CORPUS CHRISTI – Chance Albrecht doesn’t hesitate when his coaches call on him to run the ball more.

The senior running back embraced the opportunity when injuries struck Cuero early in the season and again Friday night in the Class 4A area round against Rio Hondo.

“I have to step up and do the best I can,” Albrecht said. “I have to give it all I have.”

Albrecht ran the ball the entire second half when Keiran Grant was slow to get up after being hit in the second quarter.

Albrecht went on to rush for 102 yards and scored four touchdowns in the Gobblers’ 56-0 win over the Bobcats at Wildcat Stadium.

Cuero (11-1) captured its 10th straight win and advanced to the regional round to face Corpus Christi West Oso at 7:30 p.m. Friday at San Antonio’s Heroes Stadium.

Grant, who only suffered a bruise, will be ready to go against the Bears according to Cuero coach Travis Reeve.

“We have to come into practice and stay focused,” Albrecht said. “We have to stay focused because if we do what we need to do, we can win.”

The Gobblers, who were ranked No. 5 in the final Class 4A state poll, recorded their second shutout of the season and held the Bobcats to 91 yards on the ground.

The Bobcats (10-2) were led by running back Daniel Vazquez, who rushed for 75 yards.

“We’ve been trying to get a shutout for a while,” said wide receiver/defensive back Deandre Lang, who had an interception and a 21-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter. “Tonight, we conquered that and it showed how hard we’ve been working in practice.”

Cuero quarterback Michael Barta finished with 145 passing yards and three touchdowns through the air to Jordan Whittington, Devin Whittington and Lang.

“We played a lot better and we executed,” Barta said. “We came out and played well together. We have to continue to stay focused.”

Barta hooked up with Jordan Whittington on a 22-yard touchdown pass for the Gobblers first points.

Albrecht went on to score his first touchdown four minutes later and Grant scored on a 1-yard run to close out the first quarter with a 21-0 lead.

“I thought our kids came out and played well,” Reeve said. “We talked about being ready for anything ,and we got on the bus in attack mode. We saw a lot of things we hadn’t seen before, but our kids handled it really well.”

The Gobblers used another 21-point quarter to take a 42-0 halftime lead.

Lang’s touchdown from Barta came three minutes into the second quarter. Albrecht followed with touchdown runs of 27 and 3 yards to close the first half.

“Chance is one of our two starting running backs, and we know he’s going to be reliable,” Reeve said. “He and the offensive line came in and did great. Offensively, we executed really well all the way around.”

Albrecht scored his fourth touchdown on a 9-yard run in the third quarter and Devin Whittington caught a 9-yard touchdown pass from Barta for Cuero’s final score of the night.

“It feels great,” Albrecht said. “Defensively with the shutout and the offense did their thing with the big guys up front. The train is rolling.”

The Gobblers will quickly shift their attention to West Oso, a 62-31 winner over Llano.

Cuero defeated the Bears 67-10 in last year’s bi-district round.

“West Oso is fast like us,” Lang said. “We just have to keep working hard in practice and keep our heads straight by taking it one game at a time.”

“They’re a team that has improved,” Reeve added. “They’re on a roll right now, and they’re playing really well. It will be a great challenge for us.”

Rey Castillo is the assistant sports editor for the Victoria Advocate. He may be reached at rcastillo@vicad.com, 361-574-1240 or on Twitter @reycastillo361.

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