Photo by Gerald Castillo
May Moves: Rattlers close out spring ball with 2019 scrimmage
Chaze LaCaza picked off the pass.
The sophomore defensive back ran to the San Marcos Toyota Rattler Stadium end zone to celebrate. So did his teammates. So did his coaches. Co-defensive coordinator T.P. Miller arrived to hang the Rattlers’ coveted turnover chain around LaCaza’s neck.
The defense, wearing grey jerseys, just sealed the 72-62 win over the purple offensive team in San Marcos’ 2019 Spring Scrimmage.
“It was exciting, you know? We needed it,” junior safety Andres Alonzo said. “We started off getting pressure, from start to finish. And we came up with the win.”
The team cycled through a dozen different scenarios at Friday’s game, some favoring the defense, others the offense. The grey team got the upperhand early on as the purple unit began inside its own 1-yard line. The defense stopped its opponents every time, establishing a lead.
But as the scrimmage wore on, the offense began to find its rhythm. Freshman quarterback Malik Gordon made plays with his feet, breaking into the end zone for the offense’s first score. Junior running backs Christian Caballero and Darren Garza exploded out of the backfield, too, each picking up a touchdown.
The biggest play of the day came from junior wide receiver Diego Cruz. With the purple team at mid field, Cruz burned the grey team for a long receiving touchdown down the right sideline.
“Every time I try to catch the ball, I just try to break out and make a play because I know that’s what the team needs,” Cruz said. “They need big bro players, they need big ballers. And so, every time I catch the ball, I just try to break it off and score. So, I think we did a good job of that.
“I really liked the effort that we gave. Even though we made some little mistakes, we still went full speed. They didn’t give up on the play, that was pretty good to see.”
Though the grey team won the scrimmage, head coach Mark Soto liked what he saw out of both sides.
“I saw a lot of good hustle,” Soto said. “I really liked the intensity level that we brought to our scrimmage, both offensively and defensively. We started out with the offense in the hole and it’s hard. They had to dig the whole scrimmage and finally got back to where they need to be. And then the defense made a couple really big plays at the end, which I was excited about.”
The scrimmage marked the end of spring ball for the Rattlers, but there’s still work to be done to be ready for the 2019 season this fall.
“The main focus is going to be strength training and then retaining our X’s and O’s and sharpening our technique,” Soto said. “So when we go into a game, we can pull out a good tool and be able to use it in that game.
“I think we’ve built a good, solid foundation and if we come in the summer like we’re supposed to … we’re going to be fine when we get out there next season.”