by Jonathan Rodriguez
The San Marcos Rattlers received their first loss on the season in a shootout with the Alamo Heights Mules this past Friday. In a game that saw the scoreboard light up like the fourth of July and 116 points between both teams, the Rattlers found their first road block in search of playoff hopes. The 63-53 loss was a critical district game that has them sitting in fourth place but adversity can only strengthen this offensive juggernaut of a team.
Quarterback David Hamilton once again led the charge and churned out a performance that for the majority of the game responded to the Alamo Heights Mules’ offense. Hamilton finished the night with 223 yards through the air while gaining 92 yards on the ground with two passing and two rushing touchdowns.
Running back Cavion Garner had himself a night as well gaining 211 rushing yards and two touchdowns. While the dynamic duo of the Rattlers’ offense was intact, Hamilton did an excellent job of spreading the ball. Receivers Cross Cuevas, Kaleb Johnson, and Jordan Tapia all got in on the action with Cuevas and Johnson hauling in five receptions a piece and Johnson snagging three.
As well as the offense played, the defense had some mishaps which allowed the Mules to respond instantly almost every drive. This game came down to the team with more discipline and ability to fulfill assignments. When comparing the two teams the stats are similar. San Marcos had 79 total plays, 523 total yards, 32 first downs and no turnovers. The Alamo Heights Mules had only 65 total plays, 594 total yards, 30 first downs and one turnover.
On paper, the Rattlers should have won the game but unnecessary penalties stemming from lack of mental focus and extracurricular activity post play ended up being the decisive measure. Offside calls, false starts calls, and unsportsmanlike conduct plays began to coincide with the points scored. A total of 13 penalties resulting in 94 yards were called against the Rattlers.
This team has the potential to be a contender but it has to be sharp on both sides of the ball. These offensive shootouts the Rattlers tend to get into can bring wins, but the teams that play all four quarters on both sides of the ball that remain disciplined eventually separate themselves. It is those teams that wind up playing well into December and inch their way closer to State Titles.
This team has shown flashes of brilliance and potential, but any loss from here on out will greatly jeopardize this team’s chances and a playoff run. The Rattlers should look to rebound against the (1-5) Floresville Tigers at home. Going into the game the defense should look to make a statement and prove that this team should be on everyone’s radar. Regardless, whether it’s a blowout or a shootout, it will be an enjoyable for any rattler to watch.
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