Copyright 2014 Progress Times
The Sharyland Rattlers used two BIG plays to open their 2014 District 31-5A schedule with a 27-24 come-from-behind victory over the Edinburg Vela Sabercats at Richard Thompson Stadium Friday night.
After having an opening drive touchdown called back due to a penalty and the ensuing field goal attempt blocked, Sharyland opened the scoring with 5:08 left in the first quarter when senior quarterback Lance Madden capped off a 55-yard drive with a four-yard run into the end zone. Then on the very first play from scrimmage after Vela tied the game at 7-7 with 3:20 left in the first half, Madden scampered from the Rattlers’ 36-yard line to the Sabercats’ 17 to set up a 15-yard touchdown pass from Madden to junior wide receiver Seth Carter to give Sharyland a 14-7 lead at the half.
After the intermission, with a light but steady rain coming down, Vela scored ten unanswered points to take their first lead over Sharyland 17-14. The Sabercats’ points came as a result of a touchdown pass and a field goal – both in the third quarter.
Vela’s lead was short-lived however as Madden called his own number with 5:22 remaining in the third quarter when he ran down the home sideline before cutting across the field for a 68-yard touchdown run to regain the lead 21-17.
After forcing a Vela punt Sharyland pulled off another big play on their very next possession when Madden connected with the speedy James Cole for a 78-yard touchdown pass with 3:11 remaining in the third quarter to extend the Rattlers’ lead to 27-17.
The Sabercats closed the gap to 27-24 late in the fourth quarter but Sharyland never gave up possession of the ball the remainder of the game to pull off the three point win and make their district record 1-0.
After the game Sharyland head coach Ron Adame shared how he last week’s non-district loss to Laredo Alexander could’ve had a silver lining.
“I think last week’s loss was a blessing in disguise,” said Adame. “I think it refocused our whole program and we saw how we have to finish games. Last week we let that game slip away in the fourth quarter and I’d rather that happen in a non-district game than late in the season or in the playoffs.”
As for the play of Madden Adame said, “Lance has definitely stepped it up. He’s been running this system since the seventh grade so the chemistry is there and the familiarity with the system is there. He’s making a lot of plays with his legs, he’s seeing the field well and he’s dumping off passes to outlets that we have built-in on running plays. They were keying on him tonight but he’s hot right now.”