A string of disappointing outcomes for the San Marcos High School football team continued last Friday night, bearing down on this team with unusual ferocity.
The Rattlers went to Converse Judson and lost, 72-18. How often does anyone score 70 points? Once in an historic while.
An excellent team in a terrible mood, Judson shot to a 49-0 lead before the Rattlers scored on a 24-yard pass to David Hamilton from Zach Sterling with 5:29 left in the second quarter. It was still to be a very long night for the Rattlers.
The Rattlers fell to 0-3 in District 25-5A and 3-5 overall. Their playoff hopes now rest on the slimmest of possibilities. They must win their final two games of the season, which would be next Friday at Bobcat Stadium against Wagner and Nov. 8 at New Braunfels Canyon. They also would need Canyon to lose next Friday at Judson.
If all that takes place, then the Rattlers and Canyon both would finish 2-3 in the district, tied for fourth place, and the Rattlers would hold the tiebreaker for beating Canyon.
So, that’s the playoff scenario, and it’s actually quite tantalizing, despite coming off losses like 72-18 at Judson, 55-7 at Smithson Valley and 51-7 against Steele. Next Friday’s game at home against Wagner is, generically, the easiest game in the league to win, as the Thunderbirds are 0-3 in the district and 0-6 overall. The loser of that game will be the last-place team, the wooden spoon. Meanwhile, Canyon goes to Judson to face the machine that just rolled over San Marcos.
Should Canyon lose that game while the Rattlers prevail against Wagner, then the Rattlers at Canyon on Nov. 8 is all or nothing for a playoff berth. That’s the beauty of the playoff system. This team still has a lot to play for.
Last Friday, Judson lost to Smithson Valley in the presumptive all or nothing game for the district championship. The Rockets came back from that disappointment to face a beleaguered San Marcos squad, and the outcome was never in doubt.
The Rattlers needed to play perfect football for a chance in this one, and they made three turnovers while Judson made none. Judson scored whenever it got the ball, whether that meant driving down the field or cashing in short fields off turnovers, ringing up touchdown after touchdown.
Judson had few wasted plays in this game. The Rockets averaged 7.5 yards per run (36 carries for 270 yards) and 12.9 yards per passing attempt, throwing incomplete only once in 15 tries and gaining 194 yards.
Judson, ranked No. 22 in Class 5A by Texas Football, is 2-1 in the district and 6-2 overall. Both of Judson’s losses have come against top ten teams — No. 4 Steele and No. 8 Smithson Valley.
The Rattlers gained 267 yards, much of it after the outcome was decided. They scored third-quarter touchdowns on a 23-yard run by Tucker Smith and a seven-yard pass to Michael Hernandez from Sterling. The second of those trimmed Judson’s lead to 63-18. On all three San Marcos touchdowns, the point-after kick failed.
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