Photo by Gerald Castillo
Rattlers unable to gain momentum, drop season opener 46-21 against Hutto
Friday night marked the beginning of the 2022 Rattler football season.
Expectations are high as San Marcos Head Coach John Walsh looks to lead his team to another playoff berth. However, before the Rattlers can make an appearance they will have to appeal a recommended two-year ban for ineligible player transfers. Despite all the off field drama, San Marcos looked to get their season off on the right track when they took the field at Toyota Rattler Stadium, but fell to Hutto 46-21.
San Marcos received possession to begin the night — but just two plays into the game, senior quarterback Isaiah DeLeon threw an interception on his first pass of the night. Misfortunes would continue throughout the game including two turnovers which featured the interception and a fumble. Coach Walsh explained that starting a game off with a turnover is always difficult to recover from but there’s still a long season to play.
“Just for a season opener, to never have momentum was tough,” Walsh said. “You know, and it was all self inflicted. I told those guys right there, it’s week one, the only thing bad about week one is our pride is hurt and we’re a little embarrassed — but we can fix it all a week from now. I think we got to put a lot to bed tonight, (we’ll start) fresh Saturday.”
The Rattler defense stood tall on Hutto’s first drive of the game, only giving up a field goal inside the red zone. Despite the stop, the defense would struggle all game long against the arm of Hutto Quarterback, Will Hammond, who threw for 189 yards. Coach Walsh praised the run defense — however, he felt the team could have performed to a higher level.
“We played the run pretty decently,” Walsh said. “I don’t think we covered well the first half, probably awful the first half, and the second half we recovered.”
Walsh also voiced his displeasure from his team’s penalties and lack of quarterback protection. DeLeon found himself scrambling most of the night, making it difficult to pick up yards through the air. The Rattlers also had 14 penalties including a drive that featured three flags in a row, setting up first and 30. Coach Walsh described the performance as “bad offense.”
“You know we preached just play smart, yellow flags make you look stupid and so we did part of that, we did not look very smart,” Walsh said. “Our pass protection was not good, we couldn’t throw and catch because we couldn’t protect. It kept rollercoasting for us, the momentum went the other way for us.”
Despite a frustrating night, senior running backs, Jaidyn Brown and Jake Rodriguez-Scholz, looked good combining 19 carries and 122 rushing yards. Brown also led the team in receiving with 73 yards and four receptions. Junior wide receiver Tony Diaz also had a pair of receptions for 36 receiving yards.
San Marcos will look for redemption on Friday night, when they host Madison at Toyota Rattler Stadium. The Mavericks enter week two after losing their season opener to Schertz Clemens 14-10. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.