The Rattlers couldn’t benefit from the return of senior running back (and birthday boy) Jamon Johnson to pick up their first win of the season. Instead, the Jaguars’ kicker Brody Patty helped lead an early exposing of the San Marcos’ special teams and set up a 48-28 loss for the Rattlers.
The start wasn’t pretty for the Rattlers. The team, trying to shake the bad start they had last week against Hays, was feeling good. They had all their pieces returned to them on offense and were going up against a Johnson team whose star quarterback transferred from the school. However, right out of the gate Johnson High School was out to prove a point. If you aren’t 100% prepared on all fronts, then it’ll be hard to beat your opponents. The unit that wasn’t prepared for Johnson’s early attack: the receiving unit on special teams for Head Coach Mark Soto.
Jags’ Head Coach Ron Rittimann employed the talents of Patty to throw the Rattlers through a loop. His kicker, who just nailed a career-high 52 yard field goal last week, elected to place the kick in the field of play and expose San Marcos. This resulted in two kickoff recoveries in the first three drives for Johnson. Though this plan doesn’t work if the Jags fail to capitalize. Unfortunately for the Rattlers’ defense, Jags running back Justin Rodriguez kept trucking the purple crew en route to scoring two touchdowns in the 1st quarter alone. San Marcos had to respond and had their chances.
However, that’s not the theme of tonight’s party is it? The Rattlers ended up losing two drives in the 1st quarter after quarterback Alex Garcia fumbled inside his own red zone, leading to a field goal by Patty to put the Jaguars up 31-0 by the end of the 1st quarter. A first quarter that proved to be the difference in the game.
In the 1st quarter alone, San Marcos lost two kickoffs from Patty while committing two turnovers off the Garcia fumble and the goalline interception thrown by Cameron Vidrine on the Rattlers’ first look in the red zone. Plus, Johnson brought a significant amount of pressure that constantly had the Rattlers’ back field players running for their lives. So, there were a few takeaways to look at with a beam of optimism.
Jamon Johnson’s return means that the Rattlers’ offense is, on paper, more stabilized than without him. Johnson’s explosiveness on the counter run’s and his juke move look sharp as ever. Give Johnson a good sequence of blocking and the results will pay for San Marcos. The defense for Soto continues to show how tough it can play, especially with guys like Christian Alvarez. Also, if you add in the solid play of wide receivers like Takai Magett along with a 2 touchdown night for Mhyson Williams then you’ve got some nice pieces.
The only way that San Marcos will be able to get back on track will be to stop letting their opponents break their backs in the 1st half, which is a major theme through the team’s first two losses this season. If they can turn the switch then their matchup in Laredo next Thursday night at 7:00 against the Longhorns of United High School will let us know that the real Rattlers are here to play.
Featured image by Justin Manor.