Business as Usual

Photo by Gerald Castillo

Rattlers back on the road for second district match up

It’s been business as usual this week for the Rattlers as preparations for the next challenge in front of them are well in place.

Excitement surrounded the San Marcos program last week following a 35-15 win over a favored Del Valle team. But as usual, the Rattlers reflected on and enjoyed the win Saturday morning but then were quickly onto their next opponent.

“Our kids are good at moving onto the next one,” head coach Mark Soto said. “Enjoy it over Saturday and Sunday. Get to thinking about the next opponent. Then of course on Monday when we get in here, we start sharing the scheme with them. So we don’t look far into the past. We learn from it and move forward.”

This formula which has resulted in a 5-1 record will be tested on the road this week as the Rattlers are scheduled to visit the Akins Eagles tonight for their second district match. Akins is currently 1-4 overall and will be hosting the Rattlers to open play in the 14-6A district.

San Marcos is no stranger to playing on the road as they started out the season with three games inside an opponent's stadium. The lone loss for San Marcos came on the road but the Rattlers have taken strides in the right direction to eliminate mistakes that hurt more significantly away from home.The amount of self-inflicted wounds and penalties are down, while turnovers and special teams have brought life to an already dynamic offensive attack.

“It’s always important to us, especially on the defensive side of the ball to just get the ball back to the offense.” senior safety Demarcus Hall said. “We like to focus on that and just getting good yardage on the return as well.”

Hall and junior safety Scooter Brown, have continually put what Soto calls a three-headed snake in positive field position in the past two games. Senior quarterback Prudy Calderon and junior Jamon Johnson are the driving force of the offense but we’ve also seen the receivers come alive as of late.

Del Valle presented a defensive plan to stuff the run and filled the box against San Marcos last week. This opened the door for Calderon to find his senior receivers Julian Perez and Elijah Akiens throughout the night. This multi-dimensional offense will have an opportunity to build on its success against an Akins defense that is giving up 38 points a game.

“I think (stretching the field) is really big for this offense,” Calderon said. “Defenses can’t just key on one or two guys when they watch film. I think all of us clicking together, everybody getting the ball, distributing the ball is hard for defenses to read so that’s what we look to do.”

San Marcos has consistently moved the ball all season but the defense cannot go unmentioned. A relentless pursuit to the ball and an ability to contain big plays has led to 14 turnovers and two shutouts this season. The Rattler defense had six takeaways alone last week. Akins will present another good challenge for this defense as the Eagles are averaging 28 points a game behind senior running back Malcolm Rogers.

With a 5-1 record, the rest of the district is on notice. San Marcos understands that and is expecting a well fought match on the road this week. The second district matchup for the Rattlers is scheduled to kickoff tonight at 7:30 p.m. inside Burger Stadium in Austin.

“One of our mottos is always ‘start fast, finish strong’,” Soto said. “Akins is going to be excited to play their first district game. We got one under our belt so we know what the pressures are. We just have to make sure we come out with a lot of enthusiasm and passion to play the game.”


San Marcos Daily Record

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