By Brenden Snow
The San Marcos Rattlers put together a very nice 2016 campaign despite losing in the first round of playoffs at home last Friday to Stony Point. The Rattlers finished the regular season 6-4 and went 4-1 in their first year in a new new district, 6A Region II District 14.
The Rattlers got out to a fairly slow start winning just 1 of their first 4 games and starting 1-3. Luckily that is what non district games are for, to work out any kinks or bugs the team may be experiencing in time for district play. That is just what did the Rattlers did as they then beat McCollum in their last non district game before winning four straight district games. That put San Marcos in prime position to win their district in a district championship game against heavyweight favorite Austin Bowie. While the Bowie game did not go quite as hoped for the Rattlers nonetheless they had secured a playoff spot.
The playoff game in San Marcos against Stony Point was a wild one as no team could gain separation from the other. The game started out a close but soon Stony Point was able to gain a three score lead in the 4th. But those Rattlers all season long never gave up and they clawed their way back to a one score game under a minute left. The contest came down to an onside kick that was recovered by Stony Point and that would be all they needed to seal it.
After you have games like that one and the comeback wins against Austin Anderson and Del Valle it says a lot about you team and Coach Soto had this to say
The Rattlers had a lot of different guys step up for them this year on both sides of the ball. On offense the main catalyst was sophomore running back Jamon Johnson. Johnson ran for 1325 yards and 20 total touchdowns (18 rushing). Johnson’s home run ability was threat to defenses every time he touched the ball. His tremendous ability to make man miss and hit the second level in another gear helped him have one of the best season in the district. Something very pleasant to look forward to for head coach Mark Soto.
Johnson was not alone as senior quarterback Tyler Moreno anchored the offense. In his first year as the full time starter Moreno tallied, 1563 passing yards and 9 touchdowns through the air to go along with 443 rushing yards and 8 touchdowns on the ground. Moreno’s ability to throw and run the ball made him a great dual threat option on season long and made it tough for defenses.
The Rattlers would not have made it as far as they did if it wasn’t for their defense. The defense stepped up big all season long and took the first half of district by storm. Those guys often came up with stops when it was need much like in the Del Valle game when the shut them out in the second half or in the Manor game holding Manor scoreless in the 4th quarter to preserve the win.
The main players on that side of the ball were junior defensive back Prudy Calderon and senior linebacker Colby Vidrine. Calderon put together 92 tackles and 4 interceptions and seemed to be everywhere in the secondary for the Rattlers. Vidrine was one of the veteran leaders on the defense and played like it. Recording 108 tackles, 2 sacks and forced and recovered a fumble on the year.
After another strong season from the Rattlers the younger guys have some big shoes to fill. The fans expect, coaches and players are held to a higher accountability and Soto spoke on that.
A lot of talented seniors will be leaving the team to graduate in the spring and they will be missed, but this Rattler team is full of young guys ready to get their shot and some coaches that can get them ready.
Featured Image by Shalnora Worlds