Cuero runs to victory against Warriors (VIDEO)
Sept. 6, 2013 at 4:06 a.m.
Updated Sept. 7, 2013 at 4:07 a.m.
As Cuero freshman Tre Miles dashed down the field early in the first quarter of the Gobblers' game against the Victoria West Warriors Friday night, one phrase resonated around the stadium:
"Who's that kid?"
The 175-pound running back's surprising rushes down the field, paired with senior D'Anthony Hopkins' powerful strides, made for a game that kept the fans guessing.
In a back-and-forth fourth quarter, Cuero came out with the win 35-28 over Victoria West. This was the first victory for the home team on their new turf in Gobbler Stadium.
Along with Miles who attempted six rushes for 86 yards, senior D'Anthony Hopkins made major rushing gains in all four quarters.
Hopkins ran for 203 yards total.
So who is 15-year-old Tre Miles?
When he was in eighth grade at Cuero Jr. High School, he said he had a pretty good idea that he was being looked at for the varsity squad once he became a freshman.
"I had a good prediction that I was going to make the team as a freshman, but you never really know for sure," Miles said on the sidelines after the Gobbler victory.
After his debut game last week against Wharton, Miles has become used to being known as "that freshman."
"I did a lot last week, but this week I was able to do more," Miles said. "I was able to show that I am able to play with the upperclassmen even though I'm a freshman."
Miles and his cousin, D'Mond LaFond, are the only two freshmen on the Gobbler roster this season. LaFond is a wide receiver who also saw game time Friday.
The addition of Miles as a major offensive player has been able to give the other running backs on the squad a break, said Cuero coach Travis Reeve.
"All of them play on defense, too, so he gives them a fresh pair of legs," Reeve said. "He's still learning what it's all about to be a varsity football player and has made tremendous progress at this point and we're proud of him."
Playing in Pee-Wee leagues and select football teams since he was a five-years-old has helped prepare Miles for varsity play against bigger high schools like West.
"Play how you practice," Miles said about his strategy on the field.
During the week's practice, he said that he focused on keeping the football in his hands.
Reeve said that in Friday's game, the strength of their offense was running the football, but that the Gobblers tried to remain balanced.
"They (West) have a very explosive offense and we felt like we needed to keep the ball away from them as much as we could," Reeve said.
West's quarterback Anthony Navarro balanced his offense with a combination of running the ball himself and passing to his wide receivers.
Navarro had a rushing total of 120 yards and threw the ball for 124 yards. Wide receiver Jacob Armstrong caught most of Navarro's passes and ended up with 76 total receiving yards.
The quick offense was no match for Cuero's defense in the long run, however.
After going into halftime with a tied score of 14-14, the Gobblers returned with a renewed vigor to get the lead and keep it.
During halftime, Reeve said that minor adjustments were made on both the offense and defense.
"West was doing a good job of running the quarterback and we felt like we needed to do a couple things differently," Reeve said. "The main thing is that our kids talk about all week that they want to be committed to whatever it took to win the football game and to be the kind of team they want to be this year - I felt like our kids came out with a certain determination to do whatever it took to win the football game."
Many high school athletic teams become like brothers to each other, but especially so in Cuero, where two of the main offensive players are brothers.
D'Anthony Hopkins and his brother, Zech, a sophomore running back, set each other up to win in more than one play of the night. If Zech made it to the red zone, it was likely that D'Anthony was going to run in the touchdown.
"Those are two great kids. They're brothers who have a lot of things in common," Reeve said. "They're great young men and they're good football players."
As for Miles and his cousin, LaFond, the season is looking bright for the freshmen.
"I think I have a lot to improve on, but I'm getting better every day, every week in practice," Miles said. "It's really the whole team - I can't do what I need to do without the team doing what they're doing."
As for the first win on the fresh turf, Reeve said he feels fortunate.
"What a great atmosphere for high school football," Reeve said. "We feel so fortunate to be able to play in this great facility, but to play for the city of Cuero - Cuero has such a great tradition. It was fun to open up this stadium tonight with a win."