STORY BY: TIM SCHNETTLER
NAVASOTA — It was an inconsistent offensive night for theNavasota Rattlers on Friday. Fortunately their inconsistency did not cost themas the rode a 24-point first half to a 31-7 non-district victory over theRudder Rangers at Rattler Stadium.
After coming up empty on their first possession of the game,the Rattlers scored on their next four as Navasota (2-1) shook off last week’s heartbreaking loss to Willis, and also avenged one of its two regular-seasonlosses from last season.
“I felt going in 24-0 at halftime was great,” said Navasota head coach Lee Fedora. “The second half, I wasn’t very pleased with our third quarter coming out, but overall I was pleased. Anytime you hold a team like that to seven points, that is great.”
The offensive attack was led by quarterback Kadarius Bakeras he threw for two touchdowns and ran for one as well, while accounting for 228 of the Rattlers’ 380 total yards of offense.
Navasota outgained the Rangers 258 to 8 in the first half, but the Rattlers didn’t fare as well in the second half, gaining 122 while yielding 122 and Rudders’ only score of the night.
The big first half from the Rattlers featured three touchdowns, with Baker having a hand in all of them.
The Rattlers drove into Rudder territory on the opening possession of the game, but after stalling, a 42-yard field goal attempt by Cesar Barron came up short. Barron atoned for the miss the next time Navasota got the ball, connecting from 26 yards out for the first points of the game.
The next three times the Rattlers’ offense touched the ball, Baker led them on scoring drives. First he connected with Solomon McGinty, who had six receptions for 114 yards on the night, from 20 yards out to make it 10-0.
Baker then called his own number, scoring from 7-yards out.The touchdown came two plays after Trevor Savensky recovered a Rudder fumble at the Rudder 15-yard line.
After the Navasota defense forced a three-and-out, Baker and McGinty again teamed up, this time of a 35-yard score, ending a three-play 64-yard scoring drive that put Navasota ahead 24-0 heading into the half.
Rudder posted its only points of the night when quarterback Jamarcus Davenport faked a handoff and then weaved his way 59 yards to the endzone. The extra point from Colton Bayer made it 24-7 with 5:12 left in the third quarter.
Navasota finally found the end zone in the second half with 1:47 left in the game when Jacob Malek rushed in from 15-yards out, capping a 10-play 80-yard drive that featured several big run by Xavier Creeks, who finished the night with eight carries for 79 yards.
The Rattlers will be on the road next weekend, traveling to Cameron to take on the Yoemen, one of two teams to beat the Rattlers during the regular season last year. The Yoemem dropped an 11-10 decision to Rockdale on Friday in the annual Battle of the Bell.