CUERO — Missed opportunities prevented Gonzales (1-3) from ending Cuero’s (3-1) winning streak over the Apaches Friday night. The Gobblers’ 48-15 win over Gonzales marked their seventh win in a row against their rivals. Cuero’s win pushes the all-time series to 43-26-1 in favor of the Gobblers.
Offensively the Gobblers could do no wrong, scoring on all four first-half possessions. Quarterback Michael Barta found Deondrae Lang on a wide receiver screen, who took off for a 60-yard touchdown early in the game.
“They hit a tunnel screen and we worked that thing all week long, but [Cuero] just executed really [well],” Gonzales head coach Kodi Crane said.
The Gobblers added another touchdown drive highlighted by a flea flicker trick pass play from Barta to Devyn Whittington for a 37-yard gain. Keiran Grant ended the drive with an eight-yard touchdown to give Cuero the 14-0 lead.
On the Apaches next offensive play, junior running back Elijah Holiday lined up at quarterback and took off for a 68-yard touchdown run, but was called back due to a false start.
“It just happened, you know,” Crane said about the flag. “[The official] saw the wrong thing. What do you do? Just play the next play is all you can do.”
The Apaches did just that and recovered a muffed punt to set up a drive on the Cuero 19-yard line. Eight plays later, the Apaches offense stalled on the 3-yard line. Cuero then went on an eight-play, 97-yard touchdown drive that ended with a play-action touchdown pass from Barta to Lang for 54 yards.
“We had opportunities,” Crane noted. “[Cuero] took advantages of their opportunities and we did not. Twice we had wide-open receivers and just missed, early in the game, when it makes a difference. We get a turnover and get the ball down there on the goal line and don’t get it in. Defensively the first half we get them in long-yard situations and don’t get off the field. It’s a four-down defense to stop these guys and it’s an every play on offense to stop them.”
The Gobblers converted three of the four third-down plays for first downs. The failed third-down conversion turned into a 4th-and-one play, which the Gobblers converted for a first, with the drive resulting in a touchdown.
The Apaches most successful drive on offense came in the second quarter, a 10-play, 75-yard drive with Holiday running six times in that drive for 65 yards. Dillen Ramos punched it in from two yards out for a touchdown. Holiday would score midway through the fourth-quarter from 17-yards out.
Gonzales now moves to 1-3 in non-district play. Their losses come against Navarro (2-1), who’s game against La Grange was canceled due to storms, Yoakum (3-1) and Cuero (3-1). In seasons past, the Crane has scheduled a tough non-district set of games to get his kids ready for the district season and this year looks to be no different.
“We scheduled it like that on purpose,” Crane said after the game. “Playing these types of teams, absolutely. Whenever we get done, whenever we go look at the film, we will see exactly what we did right and exactly what we did wrong. There will be no lining up wrong and just, I mean you got to be perfect to stop a team like this. [Cuero’s] a great football team.”
Gonzales moves on to their second of a four-game road tilt next week where they travel to Hondo to take on the Owls (2-2).