Mays, Cuero gobble up Victoria
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Brandon Mays never had a chance to show off what he could do in Victoria when he played for Cuero High.
Mays finally got that opportunity to take over a game as his Cuero Gobblers beat the Victoria Red Rage 12-7 at Patti Welder Stadium Saturday.
Mays completed seven of his 12 passes for 138 yards, carried the ball six times for 34 and accounted for both Gobbler touchdowns in the victory.
Although he dominated the game in the second half, Mays was quick to credit his defense for keeping the Red Rage out of the end zone in the league's opening game.
"Our defense kept us in the game," he said. "If it wasn't for our defense we wouldn't have been in position to win the game."
Although the home crowd was vocal during the first quarter of this much anticipated Hwy 87 showdown, the teams struggled through a turnover and penalty filled first quarter.
Victoria took the lead on a Mays mistake.
The Gobblers faced third and long from their own 20. Mays scrambled to his left and under threw his man at midfield.
Instead, Victoria's John Jameson came up with the ball and rumbled 49 yards down the sideline for the games opening score and the Red Rage went ahead 7-0.
Cuero was in a quagmire offensivly through the first 30 minutes of this one, but when the offensive line got things going, the Gobblers were able to move the ball effectively in the third quarter.
"In the third quarter once we started moving the ball and running the ball it got us going," said Cuero offensive coordinator James Washington.
Cuero got 40 yards on the ground from the start of the third quarter through the first five minutes of the fourth.
Although the offense was finding a rhythm, the defense gave Mays an opportunity to cut the lead.
Victoria faced a third down and long from their own 18. Gobbler cornerback Casey Coleman came on a blitz and jarred the ball loss from Red Rage quarterback Keith Hradek. Cuero recovered the fumble, giving Mays a first down from the Victoria 11.
It took Mays three plays to make the Red Rage pay.
The Gobblers had a third and 5 from the Victoria seven when Mays went back to pass and decided to run and go for the corner of the end zone with one man to beat.
"It was me and the end. It was either me or him and I guess I just wanted it more," Mays said.
A stiff arm got Mays in the end zone and within one point. The Gobblers went for two and failed, but cut the Red Rage lead to 7-6.
After forcing Victoria to a three and out on the ensuing possession, Mays took over on the Cuero 20 yard line.
On the first play of the drive Mays found wide receiver Corey Peoples for 30 yards, setting up the Gobblers at mid field.
Three plays later Mays would pick up six yards on a fourth and six to keep the Gobbler drive alive and set up a first down from the Victoria 39.
On the following play Mays found Peoples again.
"I was trying to make sure I made a good throw," Mays said.
Mays made a good throw indeed. Peoples was able to beat the Red Rage's blown coverage and run for the go ahead touchdown.
Although the ensuing two point conversion failed, Cuero was up 12-7.
Victoria head coach Cody Shugart said he was proud of his teams effort Saturday, but would like to see a more complete game from his team next week.
"Defense is great, but defense only last so long the offense isn't doing something."
Turnovers may have plagued both teams, but the Red Rage made more mistakes later.
Cuero lost a fumble and the interception cost the Gobblers seven points. Victoria put the ball on the ground seven times and lost four, including the two that cost them 12 points and proved to be the difference in this one.
Shugart isn't worried about his teams ability to bounce back next week.
"We won't lose again, I'll tell you that," said Shugart.