Rattle & Run
Against Rockdale, the Rattlers decided to stretch their legs a tad.
Accumulating nearly 500 yards of total offense—329 of that on the ground—the No. 14 Rattlers ransacked Rockdale 53- 14 on a windy evening at Rattler Stadium.
Navasota defeated the Tigers for the sixth straight time to improve to 5-1 on the season and 1-0 in district play.
Rockdale stands even at 3-3 overall and 0-1 in district.
While the Rattlers ran wild, they conversely choked off Rockdale’s passing attack leaving them nearly powerless to score.
“For us to score a bunch of points, we have to throw the ball,” said Rockdale Coach Jeff Miller. “Navasota completely took that away from us.”
Brinkley was knocked out of the game at the outset of the second quarter after a late hit on a muffed punt put a gash in his chin and the Rattlers were penalized 15 yards.
Brinkley returned to the game after sitting out a series.
The district’s leader receiver, Cody Skubal, was shut out on the night as Brinkley looked his way just four times.
“They had seven great athletes covering our four and we couldn’t get open,” Miller said.
Navasota, which had been averaging 180 yards a game on the ground, doubled up on that number Friday night.
Five Rattlers picked up at least 55 yards, led by reserve Howard Horn who scooted downfield for 98 yards on just 10 carries.
The Tigers were playing without two important pieces of their defensive front in seniors Patrick David and Koltyn Woolverton.
David injured an ankle in the Madisonville victory and played only on offense and just in the first half.
Woolverton did not even suit up after a knee injury, but he will be available to play Friday against Smithville.
The Rattlers did not completely abandon the passing game as Baker connected on 14- of-19 passes with a pair of touchdowns that gave him five for the evening.
Solomon McGinty hauled in 10 of those aerials for 110 yards and a score.
“Defensively we were gearing up to stop the pass,” Miller said. “And I thought we did a pretty good job. That just opened it up for the running game.”
Thanks to his effort and Brinkley’s off night, Baker takes over the district leadership in passing with 1,469 yards to Brinkley’s 1,354.
Baker has accumulated 18 touchdowns and suffered his first interception of the year when Zach Garza picked him off in the second quarter after 130 passes.
The Tigers avoided the shutout with a burst of scoring within a three minute period in the third quarter.
After Navasota boosted its lead to 40-0, the ninth grader Dailynn Ramey returned the ensuing kickoff 92 yards to make it 40-7 with 3 minutes, 20 seconds left in the third stanza.
Ramey’s effort establishes a school record, previously held by Jamal Williams who went for 91 yards against Troy in 2002.
Ramey also produced his hardest running of the season, with 59 yards on 18 carries.
The Tigers second score came after Nosario Garcia jumped on a loose ball at the Navasota 37 on the kickoff after Ramey’s return.
Eight plays later, James David bulled over the middle from the one to cut the lead to 40-14 with eight seconds left in the third quarter.
David carried the ball six times for 21 yards on the eight play drive.
Last week— Navasota 53, Rockdale 14; Smithville 46, Caldwell 7; Giddings 38, LaGrange 35.
This week— Smithville at Rockdale; Caldwell at Giddings; LaGrange at Navasota.
TIGER SEASON LEADERS
Rushing— Ramey 86-291 2 TD, David 20-69 2 TD, Hayes 13-47, Nelson 6-12, Brinkley 26-(-13) 2 TD.
Passing— Brinkley 115 -193 - 6, 1,354 yards, 10 TD.
Receiving—Skubal 32-568 7 TD, Garza 22-209 1 TD, Gibbs 18-176 TD, Caffey 20-213, Goodman 10-123 1 TD, Hayes 5-41, David 2-21, Ramey 5-3, Nelson 1- 0.
Tackles— David, J. 69, Hayes 59, Estrada 29, David 26, Woolverton 21, Schneider 22, Alonzo 23, McQuinn 20, Garza 18, Hamilton 15, Gibbs 20, Caffey 18, Skubal 13.
TIGER SEASON RESULTS (3-3)
Abilene Wylie 35, Rockdale 14
Rockdale 51, Salado 42
Rockdale 11, Cameron 10
Liberty Hill 27, Rockdale 20
Rockdale 13, Madisonville 10
Navasota 53, Rockdale 14