CUERO - Senior Jake Rangnow was a freshman the last time Cuero played Sealy, but he's aware of the history.
"I've heard that it's been a while since we've beaten them in the playoffs," Rangnow said. "I know we beat them the last few times in the regular season, but before that they had us pretty good."
Sealy ended Cuero's playoff run for three consecutive seasons beginning with a painful 17-14 exit in the 1995 semifinals.
The Tigers continued their mastery by winning four of five when the teams became foes during the regular season before the Gobblers reeled off three straight wins after Mark Reeve took over as head coach in 2003.
"I know it's been a while since we played them," Reeve said. "Most of these guys haven't played them since they were in seventh and eighth grade."
Cuero (9-1) and Sealy (7-4) will renew their rivalry when they meet in a Class 3A, Division I regional playoff game today (Friday) at 7:30 p.m. at El Campo's Ricebird Stadium.
Cuero and Sealy aren't strangers. Jimmie Mitchell was the head coach at Sinton before taking over at Sealy last season and his teams have played Cuero a number of times.
"Defensively they do a lot of the things they did at Sinton," Reeve said. "They do some different things too, but of course he's doing them with a lot better athletes. Offensively, that running back gives him a different dimension."
Sealy running back Dexter Downey rushed 16 times for 236 yards and two touchdowns in the Tigers' 31-10 bi-district win over Needville.
"He's real fast," Reeve said of Downey. "He's not real big, but he's shifty. He hits the hole hard and has good vision. He runs hard and breaks a lot of tackles."
The Gobblers jumped out to a 40-0 lead in their bi-district game against Somerset before coming away with a 47-22 win. "I thought we played well," Reeve said. "I think that's the key to the playoffs, getting up every single week and playing your best ballgame."
Cuero had nine players chip in to rush for 300 yards against Somerset and quarterback Tyler Arndt completed 10 passes to four receivers for 145 yards.
"The past years we've had one or two guys who pretty much carried the offense," said Rangnow, who carried five times for 19 yards and one touchdown in addition to playing linebacker. "This year that's not the case. We've got a lot of options."