Gobblers win 4th state football championship in school history
By Robert Proctor
The Cuero Record
Thirty-one years after Cuero won the their third state championship in school history, the Gobblers are back on top of Texas high school football. Jordan Whittington put together one of the best performances in UIL state finals history with 334 yards rushing and six total touchdown, as Cuero defeated the defending state champion Texarkana-Pleasant Grove Hawks, 40-28. Whittington broke Eric Dickerson’s 4A state championship game rushing record and Jonathan Gray’s record for all state title games outside of six-man.
With PG making their way down the field in the final minutes, senior Deandre Lang sealed the Cuero win with an interception, his fifth of the year.
“Before the play, I knew I was gonna make a bigger play, because I had messed up a few,” Lang said. “I had to redeem myself.”
On the offensive side, Whittington was unstoppable all game behind his talented offensive line, including two all-state players, Caden Jander (1st team all-state) and Brandon Nemec (2nd team all-state).
“Every game I try my hardest to do my best,” Whittington said. “It happened to be this one. I have to thank God and my team for it. It’s the first game I ever felt the feeling of leaving it all on the field.”
Even in the wake of defeat, PG coach Josh Gibson had nothing but respect and kind words for Cuero’s entire team, noting the brilliance of Whittington.
“It hurts right now for me, but I’m a Cuero Gobbler fan, and I’m a big coach [Travis] Reeve fan,” Gibson stated. “I knew his dad [Mark Reeve], when he coached at Plano West. I know he’s a class act and great guy. For your community, this is extremely special.”
“I have not played or coached against a guy who’s as dynamic as #3, Jordan Whittington,” Gibson added. “What a special day for him. It wasn’t all just him. They were knocking holes open for him. He’s so talented and magical that he makes big plays like those ones at the end of the half. For the rest of his career, I’m gonna be a big Jordan Whittington fan and Cuero Gobbler fan.”
After allowing 216 rushing yards in the first half, coach Zach Linscomb’s defensive unit held the Hawks to 88 total yards in the second half and only 27 on the ground.
“That’s a football team right there” Gibson said. “They have a superstar, but they went out there and did that together. He might be one of the biggest play-makers seen there this weekend. Credit to him but also credit to the rest of those guys.”
Senior Keiran Grant was in awe of his team’s performance on the biggest stage and is looking forward to the future of Gobbler football.
“It’s awesome to do this for our community and school and especially our coaches,” Grant said. “We played our hearts for them, and we did our very best to win this game. We’re gonna continue to work and encourage the underclassmen.”
After Cuero came up short in their last three state finals appearances (1993, 1998, 2004), the Gobblers are state champions.
“The drought is over,” Cuero coach Travis Reeve said. “We have a state championship coming back to Cuero. I couldn’t be happier for our community and program. God’s been faithful. We give him the honor and the glory.”