Rattlers rally from 21-point deficit to defeat Manor

Photo by Nick Castillo

San Marcos Football

MANOR - It only took four plays for San Marcos to realize it was in for a fight on Friday night.

Manor quarterback Courtney Patridge connected with sophomore receiver Tahj Brooks on a bubble screen and he broke free down the sideline for a 74-yard touchdown.

Frustration started to build as the Rattler offense had back-to-back three-and-outs, while the Mustang offense continued to find holes in San Marcos' defense. Patridge maintained his connection to his receivers throughout the first half, including a play-action touchdown and a fake bubble-screen that went for 89 yards down the sideline.

In a 21-0 hole, the Rattlers found themselves in uncharted territory on the road inside Mustang Stadium. San Marcos got shutout in the first half for the first time all season.

“You know, defensively we didn’t make any adjustments,” head coach Mark Soto said. “It was more attitude. (Manor) had three big plays, we missed on them and that was all the offense they really had. Offensively, we talked about some empty (set). Changed up two or three blocking schemes and it paid off for us.”

Senior cornerback Demarcus Hall returned the second-half kickoff to the Manor 27-yard line and found some life for the Rattlers. But the offensive woes continued as the field goal unit was sent onto the field following a three-and-out. Junior kicker Francisco Menchaca converted his one attempt of the night and got San Marcos on the board, 21-3.

It wasn’t until midway through the third quarter when the Rattlers made a real dent in the Manor lead. Senior quarterback Prudy Calderon broke a run down the sideline for 62 yards. After a quarter of defensive stands, San Marcos found the end zone again with 10 minutes remaining in the game, 21-18.

“It was really relieving (chipping away at the lead),” Calderon said. “So, you do it one time and then you’re like, ‘Wow I can do this again’. So we just trusted our keys, blocks or whatever so it was just a great feeling.”

All momentum swung in favor of San Marcos on the ensuing kick off. The Rattlers recorded their second turnover of the night after stripping the Mustang returner and recovering inside the Manor 10-yard line. Two plays later, Calderon found the endzone and gave San Marcos its first lead of the night.

The Rattlers scored 39 points in the second half and went on to steal a win on the road. A final score of 39-36 not only puts San Marcos at 3-0 in District 14-6A, but secured the team a playoff birth and opportunity to win a district title.

The 39-point second half was fueled by Calderon and junior running back Jamon Johnson’s 318 total yards with four touchdowns. But the game was won by the defensive presence that produced a handful of stops and one turnover down the stretch. The game was kept within reach until San Marcos’ creativeness got the best of a Manor defense who presented a strong defensive front.

“You know, our coaches told us to just come through and finish,” Hall said. “That was our momentum, our word for the night. Finish, finish, finish. Our coaches told us what we had to do and we made it work.”

San Marcos Daily Record

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