They Meet Again: San Marcos, Bowie clash for district title for second year in a row

Photo by Gerald Castillo

San Marcos Football

It’s no secret there is a lot of excitement surrounding the District 14-6A title matchup featuring two 8-1 teams tonight. Both San Marcos and Austin Bowie are primed for a heavyweight bout set to take place in Austin.

This is the second season in a row San Marcos finds itself as an underdog in the district title match. 2016’s matchup with the Bulldogs didn’t fair well for the Rattlers. But the 59-7 loss last season has played its part in this group’s success.

“(Being here) feels amazing knowing that last year at our home stadium they blew us out,” senior defensive lineman Tristan Williams said. “It will be great to pay them back my senior year. And to bring the young guys along with us and go on a run.”

Week in and week out, the Rattlers earned recognition from the area. They were counted out on multiple occasion against opponents such as Del Valle and Manor. San Marcos stepped up and accepted every challenge put in front of them. But Bowie presents one more hurdle for the program to get past. 

A stout San Marcos defense will have its hands full with a Bulldog offense that has put up 30-plus points in the their last three contest. Head coach Mark Soto said the Rattlers will have to rely on their ability of flying to the ball. San Marcos’ biggest challenge will be the containment of yards-after-catch. Bowie is known for the talent it presents at multiple positions and turning small gains into big plays.

Another characteristic of this Rattler defense is turnovers. This aspect could play a huge part in what could potentially turn into a one or two possession game down the stretch. San Marcos has forced 18 turnovers so far this season and has kept five opponents under 15 points.

“(The defense) is feeling great considering the showing we had at homecoming,” Williams said. “Rolling off of that will be amazing. All we have to do is fit right and run our blitzes the way coach wants us to and we’ll be district champs when it's all said and done Thursday night.”

Another way to neutralize a strong offense is to put up points yourself,  which is something San Marcos is well-equipped to do. The San Marcos front has allowed senior quarterback Prudy Calderon and junior running back Jamon Johnson to control possession and the flow of games. The Rattlers are averaging 41 points a game behind the duo and a receiving corps with a total of 13 receiving touchdowns.

“They’re a sound ballclub,” Soto said. “They have some game-changing athletes on the defensive side of the ball. So we have to make sure we take care of the ball, don’t get behind the sticks and take what they give us.”

As excitement surrounds the game, Soto reminded his team that tonight’s matchup is just another training session for them. San Marcos understands this is a big game but is using tonight as a dress rehearsal to prepare for the playoff run in front of them.

Before the playoffs, the Rattlers have one more opportunity to prove the naysayers wrong. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. inside Austin's Burger Stadium.

“I feel very confident in playing Bowie,” Johnson said following Friday's win over Anderson. “I mean we work just as hard as they do. We’re sweating just like they do. So you know, we can’t wait to play them.”

San Marcos Daily Record

(512) 392-2458
P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666