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

October 8th, 2010
Rattlers seek win in first game that matters


San Marcos Academy quarterback Jonathan Powell carries in a recent game. Photo by Ronald Oswalt.


The bad news for the San Marcos Rattlers is that they are 0-5. The good news is that it doesn’t really matter right now.

The District 25-5A season begins Friday night with the Rattlers going to New Braunfels. It’s the first game of the season that truly counts.

Football fans outside of Texas have been known to wonder how high school football teams in the Lone Star state can finish the regular season 2-8 and keep playing. The Rattlers could be an example. The top four teams in each district go, regardless of overall record. And District 25-5A is a six-team district, meaning two wins in the district is likely to be good enough for fourth place.

But the Rattlers haven’t been very encouraging. Their 41-14 loss to Anderson last Friday at Bobcat Stadium marked the fourth time in five games that they allowed 40 or more points (they allowed slightly fewer in a 34-17 loss at Hays).

It’s safe to say that New Braunfels, despite a 2-3 record, is slighty more competitive. The Unicorns have lost their last three games, but to three powerful programs — San Antonio Madison, San Antonio MacArthur and Westlake, which are a combined 11-5 because Westlake’s surprising 2-3 start. The Chaparrals beat New Braunfels, 39-34, last week in Westlake Hills.

The Rattlers have allowed 40 points per game, 201 in total, and the offense is as responsible as the defense and special teams. Surprisingly enough, the defense is allowing 358.8 yards per game, as it would seem that a team giving up five or six touchdowns per game would allow more yardage than that.

But the offense is producing only 257.6 yards per game while throwing five interceptions. The offense and kick return teams have combined for nine fumbles. Thus, the Rattlers give the ball away just about three times per game.

Any team that gives the ball away that much is bound to lose. But if the Rattlers can hang onto the ball Friday, their chances aren’t bad. New Braunfels is averaging only 306.2 offensive yards per game.

At Bob Shelton Stadium Friday night, Hays will try to climb into the District 27-4A title chase against Schertz Clemens. The Rebels are 3-3 overall and 1-1 in the district after last week’s 35-17 loss at Alamo Heights, which is the only 2-0 team in the league.

Clemens (3-2, 1-0) beat Lockhart, 28-19, to begin district play last week. The Buffaloes have won two in a row after losses of 34-0 to New Braunfels and 41-24 to Boerne Champion.

The numbers give Hays the edge offensively, but neither of these teams is setting the stat book on fire. The Rebels are 294.5 yards per game, compared with 250.6 for Clemens.

Lehman faces a challenge to its playoff hopes when it goes to Smithson Valley Friday night. The Lobos (3-3, 0-2) lost last week at home against New Braunfels Canyon, 42-7. Smithson Valley (4-1, 1-0) beat Canyon, 35-14, two weeks ago.

Wimberley moved up to third in the statewide Associated Press Class 3A poll with its dramatic 31-30 win two weeks ago against Sealy. But the Texans also lost star running back Dennis Smith, a Texas A&M pledge who fractured a toe in his right foot during the game. Smith will miss the remainder of the regular season after rushing for 732 yards and scoring 18 touchdowns during the Texans’ 5-0 start. However, the Texans shouldn’t have any trouble, with or without Smith, when Bandera visits Friday night. Bandera is 0-5.

Dripping Springs is in the District 25-4A playoff race after a 32-30 win last week at Vandegrift, a first year varsity. The Tigers (3-3, 1-1) play at home Friday night against Vista Ridge (5-1, 1-1), one of the league’s big three, along with Lake Travis and Cedar Park.

In an unusual twist, San Marcos Academy (SMA) will play its fifth straight home game Friday night, when Texas Military Institute (TMI) visits for the TAPPS DII-3A opener for both teams. The Bears are 3-2 after a 48-15 loss to Louise last week. TMI is 1-4. It’s homecoming for the Bears.

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