Yoakum coach Bo Robinson was an all-Southwest Conference defensive end for the University of Texas, but he hasn’t played football since injuries ended his career after one season with the Houston Oilers.
If Robinson was given the opportunity to put on pads again, the Yoakum-Cuero game would be high on his list.
“These type of games are always fun to me,” he said. “It’s kind of like a playoff atmosphere early in the season. These are the kind of games I wish I could still play in. These are the ones I would want to play in if I could do it. It’s exciting.”
Yoakum prepares for Friday’s game against Cuero. pic.twitter.com/Jy3SPuk8pJ— Mike Forman (@mikeforman21) September 4, 2019
DeWitt County rivals Yoakum and Cuero will square off for the 110th time since 1911 on Friday night at Gobbler Stadium in Cuero.
“It’s a unique game,” said Cuero coach Travis Reeve. “I’ve told our kids before there are not a lot of kids in the state of Texas who get a chance to play in a big rivalry game.
“Everybody has got little rivalries, but not anything like this. To have the opportunity to be able to play in front of a packed house in Week 2 of the season, you’ve got to embrace that and you’ve got to love that. We’re very fortunate to be able to be a part of this game.”
Cuero gets ready for Friday’s game against Yoakum. pic.twitter.com/mXkTxK3Enm— Mike Forman (@mikeforman21) September 4, 2019
The players are familiar with each other and many have had relatives who have been a part of the rivalry.
“My dad always told me that whenever he played against Yoakum, they were always good and we always fought hard against them,” said Cuero receiver Deveryck Mathis of his father Rodney. “They were just really physical games.”
Cuero’s Deveryck Mathis and the Gobblers will play Yoakum for the 110th time Friday night at Gobbler Stadium. pic.twitter.com/h5nFJf1WO5— Mike Forman (@mikeforman21) September 4, 2019
“It’s going to be a fun game,” said Yoakum center Kolson Jacobs, whose father Jake played for the Bulldogs. “I enjoy playing Cuero it’s a big rivalry. It gets everybody pumped up for it. My dad told me it was pretty nerve racking. There isn’t anything like it.”
Yoakum center Kolson Jacobs discusses the rivalry with Cuero. pic.twitter.com/zrQWcPOiAo— Mike Forman (@mikeforman21) September 4, 2019
Cuero has gotten the better of the rivalry. The Gobblers hold a 70-33-6 advantage, despite Yoakum’s 30-20 win last season at Bulldog Stadium.
But the outcome of the game isn’t a harbinger of the rest of the season.
“I want to win them all,” Robinson said. “But we’ve lost this game two years and played for a state championship and went to the semifinals. Cuero loses last year and they play for a state championship. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t win this one.”
But the Bulldogs and Gobblers welcome the atmosphere and the competition, especially since they field relatively inexperienced rosters.
Yoakum dropped its season opener to Boerne, while Cuero defeated Bay City.
“Both teams are going to be representing their communities and it’s important to both communities,” Reeve said. “It’s a great non-district game that’s going to benefit both of us for the district race and later on in the year.”
The Bulldogs and Gobblers have their sites set on a strong finish, but there’s no question this game is an important landmark along the way.
“The key is to win the game, of course,” Jacobs said. “You just have to go in there confident and ready to play.”
“It’s really fun seeing both of our teams running around and flying around and playing hard,” Mathis said. “I just really want to see our team go hard, go fast, do stuff right and win.”