Gobblers' hopes dashed in second half (w/video)
Dec. 8, 2017 at 8:58 p.m.
Updated Dec. 8, 2017 at 10:25 p.m.
For scores for tonight's football games, visit our live blog here.
BASTROP – Cuero senior running back Jared Love let his emotions get the best of him as he walked off the field for the last time in a Gobbler uniform.
Love and the Gobblers watched their undefeated season slip away after Wimberley rallied in the fourth quarter to capture a 44-36 come-from-behind win Friday night in the Class 4A, Division II quarterfinal game at Bastrop Memorial Stadium.
The Texans advanced to the semifinals to play West Orange-Stark.
“It was a great season,” an emotional Love said. “We played our butts off this last game. Unfortunately, we didn’t come out on top but we still played good.”
Love scored two touchdowns on runs of 17 and 43 yards while finishing with 148 yards rushing on 15 carries.
“It was a great season for me,” Love said. “I didn’t think I’d make it this far, but God wanted me to and I thank him for it. I want to thank my team – I love my team. I just wanted to help them win – I put it all out there.”
The Gobblers (12-1) led 36-24 with 9 minutes left in the game before the Texans (13-1) began their comeback.
Wimberley running back Thomas Carruthers scored his third touchdown on an 8-yard run to pull the Texans within five with 8 minutes left. After the Texans’ defense forced a Cuero punt, wide receiver Gavin Martinez put Wimberley back on top 37-36 with a 40-yard touchdown reception from quarterback JoJo Weeks.
On the next Gobblers possession, Trenton Dingman sealed the game for the Texans with a 36-yard interception return for a touchdown after picking off Cuero quarterback Drew Riemenschneider.
“We had too many mistakes that we didn’t need to have,” Riemenschneider said. “We had the drive and fought to the end. But we just didn’t come out on top.”
Riemenschneider finished with 292 passing yards and two touchdowns while rushing for a touchdown in his final game at Cuero.
“The motivation I had this year was the guys on my team,” Riemenschneider said. “I want those guys coming back to go get the job done that we didn’t get done this year.”
The Gobblers will graduate 21 seniors in the offseason, but Cuero coach Travis Reeve is confident the returning players will continue the task of Cuero working to achieve its ultimate goal of winning a state championship.
“We have a lot of kids coming back,” Reeve said. “We’re going to go back and work hard to get back to this point, so that we can achieve our ultimate goal. We’ll come back and pour everything we have into it again next year.”
One the players returning is wide receiver Jordan Whittington.
Whittington, who entered Friday’s game with 65 receptions for 1,318 yards and 18 touchdowns, added to it with eight receptions for 148 yards.
“These guys were the best group of guys I’ve been around,” Whittington said of the seniors. “Now, I’m just going to work, but mostly mentally because we have to work on being strong mentally”
The Gobblers were playing short-handed without running back Keiran Grant, left tackle Zach Banda and linebacker John Rodriguez, who left the game in the first quarter.
“I’m extremely proud of these guys,” Reeve said. “They battled for four quarters and played extremely hard while battling injuries. We just didn’t make quit enough plays, but a great effort by our football team.”
Whittington hopes the team will learn from Friday’s loss and use it as motivation for next season.
“We can’t let things slip away,” Whittington said. “You play better teams as the playoffs go on – we learned our lesson.”
When thinking about next year’s team, Love was pleased with the direction the Gobblers are headed.
“These guys are going to state next year and they’re going to beat Wimberley,” Love said. “We should’ve beat Wimberley because we’re a great team, but these guys will be back to do it – they’re a great team.”