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

October 9th, 2009
Rattlers need Friday night win

STAFF REPORT

It’s not over for the San Marcos Rattlers, but you can see it from here.

The Rattlers almost have to win Friday night at Bobcat Stadium (7:30 p.m.) against Kerrville Tivy to have a good shot at the high school football playoffs. If the Rattlers lose Friday, they would certainly have to win their last four games, and even then they might not sneak in.

Four District 27-4A teams — Tivy, Alamo Heights, Cibolo Steele and New Braunfels Canyon — are tied for playoff spots one through four at 2-0 in the league. The other four teams — the Rattlers, Boerne Champion, Schertz Clemens and Seguin — are 0-2 and facing very long journeys to the playoffs.

The Rattlers (1-3 overall) are coming off a 35-14 loss at Canyon, while Tivy won last Friday, 31-14, at Seguin.

The first challenge for the Rattlers is to keep their games competitive up to halftime, which means they need to avoid another second quarter meltdown. In their two district games this season, the Rattlers have been outscored, 36-0, in the second quarter. That’s exactly half the points they’ve allowed in district games and it almost matches their combined margin of defeat, 38, in those two games.

By just about every other measure, the Rattlers have stayed at least even in their losses to Canyon and Steele. The Rattlers actually outgained those two teams, a combined 705 yards to 699. And they have more first downs, 36 to 27, than the opposition.

But when the opponent breaks a play open against the Rattlers, it goes to the house. In those two games, the San Marcos defense has allowed touchdowns of 51, 77, 45 and 34 yards. Three of those came in second quarters. The offense also threw an interception into the end zone, which Canyon’s Tyler Figol took all the way back.

As always, the Rattlers will try to establish the run with Andre Ray and Scooter Walker, while Kristian Cogdill came through against Canyon for 139 rushing yards. Between them, Ray, Walker and Cogdill have combined for 636 rushing yards in four games. Ray leads the way at 264 yards.

Often playing behind, the Rattlers throw the ball more than custom would predict, and the pass hasn’t emerged as more than an occurrent threat. Out of 253 snaps this year, the Rattlers have rushed 183 times and passed 70 times, which means they pass 27.7 percent of the time.

In two district games, Rattlers quarterback Ryan Schweers has completed 17 of 42 passes (40.5 percent) for 234 yards (5.6 yards per attempt), a touchdown and two interceptions. Before district, he was 16 for 28 (57.1 percent) for 140 yards (5.0 yards per attempt) for three touchdowns and one interception. In fairness to Schweers, San Marcos receivers have been spotted dropping a few.

The Antlers aren’t anything like their offensive machine from last year. Quincy Kibbett is graduated after scoring four second-half touchdowns last year against the Rattlers in Tivy’s 42-28 win in Kerrville. Also gone are the likes of quarterback Colton Palmer and running back Logan Vick.

But they do have quarterback John Manziel, and that has been enough to handle Champion and Seguin. In those two games, Manziel has 697 total yards, 304 on the ground and 393 in the air. In three games this year, Manziel has totaled 989 yards.

The first two district games for Tivy have been similar. The Antlers outgained Champion, 382-315, then outgained Seguin, 398-296.

In another Hays County game Friday night, Wimberley will try to keep its good start going in District 8-3A with a home contest against Canyon Lake.

Wimberley, 3-3 overall, is the only 2-0 team in the district. Canyon Lake (3-2, 1-0) could move ahead of the Cowboys with a win Friday night. The only other unbeaten team within the district, Llano (2-2, 1-0), plays at home Friday night against Burnet (3-2, 1-1). Liberty Hill (2-3, 1-1) plays at home Friday against Ingram Moore (0-5, 0-2), which has lost 36 straight games.

In two district games, Wimberley running back Dennis Smith has carried for 271 yards and seven touchdowns in 27 attempts. The Cowboys have allowed a combined 114 rushing yards in their two district games.

Dripping Springs (2-4, 0-2 District 25-4A) will try to snap a four-game losing streak Friday night at Hutto (3-3, 0-2). The loser will sit alone in the district basement, possibly falling two games out of playoff position with four games remaining.

The Tigers have taken each of their district losses by a touchdown, but they were very different games. In a 14-7 loss to Marble Falls, the Tigers managed only 229 offensive yards and allowed 375 yards. In a 48-42 loss to Killeen, the Tigers gained 495 yards, but gave up 598 yards.

San Marcos Baptist Academy lost for the first time last weekend, 34-31 at home against Shiner St. Paul, falling to 4-1. The Bears will start the Division II District 3 season in TAPPS Friday night, traveling to San Antonio Christian.

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