CUERO — Head coach Kodi Crane couldn’t have asked for a better opening. Unfortunately, Gonzales’ success was short-lived as mistakes piled up and the Apaches gave up too many touchdowns late in the first half to come back, losing their rivalry match against Cuero 60-21.
“I was extremely pleased with the way our team came out and played the football game,” Crane said of his Apaches. “We take an opening drive and Kenneth Cavit has an outstanding kickoff return and we end it with a touchdown.”
Cavit brought the Apaches to their own 48-yard line on the opening drive. A few plays later, quarterback Garrett Rickman connected with Trevion McNeil on a 40-yard pass for a touchdown, to open the game with a 7-0 win.
“If I’m not mistaken, that’s the first opening drive touchdown we’ve had [this season],” Crane noted.
Later in the quarter, down 13-7, the Apaches used up nearly six minutes of game clocking, going on a 14-play, 64-yard drive for a touchdown. A key play on the drive was on third-and-15 on their own 40, where the Apaches ran a quarterback draw play and Rickman ran down the field for a 23-yard gain. Eventually he got his number called again, rushing up the middle for a touchdown, giving the Apaches the 14-13 lead over the state-ranked Cuero Gobblers.
“[Cuero is] the number one or two team in Class 4A Division II. So we’re down [13-7] after a mistake, we’re flat, and we take the ball and go score a touchdown. Now we’re up? I was so proud of how our kids played through that first quarter.”
Cuero answered with four straight touchdowns, including three in the final 4:30 of the half, to finish the half up 40-14.
“Mistakes started happening, then it snowballed on us to get out of the first half,” Crane said. “We got to be able to get out of half and get out there with all that momentum.”
The Gobblers scored on their next three straight offensive possessions to go up 60-14 before the Apaches were able to get their final score of the game. Late in the fourth, Kalub Carrizales found an opening and rushed 78 yards to get to the two-yard line. Carrizales finished off the drive with a two-yard touchdown run to cut the lead to 60-21, the eventual final score of the game.
“Our kids fought tooth and toenail this game,” Crane said. “They played their tails off and competed extremely hard and I’m extremely proud of them for that.”
The Apaches (2-2) have one more non-district game, a road matchup against Uvalde (3-1), this Friday.