Football - San Marcos High School

The Rattler Playoff Drought Ends

todayNovember 12, 2021 24 2

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By Jordan Young
Sports Reporter

SAN MARCOS, TX — After a commanding victory against Akins High School to close the curtains on the regular season and subsequently claim the last playoff spot. The San Marcos Rattler football team led by two-time winning state championship head coach John Walsh ended their four-year playoff drought, allowing the Rattlers to compete for a state championship.

The Rattler’s last playoff appearance was in 2017 against Round Rock Westwood. San Marcos won 64-50 before falling to Houston Westfield in the second round. The Rattlers completed their 2021 regular season with an overall record of 5-5 (.500) and 4-3 in District 26-6A.

Throughout the regular season, the Rattler’s offense was anchored by running back Jaidyn Brown and quarterback Isaiah DeLeon; contributing around 40 percent of the touchdowns scored during the regular season; Jaidyn Brown alone accounted for 30 percent. The dynamic duo also had a yard total of 2,410 on the year, with Jaidyn Brown leading the pack with 1,480 and Isaiah DeLeon with 930. The star players accounted for 58 percent of the total yards on the season.

Headed into the playoffs, the Rattlers will face a Vandegrift team (ranked 24 in 6A) with no shortage of playoff experience.

In five years, the Rattlers have two playoff appearances. The Vipers had more playoff appearances after their 2020 run alone; the Vipers went four rounds deep in the playoffs before losing to Hays, 38-10. The Rattlers defeated Hays when they played each other this season.

To combat this, Coach Walsh and his staff have been “painting the picture” of the playoffs all season long.

“[I’ve been] telling them stories, you know, they know that our staff has been in the playoffs,” Walsh said. “We talk about painting that picture all season long. Well, I gotta paint a good playoff picture and I started tonight by letting them know.”

The championship head coach and his staff are no strangers to facing tough opponents. During the season, the Rattlers have played Lake Travis and Westlake (who have won multiple state championships in recent years). Coach Walsh knows that Vandegrift is a talented football team as well.

“They’re a great football team. I have watched and they’re gonna be tough out,” Walsh said. “But they can get out and I’ve played in a lot of playoff games.”

Vandegrift’s defense has played well, holding six of their opponents to single digits scores. The San Marcos football team will need its young stars to play a clean game against Vandegrift.

The Rattlers will have to lean on its lethal run game anchored by quarterback Isaiah DeLeon; The junior quarterback spoke about what the team is doing to prepare for Friday’s matchup.

“It’s been a lot more — not cutthroat, but just more attention to detail,” DeLeon said. “Trying to just get everything to perfection and as good as possible.”

The renewed faith in the football team brought by coach Walsh is an achievement in itself. No matter the game’s outcome, the Rattlers can look back at the season with pride with ending a four-year drought.

San Marcos will face the Vandegrift Vipers on Friday, Nov. 12, at Ed. W. Monroe Memorial Stadium in Austin. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m., and you can listen live on KTSW 89.9, where Kyle Owen and Gage Sutton will be on the call. If you can’t catch the game over the airways, you can always keep up on Twitter from KTSW Sports’ Twitter account, @KTSWSports.

Featured Image by Kyle Owen. 

Written by: lmm289

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