The San Marcos High School football team is playing New Braunfels Thursday night in a game the Rattlers have to win if they are to maintain a good shot at going to the playoffs.
By the records, the Unicorns (0-1 District 25-5A, 1-5 overall) and Wagner (0-1 and 0-6) probably are the two teams most likely to be left out of the playoffs. But the Rattlers probably will have to beat these teams to stay ahead of them and take fourth place in the district, which would qualify them for the playoffs.
Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. at Bobcat Stadium.
The Rattlers are 3-3 and 0-1 after a heavy 55-7 loss at Smithson Valley (1-0, 6-0) last Friday. New Braunfels lost, 27-7, to New Braunfels Canyon last week in the Wurst Bowl.
The winner between the Rattlers and New Braunfels will, for the moment, be tied with the loser of Friday night’s big game in the district, which has co-favorite Converse Judson going to co-favorite Smithson Valley. Judson (1-0, 5-1) is ranked tenth in Class 5A by Texas Football, while Smithson Valley is ranked 11th.
In the other District 25-5A game this week, Canyon (1-0, 5-1) goes to Wagner.
New Braunfels doesn’t figure to pose as much of a challenge to the Rattlers as their last two opponents, Smithson Valley and Steele, which beat them by a combined score of 106-14. The Unicorns are averaging 289.8 yards per game offensively.
The only New Braunfels win this year was a 28-3 home decision against San Antonio East Central on Sept. 27. Presumably, the Rattlers can succeed defensively by loading up against the run. The top New Braunfels offensive player is running back Gibreel Evans, who has 747 rushing yards. Quarterback Phillip Shelton has completed only 36 of 77 passes (46.8 percent) for 475 yards. Shelton also is the second leading New Braunfels rusher with 346 yards.
The Rattlers have averages of 192.3 rushing yards and 173.2 passing yards, for an average of 365.5 offensive yards per game. That’s well down from an average of 407.5 yards per game before they faced Steele two weeks ago.
Jonah Fabian leads the Rattlers with 353 rushing yards, followed by 307 rushing yards for Tucker Smith. Smith also leads the Rattlers in passing, completing 75 of 115 (65.2 percent) for 920 yards. The leading receiver is Zach Sterling with 28 catches for 399 yards.
However, Sterling played quarterback last week in Smith’s absence, completing 11 of 20 passes for 65 yards.