Rattler loss means little to Tigers

Winner will have the inside track to district crown

Senior Kye Hildreth  has amassed over 1,200 yards of total offense so far this season in his first year as quarterback.  Senior Kye Hildreth has amassed over 1,200 yards of total offense so far this season in his first year as quarterback. A funny thing happened on the way to the Rockdale-Navasota game, which was supposed to be the Class 3A spotlight game in the state of Texas this Friday.

Caldwell threw up a big orange road block.

Unbeaten Navasota had been ranked No. 5 in the Associated Press poll and with Rockdale rising to No. 10 in the latest rankings, it would have been the showcase game in Class 3A or maybe even in the entire state.

It would have been one of those electric games that make Friday night lights worth playing under.

That's before the Hornets stung the Rattlers 14-0 Friday night and in the process held them to 103 yards of offense.

Alas, that profile pairing may have to wait until next week when the Tigers host upstart Caldwell, a team picked third in District 24-3A.

After the big win, Caldwell (5-1, 3-0) takes a breather this week.

It matters little to Jeff Miller and his Tigers that the Rattlers fell v ictim to an unexpected loss.

"Personally, I'm sorry they lost because they are going to be mad," said Rockdale Coach Jeff Miller. "Now, this is a game they have to win. They'll be ready."

Navasota has won three straight against the Tigers in a series that dates back to 1935. Rockdale has not defeated the Rattlers since 1965.

The winner of Friday's contest will go a long way in determining the district champion and playoff positioning.

The 5-1 Rattlers are the defending league champions. The 7-0 Tigers haven't won a district crown since 1999.

"These next two games were crucial games at the beginning of the season, not just now," said Miller, whose Tigers lost at home to Navasota last season 21-14. "Winning this game is crucial to our plans to make the playoffs."

In Jacolby Stokes, Brandal Jackson and Dexter Pratt, last year's Navasota was in possession of the triple option threat at any time and anywhere on the field.

While all three aforementioned players have moved on, the Rattlers still possess a three-tool danger, however, all rolled into one player—Kye Hildreth.

Junior Dillan Schnerr graded out the highest among Tiger linemen against Rudder. Junior Dillan Schnerr graded out the highest among Tiger linemen against Rudder. Slipping under center this season to replace the district MVP Stokes at quarterback, the 6-foot-1, 170-pound Hildreth has already proven to be a one-man highlight reel.

"They are putting a lot more on him," Miller said. "Last year they spread the wealth. They feel like this year he is their main weapon. They're asking him to do more." Despite his sub-par ef for against Caldwell (34 passing, 28 rushing), Hildreath is second in the district in rushing with 627 yards and third in passing with 657 yards and has thrown just one interception, completing 63 percent of his aerials.

Just for kicks, Hildreath also leads the league in kickoff returns with a 39-yard average

Hildreath has plenty of protection in the trenches led by 6- foot-7, 320-pound Aleon Calhoun and 6-foot-5, 300-pound Jarvis Harrison.

Navasota's offensive line averages 281 pounds.

TIGER TRACKS

• Four Class 3A top 10 teams lost Friday night. No. 5 Navasota, No. 3 Giddings, No. 7 Prosper, No. 10 West Orange-Stark. Gilmer and Carthage remain a solid 1-2 in the Associated Press rankings. The Tigers are ranked No. 5 in the Texas Football poll.

• Two Tigers did not suit out Friday night. Leading rusher Daniel Brooks was nursing a hip pointer and senior linebacker Shane Barcak is still bothered by a shoulder he injured last season. Brooks will play against Navasota, Barcak will not.

• With two-way starter Mynar lost for the season, fellow senior Justin Gadison (6-4, 205) will replace him in the starting lineup at striker linebacker and Tyler Wright will step in at his wide receiver/tight end slot.

• Derek David led the Tigers in tackles against Rudder with 11, followed by Justin Elliott's eight. Juan Estrada followed with five which included two quarterback sacks that gives him a team-leading three this year.

• With his two touchdowns Friday, Joe Sanders now has 25 in his career, which leaves him one behind second place H. Earl Marion's 26 on the all-time list. Blade Bassler has 35.

• Also, with his 41 passing yards Friday, Sanders has gone over 1,000 yards in his career (1,009 in four seasons).

• With his 189 yards against Rudder, Greg Chelf has now amassed 1,287 career rushing yards.

• In the past three seasons, Rockdale is 11-3 at Tiger Stadium.

• J.J. Lewis' touchdown grab from Tyler Wright in the fourth quarter was his first career score.

• With three extra points Friday, Waylon Boyd is 67-of-73 in his career. His missed field goal attempt was just the third he had tried.

• From the spreading the wealth department, 14 different receivers have caught a pass this season, led by Brandon Gibbs' 10 for 123.

• Navasota's stadium—which opened in 2007—features an artificial surface, FieldTurf, which is similar to Waco and Round Rock ISD stadium surfaces.

• Navasota star Dexter Pratt, who enrolled at LSU last spring, then changed his mind and entered Oklahoma St., has not played so far this season after being busted for possession of marijuana in July with friend and teammate Jamal Mosley. Mosley later left the team after being accused of sexual assault.

THE STARTING LINEUPS
ROCKDALE OFFENSE NAVASOTA DEFENSE
No. Pos. Player, Ht.-Wt. Class No. Pos. Player, Ht.-Wt. Class
18 QB Joe Sanders, 6-2, 190 Sr 66 RE John Sayon, 6-1, 203 Sr
22 RB Greg Chelf, 5-7, 150 Sr 44 RT Cheyenne Hall, 5-9, 200 Sr
31 WR J.B. Debault, 5-11, 175 Sr 57 LT Jamarcus Hester, 5-8, 217 Jr
9 WR Justin Elliott, 6-3, 180 Sr 50 LE K.D. Nickerson, 6-1, 190 Sr
8 WR Brandon Gibbs, 6-1, 170 Sr 8 LB Antoin Burrell, 5-7, 164 Jr
15 WR Tyler Wright, 6-3, 180 Jr 52 LB Deondre King, 6-1, 225 Sr
62 LT LeRaven Clark, 6-6, 230 Jr 9 LB Kesnick Jones, 5-10, 190 Jr
71 LG Sal Bishop, 6-4, 250 Jr 3 CB Thomas Sweed. 5-10, 165 Sr
50 C Patrick David, 6-0, 235 So 1 S Alfon Taylor, 6-0, 170 Jr
64 RG Clemente Diaz, 5-11, 235 Sr 2 S James Brown, 6-0, 170 Sr
76 RT Dillan Schnerr, 6-4, 250 Jr 10 CB K.J. Nelms, 6-0, 175 Jr
ROCKDALE DEFENSE NAVASOTA OFFENSE
64 NG Clemente Diaz, 5-11, 235 Sr 12 QB Kye Hildreth, 6-1, 170 Sr
62 LT LeRaven Clark, 6-6, 230 Jr 8 TB Antoin Burrell, 5-7, 164 Jr
77 RT Logan David, 6-4, 300 Sr 6 FB Kolby Castillo, 5-6, 140 Sr
32 LB Justin Gadison, 6-4, 205 Sr 17 X Tevin Creeks, 6-0, 170 Jr
4 LB Juan Estrada, 5-6, 160 Sr 7 H Aaron Collins, 5-10, 165 Jr
9 LB Justin Elliott, 6-3, 180 Sr 5 TE Ian Day 6-1, 190 Jr
6 LB Derek David, 6-3, 225 So 79 LT Aleon Calhoun, 6-7, 320 Sr
8 CB Brandon Gibbs, 6-1, 170 Sr 74 LG Jarvis Harrison, 6-5, 300 Sr
22 CB Greg Chelf, 5-7, 150 Sr 77 C Scott McDuffie, 5-11, 300 Sr
15 S Tyler Wright, 6-3, 180 Jr 55 RG Dewon Davis, 5-10, 270 Sr
2 S Casey Burrough, 5-7, 160 Jr 68 RT Gabe Hernandez, 6-1, 235 Sr


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