Yoakum weighs growth heading into regional contest

Marcus Gutierrez By Marcus Gutierrez

Dec. 1, 2017 at 10:15 p.m.

Yoakum's Jodan Rocha runs the ball during a Class 3A, Division I playoff game against Randolph at Seguin High School.

Yoakum's Jodan Rocha runs the ball during a Class 3A, Division I playoff game against Randolph at Seguin High School.   Nicolas Galindo for The Victoria Advocate

Gerardo Gonzalez and the Yoakum offensive line have set the tone this season.

The senior center believes the trenches are where a football game can be won.

"As an offensive line, our mentality is to be more physical than the defensive line we're going against," said Gonzalez. "We push each other to be better every day at practice and during the game. We just want to the defense line back on every snap."

The Bulldogs rushed for a total of 347 yards against George West and defeated the Longhorns 49-21 in a Class 3A, Division I area round playoff game last week to extend their win streak to ten games.

Yoakum head coach Bo Robinson likes how the Bulldogs are clicking on all cylinders right now in the playoffs.

"As a unit, our offensive line is playing together and our running backs are finding the holes and attacking them," Robinson said. "We're playing good football right now, and we're peaking at the right time. Our kids have matured a lot during the season and have been ready to play since the season ended last year. This is just the process of becoming a good program."

The Bulldogs will take on District 14-3A foe Van Vleck in a Class 3A, Division I regional playoff game at 6 p.m. Saturday at Legacy Stadium in Katy.

The Bulldogs (11-1) rolled to a 49-12 win over the Leopards in district play in Week 8 of the season.

Robinson knows the Leopards have a great team that can score at any point during a game.

"I don't think that last game really means anything," Robinson said. "They have some athletes that are scary, and they're going to be a challenge."

Gonzalez remembers how the Bulldogs performed against Van Vleck from earlier this season.

"The thing I remember about that game earlier this year is that we could have played better," Gonzalez said. "We have played better since then, and they have gotten better, too. It's going to be a great game."

The Bulldogs have rushed for more than 3,434 yards on offense with 47 touchdowns. Yoakum is averaging 42 points per game on offense, and the defense has held opponents to 15 points per game.

"One thing you can't coach is effort and toughness," Robinson said. "This time of the year, if you can run the football and play good defense, you're going to have a chance to win."

Van Vleck (6-4) is coming off a 48-18 win over Mathis last week in the area round.

The Leopards are led by De'Mitri Monroe, who has rushed for more than 1,331 yards with 16 touchdowns. Monroe also has 22 receptions for 393 yards on offense with four touchdowns.

"In practice, we have been working on screenplays and the deep ball," said senior defensive lineman Trent McKee. "We really can't let them get past us, and we have to gain tackle and play good defense."

Several factors would be key in a Bulldogs victory.

"We have to protect the ball and not have any turnovers," Robinson said. "We have to play good defense and continue to do what we have done all year."



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