Sharyland went from Friday Night Lights to Saturday Afternoon Sunshine when the scheduled Friday night game against Brownsville Rivera was postponed until Saturday at 4pm. Mixed with rain that was heavy at times, lightning had been frequent around Richard Thompson Stadium. UIL rules state teams cannot play if there has been a lightning strike within six miles over the past thirty minutes.
Saturday brought good weather but a very thin crowd. The lack of support didn’t seem to bother the Rattlers as they scored on the second play from scrimmage with a long 69 yard toss from Seth Carter to junior receiver Edgar Alanis. A mere six minutes later, Carter was flushed from the pocket and ran in for a touchdown and the score was 14-0 with 7:23 remaining in the 1st quarter.
That doesn’t mean the Rattlers were flawless. The backfield coughed up the ball, and though it was recovered, it killed a drive. Another long gain was called back by an off sides call, while a 15 yarder for a facemask violation gave the visiting Raiders some breathing room. “Maybe it was because we were playing in the daytime, but our guys settled down and corrected those mistakes” said head coach Ron Adame. “Anytime you have a shutout, it’s a good game.”
Adame’s defense is based on keeping pressure on the quarterback, and that’s what the Rattler D did. Though the Raiders recovered a fumble caused by linebacker Fernando Arguellas, the relentless pressure by Sharyland took its toll. Raider head coach Tom Chavez thought he might have better luck when he took starting quarterback Angel Tolentino out and brought in junior Oscar Gonzalez, but it made no difference. At one point, the Rattlers pushed Rivera back on each play of a series, forcing them to punt on 4th and 35.
The offense kept chugging as Carter passed to Sergio Tornero for another touchdown. Carter threw a short pass to Manny Campos for a two-point conversion, and the score was 22-0 at the half.
The defense did not go to sleep during halftime. On Rivera’s first possession, they were forced to punt on 4th and 14. A safety on a bad snap made the score 24-0 with 5 minutes to go in the 3rd quarter. Carter scored again, but the PAT failed. That was the end of the Rattler scoring as the next quarter yielded no points, though Carter was intercepted in the end zone on the first play of the 4th.
By late in the 4th quarter, Adame had seen enough and began to clear his bench, giving both Manny Campos and Daniel Lince a few snaps. “It’s nice to have win” said Adame. “Let’s hope we can fix our few mistakes and keep going.”
The Rattlers travel to Laredo for their last non-district game. Alexander has a 2-1 record and might prove a bit more of a challenge than Rivera.