Gobblers to host bi-district playoff
By Robert Proctor
The Cuero Record
Fifty years after Cuero dedicated Gobbler Stadium before playing Riley Odoms and Corpus Christi West Oso, they will open the 2017 playoffs against the Bears at Gobbler Stadium.
For the first time since 2005, Cuero will face the West Oso (6-4, 2-3 district). Much more will be on the line this time around, as both teams are looking to advance to the 4A-Division II area playoffs. Cuero and West Oso will meet Friday at 7:30 in Cuero.
The Gobblers opened the 2005 season with a 41-7 win over West Oso after defeating them 56-0 the season before. Cuero made deep playoff runs in both of those seasons, including their last state finals appearance in 2004 against Abilene Wylie.
Head coach Travis Reeve was the offensive coordinator for Cuero during the 2005 season.
Pete Guajardo leads the Bears who returned 13 varsity lettermen from their 2016 team which finished 4-6 (1-4 district). Of those 13, six started on offense last season and five on defense.
Craig Clemons, a junior, is one of the playmakers for West Oso. He sees time at quarterback, wide receiver and defensive back. On the defensive side, Clemons has accounted for five interceptions and two fumble recoveries. Clemons totaled 1,346 yards in 2016.
Sophomore Cam Williams leads the defensive unit in tackles with 78. Seniors Donte Canada and Marcus Johnson have combined for 113 tackles, including 14 tackles for loss. Rudy Martinez and Juan Ruiz have a combined 15 sacks.
KeArron Sanders (WR/DB), Jose Hernandez (RB/DB), Clyde Coleman (athlete), Germaine Goss (WR/DB), Jerrell Clark (RB/DB) and Mike Nunez (LB) are other players of note. Nunez led West Oso last season with 102 tackles.
Keiran Grant (118-1059-21) leads a Gobbler rushing attack which is averaging 249 yards per game and eight yards per carry. Chance Albrecht has added another 517 yards and nine touchdowns.
Senior quarterback Drew Riemenschneider has over 1,700 passing yards and 23 with over 200 yards per game. Top target Jordan Whittington has already eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards. Bralen Taylor (19-338-4), Jaden Williams (25-337-5) and Deandre Lang (6-137-2) also provide outlets in the passing attack.
A hungry defensive unit, led by John Rodriguez and Dayton Ball, have held opponents to 177 total yards per game and under nine points.
Cuero understands the importance of focusing on preparing themselves for each game and not worrying about the opponent.
“That’s kind of what we’ve been doing all year,” head coach Travis Reeve said. “It’s really about us. I don’t say that in an arrogant way. All we can control is what we do. We can’t control who are opponents are. We can’t control what they do, but we can control how we prepare. We can control how we show up and how hard and how physical we play. If we do those things, we feel like the winning is going to take care of itself.”
Continuing to improve each week is key for the Gobblers to see sustained success.
“We have to continue to get better,” Reeve stated. “Whoever is going to be the last team standing here in about six weeks is going to be the team that is going to contine to improve week after week. We have to stay humble. We have to stay hungry, and I know our kids will, because they’re on a mission.”