Cuero at El Campo

El Campo’s Charles Shorter ran for two touchdowns in the Ricebirds’ 42-0 win over Cuero on Friday night at Ricebird Stadium.

EL CAMPO – Charles Shorter is a junior, but he’s the elder member of El Campo’s trio of running backs.

Shorter is joined by sophomore Johntre Davis and freshman Reuben Owens.

“It’s really good,” Shorter said. “We have a good backfield because they don’t know who’s getting the ball. If I get it or the next person gets it, they don’t know who will have the ball.”

The running backs combined to rush for four touchdowns and scored another on a flair pass to lead El Campo to a 42-0 win over Cuero on Friday at Ricebird Stadium.

“I put, ‘These are his, these are his and these are his,’” El Campo coach Wayne Condra jokingly said of his play calling. “We just try to take advantage of what the defense is giving us.

“Each one of them brings something different. Johntre can power inside, Charles is good on the counters and stuff and Reuben outside on the sweeps. We just kind of mix it in and do some different things.”

Davis, who had seven carries for 107 yards, scored on a 29-yard run and went 78 yards for a touchdown after catching a pass in the backfield from quarterback Clay Jung.

Shorter, who had six carries for 87 yards, scored on runs of 21 and 59 yards.

Owens, who carried eight times for 36 yards, added a 13-yard touchdown run.

“They doubted us,” Shorter said of the Ricebirds, who improved to 3-0 after missing the playoffs last season. “We came out here and showed what we can do.”

El Campo dominated the line of scrimmage, averaging more than 7 yards per rush and having 11 runs over 10 yards.

“We were ready to rumble,” said El Campo lineman Cole Riha. “We were prepared. We came out and showed them what the El Campo Ricebirds can do. With the backs we have, if we do our job, they’re going to make a run for it.”

Cuero (0-2) was shut out for the first time since losing to Gonzales 28-0 in 2011. The loss was the Gobblers’ most lopsided defeat since they lost to Edna by an identical score in 1980.

Cuero hurt itself by turning the ball over five times in the first half, losing three fumbles and having two passes intercepted.

El Campo’s Javien Williams returned one of the fumbles 30 yards for a touchdown.

“We can’t turn the ball over, and we’ve got to execute better,” said Cuero coach Travis Reeve. “But they’ve got a good football team, and we knew that coming in.”

El Campo led 35-0 at halftime, and Shorter and Davis each carried only one time in the second half.

“We’re showing what the El Campo Ricebirds love to do,” Shorter said.

The El Campo defense forced five punts and never allowed Cuero to penetrate deeper than the 30-yard line until the game’s final drive.

“We were able to get going quick and our defense came up with some big plays,” Condra said. “I thought our kids played a tremendous game on the defensive side.”

Cuero attempted to avoid the shutout but came up short on a 34-yard field goal attempt on the game’s final play.

“The key for us is that we continue to move forward,” Reeve said. “Our goal is to win every week but also to continue to improve and prepare ourselves for the district race. We’ll go back to work on Monday.”

El Campo will also go back to work for next week’s game against Wharton with district play approaching.

“There are a lot of ways we can improve,” Shorter said. “We’re just going to keep working hard in practice. We’re watching film of other teams and learning what we’ve got to do. We need to keep running the ball and have the offensive line come off the ball.”

Mike Forman is the sports editor of the Victoria Advocate. Contact him at 361-580-6588 or by email at mforman@vicad.com. Follow him on Twitter at @mikeforman21

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Mike Forman is the sports editor of the Victoria Advocate. He has worked at the Advocate since 1982. He has a bachelor's degree from SMU and a master's degree from UCLA.

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