Hays coach Bob Shelton notched his 309th career win Friday night when the Rebels beat San Marcos, 34-17, at Bob Shelton Stadium. Photo by Andy Sevilla.
BUDA — One thing lacking in a football team that loses its opener, 42-0, is an identity. So, it wasn’t hard for San Marcos High School coach Steve Van Nest to make changes before the Rattlers tried it again Friday night at Hays.
The new quarterback was a junior, Adrian Narvaiz. Running back Ryan Marin gained no yards in the opener against Marble Falls, but took the ball 86 yards in 12 carries against the Rebels.
The Rattlers were closer Friday night, but they still fell behind, 27-10, at halftime of a 34-17 loss.
Van Nest wouldn’t say exactly how many changes he made in the lineup, except to say that it was several.
“We needed to look at it now to be ready for district,” Van Nest said.
The Hays offense ground out a steady 321 yards, needing only 45 plays to score its five touchdowns. The Rattlers started to make strides in the second quarter, but Hays already seized control of the game by then.
Michael Romero scored the first touchdown for Hays, a nine-yard run, but the Rebels missed the conversion and San Marcos came back with a 29-yard field goal by Willie Williams to make it 6-3. But Hays expanded the lead very quickly with Tony Garza’s two-yard touchdown run in the first quarter and Ty Green’s 26-yard touchdown reception from Caleb Kimbro in the second quarter.
The game was pretty even after that, but, by then, it was 20-3 in the second quarterand the Rattlers never exploded back into the game. San Marcos finished the game with 252 total yards, up from its nominal 150 yards against Marble Falls. But it was Hays’ game all the way.
“For a big part of it, I thought our offense was clicking,” Hays coach Bob Shelton said. “In the second half, when our offense went down, our defense picked up.”
Playing from behind, San Marcos was five for 14 with 34 yards in the passing game. The Rattlers ran for 218 yards in 40 carries. Marin’s feats included touchdown runs of 17 and 15 yards in the second half.
In the end, Van Nest said, the San Marcos players played hard, but the Hays players played better. The Rebels now are 2-1, and they had control of the game they lost, their 41-28 loss to Anderson last week after they held a 28-14 lead.
Kimbro rushed for 71 yards in seven carries, while Torrance Smith added 61 rushing yards for the Rebels. Green and Romero each made big plays catching passes in the San Marcos secondary as Kimbro completed four of five passes for 84 yards.
“I think we’re getting better,” Shelton said. “We have some weapons. We have some guys that can go.”
Hays and San Marcos hadn’t met since 2003, back when both programs were riding high. In contrast to the packed stadiums of those days, the Friday night crowd didn’t crowd Bob Shelton Stadium. Though the Hays side was full, the San Marcos side was about half full.
The win improved Shelton’s career record to 309-183-7.
The Rebels are going to Hutto next Friday night to face the Hippos, who are 3-0 after a 55-42 win against McCallum this week. The Hippos also have beaten Waco University and LBJ.
The Rattlers will line up at Bobcat Stadium next Friday night against Bastrop, which is 2-1 after a 63-7 win against Akins Friday night. Bastrop quarterback Josiah Monroe has 790 yards passing, 229 yards rushing, 11 touchdowns passing and two touchdowns rushing.