There’s always hope for an upset in football, so the San Marcos Rattlers will take that chance with them when they venture to Converse Judson Friday night.
The Rattlers are 3-4 overall and 0-2 in District 25-5A. Judson is 5-2 and 1-1.
The New Braunfels loss, alone, dimmed the Rattlers’ playoff hopes, unless they can spring an upset in their final three games. Judson on Friday night is the first opportunity to make that happen. The other chance will come in the final game of the season against New Braunfels Canyon. Next week, the Rattlers face a must-win of a different sort against Wagner, 0-2 and 0-7 following a 45-7 loss to New Braunfels Canyon last week.
In the box score, New Braunfels beat the Rattlers by small amounts, though not enough to suggest a 24-7 win. They beat the Rattlers in total yards, 375-320 according to the San Antonio-Express News. New Braunfels had only a 17-15 edge in first downs.
But the Rattlers made three turnovers, compared with one by New Braunfels, and the Unicorns went ahead early on a big play, Parker Bateman’s 68-yard touchdown pass to Austin Orgeron in the first quarter. The Unicorns added two short rushing touchdowns in the second quarter for a 21-0 lead.
Playing from behind, the Rattlers had a rough night throwing the ball, completing only 18 of 35 passes with two interceptions, and gaining only 198 yards in the exchange. Tucker Smith was back for this game, completing 16 of 27 passes for 154 yards and the only Rattler touchdown, a four-yard pass to David Hamilton.
The only two Rockets losses have come against No. 4 Steele (51-34) and No. 8 Smithson Valley. In each Rockets loss, the opponent has shut down some aspect of their offense. Smithson Valley held Judson’s passing attack to 20-of-46 and 208 yards, while Steele held the Judson running attack to 168 yards, though the Rockets threw for 441.
Judson hasn’t had a losing season since 1976, and San Marcos hasn’t had a winning season since 2006. Both of those streaks would be extended with a Judson win. With a Rattlers win, they’re thick in the playoff hunt.