STORY BY: TIM SCHNETTLER
The Navasota Rattlers are coming off a huge victory, but it is time for them to put it behind them as they prepare to welcome the Houston Sterling Raiders to Rattler Stadium for Friday’s homecoming game.
Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m., and the game can be heard live on Navasota News, 1550 AM.
The Rattlers (2-0), jumped a spot to No. 2 in the Associated Press poll after thumping then-No. 2 Coldspring-Oakhurst, 36-8. Navasota trailed after the first quarter, but score 29 unanswered points to put away the Trojans.
Navasota’s offense struggled after blazing to a touchdown in its first possession, but its defense kept the game tight until the offense could get back on track. Coldspring, which had rolled to more than 300 yards rushing in its first game of the season, was held to 167 by a Navasota defense that has allowed just 8 points this season.
“I was very proud of our defense,” Navasota head coach Lee Fedora said following the victory over Coldspring. “I told our guys, it doesn’t matter who we play, we have to play Rattler football and if we do that we are going to be all right.”
The Rattlers’ passing game continued to excel, but the ground attack struggled, gaining just 14 total yards, despite a 43-yard touchdown run by Howard Horn. The Coldspring front was responsible for the low rushing total, putting pressure on Baker and sacking him numerous times.
“It was just them whipping out butt and we have to do a better job,” Fedora said.
While the matchup with Coldspring was a battle of the second and third ranked teams, this week’s game with Sterling does not have quite the same luster.
Sterling comes in with an 0-2 mark, having scored just 18 points while allowing 53. The Raiders were gashed for 373 total yards — 194 rushing and 179 passing — in their opener against Houston Sharpstown, and did not fare much better the next week.
Offensively, Sterling is averaging just 104 yards through two games and they have turned the ball over six times.
The Raiders’ main offensive threat is senior running back Jarvis Duckworth who rushed for 1,015 yards and 12 touchdowns last season. He is off to a slow start this season, however, managing just 73 yards on 26 carries with no touchdowns.
Junior quarterback Ja’Quan McKnight has thrown for 127 yards and one touchdown, completing 16 of 59 attempts, but he has been picked off three times.