Story By Tim Schnettler
In terms of first games it could not have gone much better for the Navasota Rattlers on Saturday night. The Rattlers scored on seven of nine first-half possessions en route to a 62-0 thumping of the Nuevo Leon Tigres.
Quarterback Shelton Eppler had a fantastic night finishing 23-of-27 for 361 yards and six touchdown passes, all in the first half. Eppler, who only played two series in the second half, connected with Tren’Davion Dickson three times, Sammy Blair twice and Coy Imhoff once.
In all the Rattler offense put up 577 yards — 361 passing and 216 rushing.
While Eppler and the Rattler offense hit its stride, the Navasota defense was on point as well. The Rattlers limited the Tigres to 118total yards and forced a pair of turnovers while keeping Nuevo Leon out of the end zone.
“I was proud of them,” Rattler head coach Lee Fedora said ofhis team. “Anytime you put up 62 points it is a great thing. We came out fast tempo and I thought our defense played well and tackled well.”
Eppler and the Rattler offense wasted no time getting things going, scoring on its first play from scrimmage, when Eppler found Dickson behind the defense for a 45-yard score.
It was a sign of things to come as Dickson, who earlier thisyear committed to Baylor, hauled in two more touchdowns, one covering 4 yardsand the other 42. In all Dickson had seven receptions for 134 yards. He also had an interception on the defensive side of the ball.
After Eppler connected on back-to-back touchdown passes to Dickson, he did the same with Blair, hitting him for a 21-yard score to closeout the first quarter and then hooking up with him on a 7-yard score to start the second.
The Rattler running game, which finished with 216 yards, got in on the scoring when LaMarquis Jefferson scampered in from 28 yards out to stretch the Rattler lead to 35-0 midway through the second.
Eppler and Dickson combined one more time, this one a 42-yard score and then Dickson picked off a Nuevo Leon pass, setting up Eppler’s final scoring pass of the night, a 2-yarder to Coy Imhoff that sent the Rattlers to the half with a 49-0 lead.
In the second half, Navasota got a pair of field goals from Michel Martinez, a 28 yarder and a 33 yarder, and a 5-yard scoring run from Keyondrick Philio.
The Rattler will hit the road next Friday, traveling toHouston’s Barnett Stadium to take on Houston Yates in a 7 p.m. contest