Photo by Gerald Castillo
San Marcos falls short in loss to Hays in season opener
The defense looked good through three snaps.
On the opening drive in San Marcos’ 28-17 loss to Buda Hays in front of a crowd of 5,117 on Friday inside San Marcos Toyota Rattler Stadium, the Rattlers held the Rebels to three yards rushing on each of the first three plays. But on 4th and 1, Hays head coach Les Goad kept his offense on the field, electing to go for the first down.
Senior running back Nash Danford picked up another three yards for the Rebels, keeping the drive alive. Nine plays later, senior quarterback Xavier Martinez connected with senior running back Sam Scott for an eight-yard touchdown pass.
It was that kind of night for San Marcos. The Rattlers did a solid job of limiting the exceptional plays from Hays, and produced quite a few themselves. A few key errors unravelled it all, though.
“I saw a lot of hard play between two class programs going after it,” head coach Mark Soto said. “We’ve got to clean up some things, I think we beat up ourselves tonight.”
Trailing 14-3 in the second quarter, junior quarterback Alex Garcia targeted senior wide receiver Elijah Edwards with a pass on second and 10. The ball deflected off of Edwards’ hands and floated into the air. Senior receiver Mhyson Williams scooped up the rebound and charged ahead for 50 yards to the Rebels’ 15-yard line.
San Marcos still couldn’t put any points on the board, Hays’ defense unwilling to break.
Later in the third quarter, the San Marcos defense recovered a fumble by the Rebels on the 31-yard-line. On the next play, senior Takai Madgett, who filled in during senior running back Jamon Johnson’s absence on Friday, took a handoff to the house for 68 yards, cutting Hays’ lead, 21-17.
The Rebels answered back. Hays went on an 11-play, 67-yard march down the field that was capped off by a three-yard run from Scott and extended the team’s lead, 28-17. By the end of the drive, there was only 8:28 left in the game.
“Definitely (need to clean up) moving the ball, moving the chains, not getting behind the chains,” Soto said. “And on defense, we’ve got to tackle a little better.”
On the Rattlers’ last drive of the game, Madgett busted loose for another big run of 21 yards, putting the team on the 27-yard-line. Williams caught a pass for two yards on first down, but junior quarterback Cameron Vidrine was sacked on the next play for a loss of four yards.
Vidrine couldn’t complete his next throw, bringing up fourth and 12. The Rattlers had to go for it. Vidrine dropped back and looked to Edwards to keep the game alive.
Hays senior defensive back Quaysean Cropper was there to break it up. The Rebels went on to grind down the clock and secure the win.
Soto is still confident despite the setback. He knows the mistakes can be fixed and will work to do so next week for San Marcos’ home matchup with San Antonio Johnson on Sept. 7 at 7:30 p.m.
“Our kids are resilient,” Soto said. “Our community is resilient. We’ve always bounced back. So, we’re going to go back to work and just work hard. That’s all you can ever do.”