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COUNTDOWN TO KICKOFF

San Marcos battles rival East Central in the 20th meeting between the two teams. The past two meetings between the Rattlers and the Hornets have determined which team will advance to the playoffs.
Daily Record photo by Gerald Castillo

COUNTDOWN TO KICKOFF

SMHS FOOTBALL
Friday, July 5, 2024

Rattlers battle East Central for potential postseason berth

The Countdown to Kickoff Series previews the San Marcos Rattlers upcoming 2024 season.

This week will take a look at the Rattlers road game against the San Antonio East Central Hornets.

East Central finished the season with a 4-6 regular season record and qualified for the playoffs after beating both Schertz Clemens and San Marcos to secure the final playoff spot in District 26.

In the Hornets game against the Rattlers last year, East Central scored 17 points in the fourth quarter to seal a 45-21 win over San Marcos to punch their ticket into the postseason.

The Hornets ran for 181 yards and passed for 241 yards. The loss handed San Marcos their first 0-10 season since 2010.

East Central qualified for the playoffs for the first time since the 2021 but fell in the Bi-District round to the San Antonio Reagan Rattlers 55-21.

The Hornets return four offensive starters and three defensive starters from last year’s team who look to make consecutive playoff appearances for the first time since the 2014 and 2015 seasons.

Returning for the Hornets is quarterback Isaiah Mackey. Mackey passed for 1,859 yards while throwing for 24 touchdowns and six interceptions.

Mackey was also the Hornets leading rusher who ran for 386 yards on 107 carries and scored two touchdowns.

Looking to aid Mackey in East Central’s aerial attack are a trio of returning wide receivers. Dei’Rionn Smith Cline is the leading returning receiver for the Hornets, catching 24 passes for 403 yards and six touchdowns.

Frank Lopez and Jay Reed-Cosby bolster the wide receiver room for the Hornets with Lopez having caught 17 passes for 276 yards and four touchdowns and Reed-Cosby catching 16 passes for 169 yards and one touchdown.

Linebacker DeAnthony Anderson returns for the Hornets, having made 73 tackles and 4 sacks last season along with linebacker Myron Robinson who made 87 tackles and three sacks.

The history of the San Marcos-East Central series dates back to the 1986 season when the two teams were placed in the same district for the first time in history.

East Central took the first game of the series, edging out the Rattlers by scoring 13 unanswered points late in the fourth quarter to win 23-20.

The Hornets took the second game of the series the next season, beating the Rattlers 26-14.

Paired in the same district again for both the 1988 and 1989 seasons, San Marcos got their first win over East Central 28-26. The Hornets later got their revenge in their meeting, beating San Marcos 21-8.

The win started a five game winning streak for East Central against San Marcos who were paired in the same district for the 1990, 1991, 1992 and 1993 seasons.

Both San Marcos and East Central were split up during the next UIL Realignment and would not meet again until the 2004 season after being placed in the same district once more.

The Rattlers snapped a five game losing streak to East Central as San Marcos dominated the Hornets 69-20.

In their next meeting in the 2005 season, the Rattlers once again dominated the Hornets 48-21.

The two teams were once again split before meeting again in the 2014 season.

Since 2014, the Rattlers and the Hornets have only failed to play against each other once, which came during the 2020 season due to the restrictions of the on-going Covid-19 Pandemic.

One of the most memorable moments of the series between 20142023 came in 2022 when both the Rattlers and the Hornets were vying for the final playoff spot.

Trailing the Hornets late in the game, the Rattlers completed a double- reverse pass to seal a 20-16 win over East Central and advanced to the playoffs for the second consecutive year.

Though East Central leads the overall series 11-9, San Marcos is 5-4 against the Hornets since 2014.

Kickoff for San Marcos- East Central is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday Oct. 11 at Hornet Stadium in San Antonio.

cmcwilliams @sanmarcosrecord.com Twitter: @ColtonBMc

San Marcos Record

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