STORY BY: TIM SCHNETTLER
MADISONVILLE – It took the Navasota Rattlers some time to get going Friday night, but once they got it in gear they pulled away from the Madisonville Mustangs.
Navasota shook off a sloppy start, scoring 38 unanswered points in route to a 38-0 victory in the District 18-3A opener for both teams at Mustang Stadium. The victory lifted the No.1-ranked Rattlers’ record to 7-0 on the season and 1-0 in district play. Madisonville dropped to 4-3 and 0-1 with the loss.
The story on the night was the Navasota defense, which pitched its second shutout of the season, and held the Mustangs to just 70 total yards of offense and also scored a touchdown on a fumble return.
Madisonville, which was forced to play its fourth-string quarterback, managed just five first downs and had negative 11 passing yards. The Mustangs had more penalty yards (75) than they had total yards.
I thought our defense played outstanding,” Navasota head coach Lee Fedora said.
After being forced to punt in its first two posessions of the game, the Rattler offense cracked the scoreboard when quarterback Kadarius Baker threw his 26th touchdown pass of the season, connecting with Austin Collins from 33 yards out.
Michael Martinez added the extra point, putting the Rattlers up 7-0 at the 1 minute and 15 second mark of the first quarter.
The next time the Rattlers got the ball they turned to the ground game to add to their lead. A 4-play, 74-yard drive was made up of three running plays, all from Xavier Creeks, including one that covered the final 13 yards for the touchdown.
Creeks finished the night with 103 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries, giving the Rattlers their first 100-yard rusher of the season.
“He ran the ball hard and did some good things,” Fedora said.
The Rattler defense, which yielded a total of 38 yards in the first half, got in on the scoring midway through the second quarter.
Madisonville quarterback Donald Roundtree was stripped of the ball by Jordan Birdwell and Solomon McGinty was there to scoop it up and race 10 yards for the touchdown.
Martinez capped the first-half scoring when he connected on his fourth field goal of the season, this one from 21 yards out.
The second half, as was the first, was all Navasota with the Rattlers adding 14 more points.
Collins caught his second touchdown pass of the night, a 9 yarder that capped a nine play 57 yard drive. Derrion Randle concluded the scoring on the night with a 56 yard run with just under a minute left in the third quarter.
The Rattlers will be off next week before returning home on Oct. 26 to play host to the Rockdale Tigers. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 and the game can be heard live on Navasota News 1550 KWBC.