STORY BY: JORDAN MESEROLE
Friday night’s non-district matchup between the Navasota Rattlers and Rudder Rangers will feature a high-powered offense against astrong defense.
The big question is, how strong Rudder’s defense will bewithout one of its leading seniors.
The game at Rattler Stadium in Navasota will be Rudder’sfirst after senior defensive star David Wilganowski collapsed a week earlier inthe fourth quarter against Leander Rouse. Wilganowski, who is third on the team in tackles this season and had animpressive 60 tackles last season, had to be resuscitated by a Rudder traineron the field before being transported to the hospital.
Wilganowski was last listed in stable condition, and isreportedly anxious to get back on the field, although doctors have not yetindicated if he will be able to play again or not.
The Rudder defense – which has been strong this seasonagainst the run – will have to prepare for a pass happy Navasota offense, ledby senior quarterback Kadarius Baker, who has racked up 544 passing yards inhis first two games this season. The Rangers have been prone to give up the big pass play, allowing threepassing touchdowns against Taylor in its first game, and two more against Rouselast week one of which came on a 62-yard bomb.
The Rattlers have featured a balanced run game to complimentBaker’s passing efforts, primarily through junior running back Howard Horn whohas surpassed the 100-yard rushing mark in both games this season.
Rudder has been led on offense this season by junior runningback Tre Guyton, who has rushed for 123 yards and 160 yards in the first twogames this season, and has scored twice in each of the games. Rudder’s passing game gained some lifeagainst Leander Rouse last week, as senior quarterback Jamarcus Davenportpassed for 110 yards, 77 of those yards which went to who may be slowlyemerging as Davenport’s new favorite target, senior Will Martin. Davenport connected with Martin on an88-yard touchdown pass in week one against Taylor to tie up that game for acome-from-behind victory.
The big question remains as to how the Rudder defense willperform being back on the field for the first time since their teammate “Wigs”was driven away in an ambulance. If the support they have shown him and hisfamily in the past week is any indication of their strength however, one canexpect them to play as tough – if not tougher – than the first two weeks.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 at Rattler Stadium.