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Photo by Gerald Castillo

Rattlers ready for rivalry game with New Braunfels

San Marcos Football
Thursday, October 24, 2019

The season isn’t over yet.

The Rattlers can’t make the playoffs this year but that doesn’t mean giving up on a mission the team started before the season began. Sometimes it takes the veterans who have been around this program to make sure everyone stays motivated, even through a tough season. 

“We want to go out 3-0 right now. That’s the bottom line and I think the kids can do it,” head coach Mark Soto said. “Coaching this bunch of seniors, they’ve kept the team together. It’s been a rough season in the win column and they’ve kept them together, keep them practicing hard, kept them going to practice, kept them in games. I’ll always appreciate the relationship they’ve built with the younger players and keeping them in line for us.”

San Marcos (0-7, 0-4 district) is coming off of one of its best offensive performances against Shertz Clemens, whose defense is stacked with NCAA Division I talent and was only allowing 9.8 points per game. The Rattlers managed to score 24 points and with injuries to some of their skill position players, they had to make some quick adjustments. This week’s focus will be getting everyone back, healthy and ready for Friday night’s road trip to New Braunfels.

Soto said sophomore starting running back Benito Canales and senior wide receiver Diego Cruz are probable to play this Friday. That allows sophomore running back Savion Johnson to get some carries in the backfield. The sophomore had the longest run of the night for his team in last week’s matchup against Shertz Clemens on a 60-yard touchdown.

New Braunfels (4-3, 1-3) enters this game on a three-game losing streak, including last week’s 35-14 loss to Cibolo Steele. Although the Knights have lost three consecutive games, they are no slouch, as they sit with a 3-1 record at home this year. The team has given up no more than 21 points at home this season, so finding space in the open field is key for the Rattlers. They are also led by one of the more mobile quarterbacks in Peyton Driggers. The junior has 60 carries and likes to scramble in the pocket and make plays when things break down. It will be crucial for the Rattler defense to stop the zone-read the Knights executes so well.

“They run the zone read better than we’ve seen all season long,” Soto said. “Theyre foot-to-foot and they’re gonna wedge that ball and that back is gonna find the cutback or he’s gonna bring it out the front end one way or another. So stopping the zone read is going to be imperative.”

Junior cornerback Quddus Ogunbase said if Driggers scrambles, the defensive backs will need to stay on a man and be ready for anything, especially vertical routes. He believes the Rattlers are ready mentally and physically for the challenge.

“The team always comes prepared,” said Ogunbase. “We work real hard outside of the weight room, too … how to line up to things right. The offense always works hard too.”

After consecutive home games, the Rattlers travel down I-35 to take on New Braunfels inside Unicorn Stadium this Friday at 7:30 p.m. But it’s more than just another game on the schedule.

“This is a rival game for San Marcos,” Soto said. “San Marcos versus New Braunfels is always a big game for our fans. I’m sure we’ll have a great community outing there. It’s fun to go into hostile territory with probably their homecoming and it’s fun to play in those big games.”

San Marcos Record

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