Last year at this time, the San Marcos Rattlers traveled to Laredo to take on the United Longhorns and stormed back from an early deficit to take a 50-49 lead to get their first win of the season.
Unfortunately for the Rattlers, the second verse would not be the same as the first, but it was another late nail-biter between these two teams, that San Marcos head coach Mark Soto sees a lot of similarities in.
“I think we’ve got the same kids. They’re mentally tough kids and they are very proud kids,” Soto said. “I think that’s what makes this game so special. It was a great game both ways.”
The Rattlers, who were at home for this matchup, got on the scoreboard first on Friday night via a Daniel Marquez field goal.
The Longhorns then scored 21 unanswered second quarter points in the second quarter. Quarterback Eduardo Huerta connected with Tanner Sanchez, Carlos Jaime and Ricky Chapa to go up 21-3 by halftime.
After Huerta scored once more on a keeper, Rattlers quarterback Alex Garcia, who captained the comeback last year, went to work.
He had three consecutive touchdowns in the second half, finding Matt Dixon for a 19-yard touchdown pass, then delivering a strike to Takai Madgett, who had flown by the secondary for an 83-yarder, and then Garcia and Madgett connected again on a 70-yard touchdown pass.
After being down by 25 points, San Marcos had stormed back to within five points, and that’s as close as they’d get to repeating the comeback they performed just a year prior.
“They’re Rattlers, it’s what we always do. We play hard,” Soto said. “We’ve been coming out in the second half really well. Our third quarters have been very good to us so I didn’t expect anything less. They wanted to win so they went after it as hard as they could.”
San Marcos finished with more total yards, rushing yards and passing yards, but the Longhorns were able to move the chains to extend drives.
Garcia led all passers with 273 yards and three touchdowns. Running back Benito Canales, who played a big part in the late comeback by getting the Rattlers down the field, had 65 yards rushing, and Madgett led all receivers with 153 yards and two touchdowns.
For United, Huerta passed for 198 yards and three touchdowns, and he had the only rushing touchdown. JD Garcia was unable to find the endzone, but he had three receptions for 92 yards.
The Rattlers (0-3) are back home to open up their district schedule against the East Central Hornets (2-1). The Longhorns (2-1) are back home next Saturday to take on the San Benito Greyhounds (2-1).