SAN MARCOS- In a battle of undefeated teams, Cuero (12-0) defeated former 4-time state champion Sealy (11-1) 53-36 in an offensive shootout Friday night to move onto the quarterfinal round of the 3A Division I playoffs where they will meet 11-1 Ingleside.
The Tigers scored as early as is possible in a game, with Dexter Downy making his way down the bottled up field for a 95-yard touchdown on the game's opening kickoff.
Early Gobbler mistakes including a dropped pass in the end zone and a fumble by standout quarterback Tyler Arndt that was returned by 17 yards for a touchdown by AJ Cryan put Cuero in a 14-0 hole that they knew they should not have been in.
By halftime, Cuero had cut the lead to 28-27, but still trailed because of a blocked Arndt extra point.
"At the half, as bad as we had played, we were just one point behind," coach Mark Reeve said. "We felt that if we just came out and played our best twenty-four minutes we'd be alright."
Reeve's reassurance worked, as Cuero outscored Sealy 26-8 in the second half, while only allowing two first downs, one of which came off of a penalty. Arndt and sophomore star Trent Jackson each accounted for two touchdowns in the second half; Arndt's coming through the air and Jackson's coming on the ground. Arndt hooked up with Andrew Thibodeaux and Adam Hengst for his second half passing touchdowns.
Jackson and Arndt both racked up gaudy stats in the win.
Jackson ran for 283 yards and four touchdowns, while going over the 2,000 yard mark for the year while Arndt amassed 304 yards on 14 completions and three touchdowns. Arndt also earned a rushing touchdown.
Leading the Tigers on the night was New Mexico commit Bradley Miller. Miller hauled in six passes for 160 yards, the longest of which was 67 yards late in the contest which brought the game to a ten point margin at one point.