Tom Landry Stadium will be hosting a phenomenal Week 9 matchup between two of our Big 7 Sports teams. One team will be looking to come out of this game with a winning record. The other team will be fighting for their first District 16-5A II win. The Sharyland Rattlers are traveling to the home of the Mission Veterans Memorial Patriots as they face up against each other in the Big 7 Sports Game of the Week.
The Patriots are currently sitting in 4th place in District 16-5A II with a (1-1) record. One tough loss against the Pioneer Diamondbacks and one strong win against the PSJA SW Javelinas later and we find the Patriots at a crossroads. A win would advance the Patriots to a 2-1 record on the season while a loss would put them behind in the race for the district championship. The Patriots success stems from the talents of senior quarterback Braden Luedeker. On the season Luedeker has passed for 2,141 yards and rushed for 767 yards to go along with his 25 passing touchdowns and 6 rushing touchdowns. The dual-threat quarterback is going to be a problem for the Rattlers defense.
The Patriots defense is also coming off one of their best performances. They didn’t allow the Javelinas to score in their last game. The biggest contributor is junior linebacker Aiden Uribe who has a team-high 91 total tackles. Uribe nearly leads the team in tackles for loss. This defense will be looking to keep the same energy from last week’s win.
This week I visited the home of the Sharyland Rattlers who are currently sitting in 6th place in District 16-5A II with a 0-2 district record. Two tough losses against the Roma Gladiators and the PSJA Memorial Wolverines is not the most ideal way to begin district play.
I asked Head Coach Craig Krell about the pair of losses, “The two losses, both of them were more physical than us. We’ve been talking about wanting to be more physical on both sides of the ball.”
The Rattlers are hoping to bounce back this week. I asked senior quarterback Bo Krell about the importance of winning this game, “It’s a big week man. It’s everything right now. If we want to stay alive we need to win this game. I’m confident that this game has a lot of implications, but I’m getting ready for this game. I’m not worried about three weeks from now.”
Krell is the lone starter from last year’s Rattlers team. Krell has passed for 874 yards on the season to go along with his 9 passing touchdowns. He has been able to rush it into the end zone twice this season. In the passing game, Krell has spread the ball around fairly evenly to his receivers, but his favorite has been junior Eduardo Mendoza, who accounts for 220 of those passing yards. The majority of the balance of the offense comes from junior running back Santiago Longoria. Longoria has been a tear in the rushing game and the passing game for the Rattlers with 258 rushing yards and 196 receiving yards to go along with his 5 total touchdowns.
Coach Krell told me more about what getting a win would do for his team, “It’s huge. We’ve been talking a lot to our kids.”
Due to the losses, the Rattlers do not hold tiebreaker rights between PSJA Memorial or Roma and if they lose to Veterans tonight, they would lose that tiebreaker as well. Krell went on to say, “It’s not a good thing. It would be difficult to make it into the playoffs.” The Rattlers are hoping to get a win against the Patriots so they could have some sort of advantage in their district.
I spoke to Bo more about their opponents. He told me about going up against the Patriots’ quarterback Ludeker, “We’ve been looking forward to this game for a very long time and it’s finally here. All the training sessions we’ve had together and we’ve talked about this moment and it’s finally here. It’s going to be really exciting to see what happens. I’m really happy that I’m able to go up against (him) one last time.”
These two senior quarterbacks have trained throughout the off seasons and now they have the opportunity to face one another in the regular season. A win against his close friend would be a cherry on top for Bo.
A Patriots win would advance them to 2-1 on the season as they continue to fight for a playoff spot. A loss would set them back a game against their district opponents. A Rattlers win would advance them to 1-2 on the season as they look to claw back into playoff contention. A loss tonight would slim those chances greatly. These two Big 7 Sports teams need a win in order to stay afloat in District 16-5A II. A playoff berth for the Patriots and a season for the Rattlers are on the line tonight. We know our teams are going to be bringing the best out tonight. We wish the best of luck to the Sharyland Rattlers and the Veterans Memorial Patriots.