Photo by Gerald Castillo
Rattlers weather injuries, can't keep pace with Buffaloes
The ground attack was key for the visitors.
Schertz Clemens (6-1, 4-0 district) came into this game known for its toughness on the defensive side of the ball but it was the ground game that kept the team ahead of San Marcos (0-7, 0-4) in Friday night’s game. The skill position players for the Buffaloes used their speed to maneuver outside for long runs which led to great field position and a 58-24 win.
Both junior quarterback Max DiDomenico and junior running back A’mari Williams recorded three-plus touchdowns on the night, including 300 yards on the ground between the two of them. An abundance of run-pass options opened up holes in the defense, allowing them to break off runs of 20 yards or more five times during the course of the game.
“Speed kills, man, he’s fast,” head coach Mark Soto said. “You gotta play gap control defense, which I thought we did a really good job of. I thought we played really hard tonight, I thought our kids came out to win the ball game and not just lay down, so I was really happy with our kids’ performance. (DiDomenico is) a Division I kid, they had D1 kids all over the field, so I thought our Rattlers came out to play ball.”
Clemens opened up the first drive going 11 plays for 59 yards, capped off by a six-yard quarterback keeper by DiDomenico.
San Marcos responded with a drive of its own.
Junior quarterback Alex Garcia set the tone after picking up a huge chunk of yardage on the keeper. He then completed back-to-back passes to senior tight end Matt Dixon which set up a 3rd and 8 that the hosts failed to complete. Alfredo Hernandez kicked it directly through the uprights, leaving the score at 7-3 in the first quarter.
DiDomenico collected his second of four touchdowns on the night with a 14-yard run early in the second quarter, followed by a strip fumble recovered by Iowa State commit Mason Chambers putting the Buffaloes in scoring position. Williams got consecutive carries and punched it in on the second from one-yard out.
Garcia hit senior wide receiver Takai Magett on a slant route from 19 yards out on the next possession, cutting the lead to 24-10 before halftime.
San Marcos received the ball to start the second half, but sophomore running back Savion Johnson fumbled on the team’s own 19 three plays in. Clemens recovered the ball and Williams picked up a touchdown through the middle using his legs two plays later.
Johnson received the ball again after the turnover but this time he broke out a 60-yard run for a score, keeping the Rattlers within striking distance. Soto had no hesitation putting the sophomore back in after his mistake, saying Johnson has to learn how to play through those things.
Madgett caught another slant pass for a touchdown with 4:07 left in the third. Clemens then went on to outscore San Marcos 21-0, with the final score sitting 58-24.
Madgett finished with 93 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Johnson picked up 77 yards on seven attempts and a reception for 12 yards.
Soto said both of them did an outstanding job.
“Savion’s a young sophomore and he just keeps getting better every time he gets more touches,” Soto said. “Takai’s been doing that all year, he’s come up with some big catches and just goes after the ball, that’s why he’s out there.”
San Marcos goes on the road next Friday for the first time in two weeks to take on New Braunfels at 7:30 p.m. With injuries to running backs Benito Canales and Diego Cruz, they will use this week to heal and be ready for next week.
“Next man up,” Soto said. “Hopefully (Cruz will be) fine. We’re just being cautious with the type of injury he has so hopefully he’ll be fine and ready to go.”