STORY BY: TIM SCHNETTLER
FAIRFIELD — The No. 1 team in the state, the Navasota Rattlers, continue to roll, leaving opponents in their wake as they do so. This time it was the Fairfield Eagles who were run out of the stadium as the Rattlers scored 34 unanswered points to roll to a 41-7 non-district victory at Eagle Stadium.
Navasota’s high-octane offense put up its fourth game of 40-plus points, while the defense held its opponent under double digits for the fourth time in five games as the Rattlers improved to 5-0 on the season.
Fairfield, which had gone undefeated the last two years in the regular season, dropped to 3-2, losing its second consecutive game.
The Rattler defense, as it has all season, continued to shine, holding the Eagles to 148 total yards of offense. After allowing Fairfield to march 70 yards in 18 plays to score on its first possession of the game, the Rattler defense shut out the Eagles the rest of the game.
Deionnte Taylor and Coy Imhoff each came up with interceptions for the Rattlers in the first half and both times the Rattlers cashed in.
“We made great adjustments on the sideline [after Fairfield’s first score],” Navasota head coach Lee Fedora said. “They didn’t get any points after that.”
The Rattler offense, meanwhile, scored the first five times it touched the ball. In all the offense amassed 466 total yards and quarterback Kadarius Baker threw for four more touchdowns, bringing his season total to 21.
He completed 17-of-29 passes for 309 yards. Austin Collins and Solomon McGinty continued to lead the receiving corps, with Collins hauling in 10 passes for 208 yards and three touchdowns and McGinty collecting five for 61 yards and a touchdown.
The Rattlers also got the running game cranked up gaining 151 yards on 29 carries. Howard Horn had eight carries for 71 yards and Xavier Creeks had four carries for 33 yards and a touchdown.
“I thought our offense did a great job of spreading the ball around,” Fedora said.
The Rattlers scored the first time they touched the ball, needing just six plays and less than one minute to cover 70 yards. The score came when Baker threw the first of his three first-half touchdown passes, this one to McGinty for 26 yards.
Fairfield answered with a methodical drive that ate up nearly 10 minutes and saw the Eagles convert a pair of fourth downs before fullback Cody Sell barreled in from the 2-yard line. Jacob Judd added the extra point to tie the game at 7 with 1 minute and 41 seconds left in the first quarter.
From that point forward it was all Rattlers as Navasota scored 24 unanswered points to take a 31-7 lead into the half.
Xavier Creeks upped the Navasota lead when he scored on a 1-yard run. Creeks helped the Rattlers get into scoring position on the drive when he took a screen pass and went 71 yards to the Fairfield 5-yard line.
After Taylor came up with his interception, the Rattlers went 70 yards in nine plays, ending the drive with a 13-yard pass from Baker to Collins. Following Imhoff’s interception, the Rattlers had a touchdown called back on a holding penalty and settled for a 35-yard field goal from Michael Martinez that made it 24-7.
Baker had one more touchdown pass in him before the half, connecting with Collins for a 31-yard score to cap a seven play, 69-yard drive that made it 31-7 heading into the half.
Baker and Collins hooked up for a third time midway through the third quarter and Martinez added his second field goal of the night, this one from 33-yards out, to round out the scoring.
The Rattlers round out non-district play next week when they play host to Class 4A Austin McCallum at Rattler Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. and the game can be heard live on Navasota News 1550 KWBC.