Photo by Lance Winter
Rattlers fall in final road game at Smithson Valley
Smithson Valley’s offense didn’t score a single point in the first quarter.
San Marcos’ defense swarmed the ball nearly every play on Friday night, allowing just 72 total yards and four first downs during the 12 minutes. But the Rattlers still trailed.
The Rangers returned the game’s opening kickoff for touchdown, forced a San Marcos safety and returned the safety punt for a score as well. Smithson Valley led 16-0 heading into the second quarter, with each point coming from special teams. San Marcos couldn’t recover and fell at Ranger Stadium, 58-14.
“I think it’s a tough game for us,” head coach Mark Soto said. “I think we played hard. And we’ve just got to put some good things together and keep momentum on our side.”
The Rattlers’ offense took a hit when starting sophomore quarterback Noah Stubblefield went down early in the second quarter. Stubblefield took a hit on 3rd down, was helped off the field and did not return. San Marcos was already without junior quarterback Alex Garcia, and turned to junior Cameron Vidrine to lead the unit.
Two drives later, Vidrine made his first completion to sophomore wide receiver Diego Cruz on first down for a 5-yard gain. On 2nd and 5 from the Rattlers’ 41-yard line, senior running back Jamon Johnson found space up the middle and charged down the field for 59 yards and the team’s first score.
Johnson wasn’t finished yet. A touchback on the San Marcos kickoff put the Rattlers on their 25-yard line with 40 seconds left in the third quarter. Johnson took another carry on first down, banking left and shaking a couple defenders along the way.
The senior hightailed it down the sideline before being pushed out of bounds at the Smithson Valley 2, good for 73 yards. Johnson was stuffed on 1st and goal, but punched past the goal line on second down on the first play of the second quarter.
“Jamon plays very, very hard,” Soto said. “When he gets the ball, he runs angry. And some people just don’t like getting in front of that and tackling him. So, his intensity when he runs the ball is what makes him pop those big ones … He’s got elite speed.”
Johnson’s two touchdowns weren’t enough to earn a win. But they showed the Rattlers don’t have an ounce of quit in them. You have to play them for a full 48 minutes, and not a second less.
San Marcos (1-8, 0-6 district) closes out the season at San Marcos Toyota Rattler Stadium next Friday when they host New Braunfels Canyon (3-6, 1-5) for homecoming at 7:30 p.m. The Rattlers’ goal will be the same as it is every week.
“I’m expecting them to come out hard at home and play for their community and win the homecoming game,” Soto said.