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Photo by Gerald Castillo

Stennett, Alonzo force fumbles for Rattlers

San Marcos Football
Thursday, October 25, 2018

Terry Stennett loves busting through the hole more than running backs do.

He makes sure they know it, too. The senior outside linebacker bulldozes any ball carrier he can get his hands on. In the Rattler football program, when asked about something nobody knows about him, Stennett said that “Everything hurts when I tackle, but I love it.” 

It’s because the guy he tackles usually hurts even more.

“Terry’s best skill?” junior safety Andrew Alonzo said. “Probably knocking the hell out of someone.”

“Terry’s what you call a ‘contact leader,’” head coach Mark Soto said. “He’s the guy who’s going to hit you the hardest. And everybody’s going to rise up to that and try to do the same thing.”

Alonzo, on the other hand, is a savant. He’s able to line up correctly, snuff out the play and swarm to the ball before the offense knows what’s hit them. 

He ends up in the right place at the right time, all the time — a big reason why the junior safety racked up a career-high 15 total tackles two weeks ago against Cibolo Steele on Oct. 12.

“Alonzo sees everything,” Stennett said. “No matter what, even if we’re in Panther (formation) and Alonzo’s playing safety, I see Alonzo just get to something literally before I can even react to it sometimes.”

“Andrew’s played every position on defense,” Soto said. “So, when you take all that experience that he’s had coming up through as a freshman, sophomore and junior years, yeah, he knows the defense in and out. And that’s why we’re able to put him in any situation we need to put him in.”

When the pair come together, big things tend to happen, like they did last week.

Schertz Clemens just got the ball back early in the second quarter following a 61-yard touchdown run by senior running back Jamon Johnson. The Buffaloes went nine yards on their first two plays of the drive and now faced 3rd and 1 on their own 39-yard line.

Sophomore quarterback Max Didomenico kept the ball on a read option and charged up the middle to the 40. Senior safety Therrance Soto met him there and tied up his legs.

But before Didomenico went down, Stennett swooped in.

“As he was falling down, I saw the ball,” Stennett said. “So I just aimed for it and went as fast as I could.”

The ball popped out and fell to the ground with no one around to pick it up.

Alonzo had been tangled up with two offensive linemen during the play. But as he saw Didomenico run past, he unsnarled himself and spun back around.

“I turn around, the ball’s on the ground,” Alonzo said. “I’m like ‘Oh, shoot! I’mma jump on it!’”

The junior dove on the ground and covered up the ball to secure possession on the 42-yard line.

“They’re just great players,” Soto said. “They’ve got great motor. They understand, they’re real savvy about the game. They’re what you call just football players. They do the other stuff like track and wrestling and things like that for fun. But they are football players, all the way.”

Stennett finished with a career-high 10 total tackles in the 48-29 loss. Alonzo ended up with five, one of them for a sack.

The pair still want to make playoffs this season. The team will need them to keep combining forces to get them there.

“We really finally got our calls and everybody started lining up right,” Stennett said. “And that started freeing us up more because they started taking people that were blindsiding us and we were able to make plays.”

San Marcos Record

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