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Rattlers defense stifles Gladiators

Sharyland platooned three quarterbacks, scored four touchdowns and played solid defense en route to a 28-6 homecoming game victory over Roma on Friday at Richard Thompson Stadium to remain undefeated in the District 31-5A and in the hunt for the title.

“I’m happy and proud of our boys,” Sharyland head coach Ron Adame said. “Roma came in and they didn’t lay down for us, they gave us their best. In my humble opinion, that team is going to make the playoffs in this district.”

“It was a good feeling because we got to play players that up until now haven’t gotten a lot of playing time due to the closeness of our previous games,” he added. “When you look at your team and you see a lot smiles on everybody’s face, that brings a lot of gratification to us as coaches.”

Sharyland improved to 6-1 overall and 3-0 in district while Roma dropped to 3-4-1, 1-3. The loss was the Gladiator’s third straight in district.

While the Rattlers’ offense put up the points on Friday, Sharyland’s defense made sure Roma didn’t do any offensive damage and held the Gladiators scoreless until the last minute of the game when they broke through for a TD against the home team’s backups.

“This game was more about getting everyone in there,” Rattlers senior linebacker Ismael García said. “The important thing at the end was just to distribute the wealth. We’ve played some of the best teams in the Valley and everybody is working hard to pull it together. We’re all working hard to get to our goal.”

Roma has struggled offensively this season and has relied on their defense to keep them in ball games. The Gladiators have scored 14 points or less in seven of their eight games this season.

Meanwhile, Sharyland’s defense has progressively improved game by game in district play. After giving up 24 points to Edinburg Vela on Sept. 26, the Rattlers allowed 20 against Mission Veterans Memorial on Oct. 3 and 6 points against Roma on Friday.

“Our defense rose to the occasion,” Adame said. “We had two weeks to prepare against these guys and they weren’t very multiple so our guys knew what kind of plays they were going to be running and what their scheme was. We did a good job, I’m proud of those boys.”

Sharyland’s defense forced Roma to punt seven times during the game.

The Rattlers drove 57 yards in their first possession and senior running back Loredo Guerra capped the opening drive with a 3-yard TD run to give Sharyland a quick 7-0 lead with 8:49 left in the first quarter.

Guerra’s score, together with the Rattlers’ outstanding defensive performance, was the difference in the game and would’ve been enough to walk away with the victory. However, Sharyland’s scoring machine went on to put up another three TD’s over the course of the next two quarters to seal the victory.

“It (touchdown) was the first one of the game and it started things off right,” Guerra said. “We finished pretty good, we got everybody to play and that’s the main thing, and we got the win.”

“Overall, we played pretty good,” Guerra continued. “There’s a lot of things we need to improve on and we’re going to keep working to get better. It was a score every quarter, but it should be more than that.”

Senior wide receiver James Cole caught a 24-yard TD strike with 7:32 left in the second quarter and senior running back Robbie González hauled in a 39-yard pass with 3:03 remaining in the half to increase Sharyland’s lead to 21-0 at the intermission.

Senior quarterback Lance Madden, who platooned as the signal caller with Diego Chrysler and César Chapa, caught a 25-yard pass from Chrysler to make it 28-0 with 6:27 left in the third quarter.

Roma’s lone TD was scored by running back Pedro Rodríguez with 1:01 left in the game when he ran the ball in from three yards out for the 28-6 final score.

Sharyland will face Sharyland Pioneer in a historic district match up on Oct. 24 at 7:30 p.m. at Richard Thompson Stadium.

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