Photo by Gerald Castillo
Rattlers prepare for defensive challenge against Buffaloes
Each outcome is a new lesson.
Coming off of the team’s loss to Cibolo Steele last week, 56-3, the Rattlers prepare to take on one of the more stout defenses in the district. Schertz Clemens (5-1, 3-0 district) comes in allowing opponents 14.3 points per game and only 9.3 points per game on the road. San Marcos (0-6, 0-3) will need to find some holes in the visitors’ defense in order to put some points on the board but the team may be facing a major loss on offense this week.
The Rattlers’ starting running back Benito Canales went down midway through the third quarter of last week’s game and is currently going through concussion protocol as day-to-day. When it comes to a backup plan, head coach Mark Soto said there’s always one. Assuming Canales can’t play in Friday night’s matchup, the coaching staff has a decision to make on who will fill in for the team’s leading rusher.
“We’ll probably look at (senior) Diego (Cruz) back there a little bit, maybe (senior) Takai (Madgett) back there a little bit and we have some younger guys we that we can look at also in (sophomore) Savion Johnson, who’s got a couple of touches,” Soto said. “So we’ve got a plan.”
San Marcos’ defense must stay disciplined this week as the task at hand will be unmasking the intricate schemes of the Buffaloes’ offense. They show different looks each time down the field, misleading defenses, which often leads to touchdowns. The Rattlers will have to follow their coach’s steps to success on defense when they meet on Friday night.
“(Clemens is) gonna send us a lot of formation. They have more formations than any team I’ve seen,” Soto said. “I was watching a couple of games and they didn’t run the same formation twice, so being able to get lined up and being gap-sound is going to be important. You gotta vanilla it up, you gotta make it simple for them. At the end of the day, you’re normally gonna have a center, guard, tackle, tight end and after that some receivers, so you just gotta know what looks you’re gonna get on your side of the center.”
Even though the defense struggled last week, they are searching for a big performance from this group in this game.
“I feel like the defensive line and some of the linebackers are gonna have a big performance this week,” junior nose guard Dylan Basham said. “We’ve been working really hard because of injuries and some of the twos are coming up. We’ve been running some new plays and new stunts with being head-up all the way across and having the next play mentality.”
It’s the little things that remind us you can find the good in every struggle. A former Rattler visited Soto earlier in the week, Christian McCauley, who put a smile on the coach’s face. That visit reminded him what he does this for. And even though the season hasn’t gone their way, positivity can come from wins and losses.
“It makes my day, that’s what we’re in the business for,” Soto said. “Everybody wants to look at the scoreboard and the record books but in San Marcos, we look at the kid and what kind of kid we build because we’re in the business of helping parents build their kids up and that’s what it’s all about for us.”
San Marcos hosts the Buffaloes inside Toyota Rattler Stadium Bobcat Stadium at 7:30 p.m. It will be a challenge but Soto still wants the fans to keep supporting the team at home.
“Keep the faith, were gonna keep rocking, were defending S.M. every time we go out there,” Soto said. “The kids are doing the best they can and the coaches are too. Just enjoy the effort, the kids want to be out there and just stay behind us, we appreciate it.”