of the season he started to come into his own. And, after a summer of faithful workouts and drills with his brother and a third player, the twins are having a senior season that children only dream about.

The Bulldogs are undefeated. After beating East Texas Baptist University, 64-41 on Saturday, Texas Lutheran (3-0, 2-0) is one win away from a SCAC championship. Austin (1-4, 0-0) travels to the Bulldogs this weekend for their final conference game.

TLU hasn’t started a season 3-0 since 1976, well before the 21-year-old Peavy twins were born. The Bulldogs might well be four games up, but a lightening delay ultimately canceled the homecoming game two weeks ago against Southwestern Assemblies of God University. TLU led 14 -7 when the game was called off.

And the twins are putting up video-game numbers. In Saturday’s win over the Tigers, Brent tied the school record, throwing for six touchdowns. Four of those went to Cameron. Coach Padron, laughing, says there should have been a fifth -- Brent’s mistake.
The kids aren’t counting those things. Sure, it’s fun to look at the box score the next day and see the big figures. It’s rewarding to see the hours of work adding up to yards, catches, and points. But the big numbers are wins, and it takes a whole team to count that high.

“Everyone knows, there’s that chemistry between those two,” Padron said. “But Brent’s going to throw it to the open guy. He’s going to read through his progression, and he’s not going to do anything to try to force it to his brother.”

Brent laughs about that. He said his mother used to remind him, as a high school player, to make sure he got the ball to his brother.

That’s probably not something he needs to be reminded to do. The Bulldogs run a spread offense, and there are plenty of capable receivers eager and able to grab the ball. Cameron does lead the receivers, with 24 catches for 454 yards and six touchdowns.

But how could Brent not be looking for his brother downfield? He knows his brother as well as himself, their minds in minute agreement on almost everything -- everything except some foods, some colors. He knows how Cameron runs his routes, he knows how fast, how could he not? Even after four years as their coach, Padron says the boys are often indistinguishable. Cameron is slightly taller. Brent’s hairline might be slightly lower.

But one throws it, and the other catches it, just like hundreds of kids playing in backyards across the country. Just like they’ve been doing for 15 years.

“When we were around 5 or 6 and we were just throwing the ball around,” Cameron said. “I guess we just kind of thought, ‘Hey, it would be kind of cool if you were a quarterback and I was receiver.’”

Cameron, the younger, is a little looser. His mother calls him the big baby. Brent is a little more serious. But Padron says he runs out of words to describe them both. Their energy, their enthusiasm, their brilliant smiles.

“Their personalities just shine,” he said. “The best thing about them is their smile. They just light up the room.”

Next year, the boys say that they’ll finally split. Brent plans to go on to graduate school at the University of Houston. Cameron plans to join his father in the family telecommunications business.

Their mother says she’ll believe it when she sees it. Their coach says he fully expects them to pool their talents off the field. The boys say they don’t really feel like they’ll ever be any further away than, say, a football field.

“It’ll be a little different,” Brent said. “But I still think that we’re going to have that connection. Even when we’re apart, we’re still somewhat together.”

-- The Kangaroos picked up their first win of the season, shutting out first-year program Southwestern 31-0 at home Saturday.

Quarterback Noah Jesko rushed for -16 yards but two touchdowns on four carries.

Logan Estes contributed to nine tackles for Austin College (1-4, 0-0).

Tyler Frisby and Justin Broussar each got in on nine tackles for Southwestern (0-5, 0-1).

This was a non-conference meeting between the two teams. The Pirates host the Kangaroos on Nov. 2 in SCAC action.

American Southwest Conference

-- Derek Williamson returned the opening kickoff 98 yards for a score just 13 seconds into Mary Hardin-Baylor’s 49-7 win over Trinity on Saturday.

Quarterback Zach Anderson completed 11 of 18 passes for 103 yards and three touchdowns for the Crusaders (5-0). Caleb Moore carried 24 times for 108 yards and a touchdown.

Jamal Murray had 11 tackles, including a sack for a three yard loss, for Trinity (Texas) (3-1) in the loss. Connor Yorloff was in on nine tackles and had three break ups.

-- Mississippi College picked up its first win of the season in conference action, defeating visiting Hardin-Simmons (1-3, 0-1) 49-35.

Jonathon Redd passed for 191 yards and a touchdown, as well as three interceptions. Redd also rushed for two touchdowns. Darryl Garner carried 17 times for 123 yards for the Choctaws (1-3, 1-0).

Jake Weddle was involved in 13 tackles for Mississippi College.

Southern Athletic Association

-- Millsaps defeated Hendrix, 48-37, for the Majors first conference win of the season.

Taz Watson and Mike Barthelemy both had hundred-yard rushing games. Watson carried 20 times for 143 yards and two TDs. Barthelemy had 15 carries for 119 yards and a score. Quarterback Zac Thrasher threw for 177 yards and three touchdowns against one interception. Trevor King caught three passes for 36 yards and two touchdowns.

John McDowell returned a third-quarter kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown for Millsaps (4-0, 1-0).

-- Rhodes is on a three-game winning streak, defeating visiting Chicago 41-34 in a non-conference game Saturday.

The Lynx (4-1) special teams were outstanding. Brandon Williams returned a blocked a Chicago (4-1) punt 25 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter. Michael Shield returned another blocked punt 11 yards in the fourth quarter for a touchdown.

Blake Box passed for 238 yards and a pair of TDs, as well as one interception. Kevin Vieira rushed for two touchdowns and 72 yards on 19 carries.

-- Sewanee is the third team undefeated in SAA play after surviving Birmingham-Southern 31-28 on Saturday.

The Tigers (2-3, 1-0) took their first lead of the game in the fourth quarter on a two-yard run by Andy Moots. Cody Daniel rushed for the two–point conversion to put Sewanee up, 24-21.

Cortez Brown returned an interception 30 yards for a touchdown with just over five minutes remaining in the third quarter to cut the Birmingham-Southern lead to a single score.

Curtiz Johnson rushed for a one-yard score to seal the win with 6:48 remaining in regulation and Sewanee held on for its second win of the season

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Brian Lester

Brian Lester is a reporter in Florida. He has 14 years of experience at newspapers in Virginia, North Carolina and Ohio, spending 10 at The Courier in Findlay, Ohio. Lester also writes an Around the Region column for D3hoops.com and wrote Around the Great Lakes for D3football.com from 2012-14. He is a graduate of Eastern Illinois.

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