By Jude McClaren
Assistant Sports Director
The San Marcos High School Rattler football team fell to the Judson Rockets Friday night in Converse, Texas, 62-14 bringing their record to 0-5 on the season. The Rattlers knew they had a challenge going into the game considering the Rockets were the 10th ranked team in the state of Texas according to Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine.
That challenge mainly came from De’Anthony Lewis who got his first collegiate offer on Thursday night from the USC Trojans. Although Lewis was expected to be a key part of the matchup, he was injured in the first quarter and did not return.
That didn’t stop the Rockets quest for victory though, as Rocket quarterback Mike Chandler II led the Rocket offense to 55 points at halftime accounting for almost all of the points on the board. Some other key players for the Rockets were receivers Davion Wilson and Amarae Bailey who each caught touchdown passes of their own on top of big yardage plays like a 60-yard bomb to Wilson from Chandler in the second quarter.
The Rattlers had their set of big plays as well, though. The Rattlers started off the game with a bang after recovering a fake pooch kick to give the Rattlers the first possession of the game despite kicking off. The Rattlers then proceeded to drive down the field and strike first in the game when quarterback Alex Garcia threw a touchdown pass to Takai Magett. This is Magett’s third straight game with a touchdown.
Arguably, the most exciting play for the Rattlers was the second and final touchdown of the game for the Rattlers. Offensive coordinator Mike Sierra lined up playmaking wide receiver Diego Cruz in the wildcat and sent Garcia on a bubble motion behind Cruz before he faked a handoff to running back Benito Canales and found 80 yards of green turf right in front of him. If you’ve listened to any of KTSW’s radio broadcasts, you know Cruz has wheels, and he used his superior speed to outrun the entire Judson defense with an open lane for a touchdown.
After halftime, there was a running clock for the entirety of the second half with the lone scoring drive engineered by Rocket running backs Isaiah Washington and Trey Brown to push the score to 62-14 for the rest of the game.
While on the field, the Rattlers may have not gotten the results they would’ve liked, as Coach Soto says, “you never lose, you just learn,” and the Rattlers certainly learned a lot about community last night. The Rattlers wore orange wristbands in support of Judson’s cornerback Bryce Wisdom who currently battling cancer and undergoing leukemia treatment. The Rattlers even displayed an orange banner on the opposing stands that read “#BryceStrong” in bright orange.
The most fulfilling part of this learning process for the Rattlers happened at the end of the game. Where both teams came together in the middle of the field to pray for Bryce’s speedy recovery. The most moving part of the post game gathering, was the Rattler safety Kannon Webb led the post-game prayer for both teams joined in arms.
It’s not often you see such dedication from opponents to support each other to this extent, but under head coach Mark Soto, the Rattlers focus on teaching these young men life lessons that will last many years longer than their football careers.
The Rattlers will play Steele at Toyota Rattler Stadium in San Marcos, Texas, next Friday, Oct. 4, at 7:30p.m. You can catch all the action on KTSW 89.9 with pregame coverage starting at 7:15p.m.
Featured image by KTSW Multimedia.