A man making a call at a high school football game.

Rockets Cut the Rattlers’ Heads Off Early

By Reily Chestnut
Sports Director

This Friday Night Fright went down as well as tequila and bleach for Rattlers Nation. Nothing was in the cards for San Marcos High School. On the night of Sep. 28, 2018 they hosted the juggernaut named Judson and paid a heavy price, losing early before the whistle sounded with a 47-7 loss to take in. I can’t imagine how these high school hitters feel, but I can at least tell you why the Rattlers are licking their wounds after this rough one.

The first recipe that turned tonight’s game into a pound cake can be best explained with a saying. Those that don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. What do I mean? Well, the trend of first quarter separation has plagued the Rattlers most of the season. This matchup against Judson didn’t change a darn thing. By the time the first quarter ended, the Rockets had launched to a 20-0 lead. That means the Rattlers have given up over 20 points in the first quarter in three games this season.

Vs. Johnson HS: 31-0 Johnson after the 1st (48-28 L)

Vs. United HS: 28-7 United after the 1st (50-49 W)

Vs. Judson: 20-0 Judson after the 1st (47-7 L)

The tough part about this loss was that the Rattlers not only had to deal with big plays from the Rockets, they ended up losing more than just the football game. The Rattlers were dominated not only by Judson’s D1 level talent but also by their attitude. Imagine going up against the No. 5 ranked 6A football team in the state– and they have a mean streak. These Rockets are a determined bunch of players who will beat you down and let you know how bad it should feel. Whether Rockets’ QB Mike Chandler II is tossing a screen pass to Amarea Bailey for a 64 yard opening strike or he is letting loose for a short TD run of his own, Chandler set the tone for a Rocket offense that went off for over 500 yards. But even that doesn’t compare to a truly tough loss that can’t measured by X’s and O’s.

The Rattlers had to watch one of their own go down. Moses Alva, a sophomore outside linebacker was knocked out of the game and taken off the field on a stretcher in the first half. It’s tragic when you look back at the incident as the symbol of an evening where the Rattlers were knocked out by a the beast of the district out of Converse. One can only wish that Alva will be okay and his teammates will rally around him to pull off a much-needed turnaround. Regardless, moments like those are bigger than any Friday Night showdown. Finding a way to stick by your brothers in battle so that the light can shine at the end of the “tunnel”. So while tonight the Rattlers fell deeper into the district pit, Rattlers fans were given at least a few shining moments.

Kannon Webb blocked a field goal from Judson kicker Rafael Moembe and ended up one offsetting penalty away from keeping his first career interception. Senior wide receiver Mhyson Williams possibly made the best catch of the season when he reeled in a 30+ yard bomb from backup QB Cameron Vidrine with just one hand. It was a treat in an otherwise bitter evening for those supporting Head coach Mark Soto’s squad back in Rattlers Toyota Stadium. One that the Rattlers will have to sit in and find motivation from now that they’ve hit stretch time.

The loss heading into a bye week will give Soto plenty of time to rally the troops and try to inject them with the same confidence they had heading this season. Sure, an 0-2 start underneath a 1-4 start isn’t ideal. But time is just too crucial for SMHS. The team must find a way to use it well before gearing up for Cibolo Steele in two weeks.

Featured image by Reily Chestnut.

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