Dominant start propels Cuero to win
By Robert Proctor
The Cuero Record
Cuero looked to be rolling to another decisive playoff victory until Navarro’s offense came to life in the closing stages of the third quarter and into the fourth quarter. The last team to defeat the Gobblers provided one of their toughest tests of the season, but behind a dominant first half performance, Cuero came away with the regional win, 38-24.
Another fast started definitely propelled Cuero, as they scored the first 31 points of the game, before the Panthers tacked on 24 of the final 31.
“It was a big win,” head coach Travis Reeve said of his team’s 12th consecutive victory. “We just beat a really good football team. To get on them early was huge.”
One of the top rushing offenses in 4A, Navarro tallied nearly 300 yards on the ground. The Gobbler secondary came up huge, though, holding the Panthers to four passing yards and intercepting three passes, two by Cole Toller and one by Claevon Patton.
“We know that they are a really good offense,” Reeve noted. “Every time that we could stop them and make them punt was like a turnover tonight. Our kids just did a great job of coming out, fought for 48 minutes and came up with a big win.”
With Navarro leaning on the running game, as they have all season, each three and out forced by the Gobbler defense was huge. The Panthers ran the ball nearly twice as many times as Cuero, 52 to 30, for over twice as many yards, 298 to 126.
“Our kids played a discipline game,” Reeve stated. “Our kids worked really hard all week and did a great job of executing our game plan. We came up with a lot of big plays tonight.”
With top Cuero rusher Keiran Grant suffering an injury in the first quarter, Jared Love carred the load on the ground for the Gobblers. Love notched 13 carries for 83 yards and two touchdowns, including a 39 yard touchdown run late in the third quarter.
“He was big,” Reeve said of Love’s performance. “He stepped in, did his job and made his contribution along with the rest of our kids. We have a great team. We have a lot of great players on this team. Certainly, he was big for us tonight.”