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    JD Notaro (4) rushes past the Yoakum defense during last year’s meeting in Cuero.

111th meeting of rivals

By Robert Proctor

The Cuero Record

One of the oldest Texas high school football rivalries will mark their 111th meeting this Friday night in Yoakum, as the Bulldogs host the Cuero Gobblers. With so many uncertainties, especially in 2020 with COVID-19, high school football remains a beacon of opportunity, and there aren’t many games in the state of Texas as meaningful as this nearly annual meeting of DeWitt County foes.

Dating back to 1911, the first season of Cuero High School football, the Gobblers and Bulldogs have only not played a handful of seasons in over a century. Though Yoakum won their initial meeting, Cuero has laid claim to this south Texas rivalry over the years with 70 wins. Yoakum, though, have won the last two years after Cuero won three straight from 2015-2017.

In different districts and classifications since 2016, Cuero and Yoakum make sure to keep the rivalry alive during the non-district portion of the season.

The 2019 season was lackluster for both the Gobblers and Bulldogs. While Cuero missed the playoffs for the first time since 2011, Yoakum’s seasons ended in bi-district with only four wins.

This season, Yoakum were ranked 20th by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football (DCTF) in their Class 3A-Division I pre-season rankings. Of all the teams ranked by DCTF for Class 3A, Division I and II, no team has more returning starters on offense and defense than the Bulldogs who have 18 total, including 10 of 11 on offense.

Coach Bo Robinson’s Bulldogs are projected to finish third in District 12 behind Hallettsville and Columbus. Quarterback Blake Gordon will lead the Yoakum offense with running backs DeAndre Enoch, Jayden Jones and Dorien Hights. On the offensive line, Yoakum returns five veterans, including Conner Schomburg, Kholson Jacobs, Tadeo Rojas, Johnathon Camarillo and Miguel Buenrosto.

Yoakum’s defensive line will be anchored by Donavon Smith, Trace Moore, Rojas, Hights and Austin Rocha.

The Bulldogs opened the 2020 season with a win over Palacios, 41-17.

Four returners for Cuero featured in last year’s meeting with Yoakum, including Jackson Hardwick, JD Notaro, Cavan Smith and Exavier Durham. Hardwick was a force for Cuero in the backfield, finishing with 74 yards and one touchdown on 10 carries. Notaro and Smith added 148 yards and another touchdown on the ground. Notaro also found Durham for a 22-yard touchdown pass.

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