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The Rattlers open up district play against the Buda Johnson Jaguars. This will be the first ever meeting between the Rattlers and the Jaguars as another chapter is added to the Buda-San Marcos rivalry for Hays County supremacy.
Daily Record photo by Gerald Castillo


Hays County supremacy is on the line when Rattlers battle Johnson
Friday, June 21, 2024

Hays County supremacy is on the line when Rattlers battle Johnson

The Countdown to Kickoff series previews the upcoming 2024 football season for the San Marcos Rattlers.

This week’s article will look at the Rattlers district opener in a highly anticipated game against the Buda Johnson Jaguars that is the first ever meeting between the Hays County schools.

Buda Johnson comes off a 5-5 season where the Jaguars finished in fifth place in 6A District 26. Johnson lost on the tiebreaker to Austin Bowie after the Jaguars were defeated by the Bulldogs 21-16.

The Jaguars will have to replace many key pieces from last year’s team as Johnson looks to get back into the playoffs.

Running back Kael Hatnot returns after leading the team in both rushing yards, carries and touchdowns. Hatnot rushed for 1,040 on 150 carries and nine touchdowns. Also returning in the backfield is running back Terrance Grant Jr. Grant Jr. rushed for 539 yards on 93 carries and four touchdowns.

The Jaguars will have to lean on their rushing attack with Johnson having to replace both their starting quarterback and three wide receivers. Timothy Boyd is the lone wide receiver for the Jaguars who has caught more than ten passes with 12 catches for 156 yards.

While the offense will have to replace key starters, the Jaguar defense returns a number of starters including lead tackler Carlos Lujan. Lujan led the team in tackles with 86 at the outside linebacker position.

Dre Giello also returns for the Jaguars having made 62 tackles along with 3.0 tackles for loss.

Johnson was moved from the Austin oriented District 26 into San Antonio oriented District 29 during UIL Realignment.

While this will be the first meeting between the Jaguars and the Rattlers, this is not the first time the communities of Buda and San Marcos have met on field.

The Hays County Rivalry between Buda Hays and San Marcos is considered to be one of the fiercest showdowns in the area.

With Johnson forming from Hays Consolidated and being located in Buda, the previous athletic competition between the two schools is expected to transfer over.

Johnson completed their first football season in 2020 during the pandemic, finishing with a 6-4 record.

The Jaguars best season came in 2021 when Johnson completed a 9-2 season and finished second in the district standings. Johnson lost out on the district championship when the Jaguars were defeated by Dripping Springs 52-7.

In the playoffs, Johnson lost a narrow 42-36 game against Cedar Park in the Bi-District round.

The Jaguars were bumped up to Class 6A where Johnson competed in District 26 along with Austin High, Austin Akins, Austin Anderson, Austin Bowie, Austin Del Valle, Austin Westlake, Dripping Springs and Lake Travis.

Kickoff for San Marcos- Johnson is set for Friday, Sept 27 at 7:30 p.m. at Bob Shelton Stadium in Buda. cmcwilliams Twitter: @ColtonBMc

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