This is not the same defending state champion team that earned the Class 4A Division II title a year ago, but nevertheless, the Cuero Gobblers have had winning tradition on their side for years.

They reportedly lost 19 players to graduation last year and it showed as the Wharton Tigers defeated them by a 33-8 score, Friday, Sept. 27.

WHS scored 13 second quarter points to help it take a 13-8 halftime lead and never looked back.

The victory enables the Tigers to move to 2-3 on the year. They will have a bye next week. Cuero fell to 1-3.

The game enabled the Tigers to showcase on air assault on the Gobblers to a tune of 366 yards.

Quarterback Donovan Krushall had 18 pass completions on 23 attempts.

He had two interceptions.

Leading in receiving were Joerell Davis (11 catches, 197 yards) and James Jones (two catches, 116 yards).

The Tigers’ Sterling Harris (1-24 yards), Jerome Sanford (1-12 yards), Royal Matthews (2-11 yards), Eric Johnson (1-6 yards) also got in the receiving act.

Wharton rushed for 55 yards on 23 carries. Leading rusher was Keijon Waddell with 51 yards off 15 carries.

Scoring by quarters

No one scored in the opening quarter, but in the second is when the scoreboard lit up.

Waddell had a 7-yard rush. Chris Martinez’s extra point kick was good to give WHS a 7-0 lead.

Cuero’s Jackson Hardwick scored from 3 yards, followed by a two-point conversion by Cavan Smith from JD Notaro to give the home team a five-point deficit.

Before halftime with 3:04 left to play, Joerell Davis caught a 63-yard pass from Donovan Krushall, but the kick was blocked.

In the third quarter, Davis had an 80-yard punt kickoff return. The two-point conversion failed at the 3:58 mark.

In the fourth quarter, Jones caught a 32-yard pass from Krushall with 11:18 left to play.

A few minutes later, Jones caught an 84-yard pass from Krushall.

Martinez’s two PATS were good.

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