San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

October 23rd, 2008
Rattlers to fight for slim playoff chance in Schertz

STAFF REPORT

Two proud high school programs trying to find their ways through difficult times will face each other Friday night, when San Marcos travels to Schertz for a District 27-4A game against Clemens.

Unquestionably, San Marcos is going through the more difficult time as it seeks its first district win of the season. At 2-5 overall and 0-4 in the district, the Rattlers’ playoff chances straddle slim and none, and they will go away completely if they can’t beat Clemens.

The Buffaloes are 5-2 overall and 2-2 in the district as they try building themselves back to local prominence after the effects of a second high school in its community has diluted the talent. The new high school, Steele, has risen quickly to 7-0 overall and 4-0 in the league. Meanwhile, Clemens, which has dropped to below an enrollment of 1,400, is looking for the form that went to the state semifinals as recently as 2006.

San Marcos is dealing with the odd adjustment known to Hays County high schools on the fence between Class 5A to Class 4A. The Rattlers moved down to Class 4A this year, only to learn that Class 5A was easier. The difference is that Class 5A puts the likes of San Marcos and Hays against South Austin high schools where the football culture is not quite so intense, and Class 4A puts them with north suburban San Antonio schools that live for the game.

The Rattlers already have faced the top four teams in their new Class 4A league, absorbing lopsided losses in each turn. Now, they face competition that’s slightly easier, but only slightly.

To make the playoffs, San Marcos would have to win all of its remaining games, New Braunfels Canyon (2-2 in the league) would have to lose all of its remaining games, and Clemens would have to lose every remaining game except for its upcoming contest against Canyon. In that case, the Rattlers beat Clemens in a head-to-head tiebreaker for the league’s fourth and final playoff position.

Leading the Rattlers this year is quarterback Aaron Canady, who has passed for 260 yards and rushed for 387. Running back Scooter Walker has rushed for 320 yards.

Turnovers killed the Rattlers in district losses to Steele (49-17) and Canyon (48-14). In losses to Kerrville Tivy (42-28) and Alamo Heights (42-6), the Rattlers just ran into too much offensive skill from Tivy running back Quincy Kibbett and Heights quarterback Drew Allen.

Clemens is spreading the offense out a bit this year, with quarterback Mark Leal throwing 17 times per game. Leal has completed 68 of 121 passes for 785 yards. But the bread and butter remains running back Charles Ross, who has carried for 818 yards in 101 tries and caught 180 yards worth of passes.

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