STORY BY TIM SCHNETTLER
HOUSTON — The Navasota Rattlers got off to a slow start Friday night against the Wheatley Wildcats, but in the end it was the same result — another lopsided victory for the top-ranked team in Class 4A as the Rattlers rolled to a 56-0 victory at Barnett Stadium.
The Rattlers, who remained undefeated on the season as well as in District 11-4A, took over sole possession of the district lead with the victory, improving to 9-0 and 4-0 in league play. The victory also gave the Rattlers at least a share of the 11-4A title.
The Wildcats, who were tied atop the district standings with the Rattlers heading into Friday night, dropped to 4-5 and 3-1.
The Rattlers looked sluggish in the early going, but got things cranked up in the final four minutes of the first half, needing just seven plays to find the end zone three times to take a 35-0 lead at the half.
“I thought we came out a bit lackadaisical,” Navasota head coach Lee Fedora said. “We did a good job of putting the points on the board and playing defense.”
In the first quarter Wheatley’s methodical offense served its purpose, keeping the ball out of the potent Navasota offenses’ hands.
Navasota only got two possessions, but both of them ended in touchdowns by running back LaMarquis Jefferson. The senior, who returned to action last week after suffering an injury in the first game of the season, finished with 12 carries for 100 yards and four touchdowns.
The Rattlers didn’t get many possessions in the second quarter either, but as they had in the first, they were efficient, scoring on three of the four.
Quarterback Shelton Eppler (10-of-16 for 271 yards and two touchdowns) threw his first touchdown of the night, a 19-yarder to Tren’Davion Dickson, to up the Rattler lead to 21-0.
The next time Navasota got the ball, Jarvis Norman amassed 68 yards on just two runs, finding the end zone from 22 yards out.
On the ensuing kickoff Michel Martinez’s pooch kick was recovered by Navasota’s Kaeron Baker at the Wheatley 24–yard line. Two plays later Jefferson collected his third touchdown of the night, finding the end zone from five-yards out.
It didn’t take long for the Rattlers to get on the board in the second half when Dickson took a short pass from Eppler and turned it into a 61-yard touchdown on the second play of the half.
Jefferson capped his night with his fourth touchdown of the night on a 16-yard run the next time the Rattlers had the ball and Quinn Williams capped the scoring with a 1-yard plunge on the first play of the fourth quarter.
The Navasota defense posted its third shutout of the season and its second consecutive. The Rattlers limited the Wildcats to 65 total yards — 56 rushing, nine passing.
“I thought they played hard,” Fedora said of his defense.
NAVASOTA 56, HOUSTON WHEATLEY 0
First Downs 21 2
Rushes/Yards 39/269 29/56
Passing Yards 271 9
Total Yards 540 65
PC-PA-PI 10-16-0 3-6-0
Punts/Avg 1/27 9/31.4
Fumbles/Lost 0/0 1/0
Penalties/Yards 6/60 6/31
NAVASOTA 14 21 14 7 — 56
WHEATLEY 0 0 0 0 — 0
N — LaMarquis Jefferson 5 run (Michel Martinez kick) 9 plays 46 yards (7:24)
N — Jefferson 20 run (Martinez kick) 5 plays 32 yards (2:58)
N — Tren’Davion Dickson 19 pass from Shelton Eppler (Martinez kick) 2 plays, 74 yards (3:42)
N — Jarvis Norman 22 run (Martinez kick) 2 plays 68 yards (1:36)
N — Jefferson 5 run (Martinez kick) 3 plays 24 yards (1:08)
N — Dickson 61 pass from Eppler (Martinez kick) 2 plays 61 yards (11:34)
N — Jefferson 16 run (Martinez kick) 3 plays 38 yards (9:28)
N — Quinn Williams 1 run (Martinez kick) 10 plays 76 yards (11:55)
Top passers: N: Eppler 10-16-271 2 TDs
Top receivers: N: Dickson 3-63 2 TD
Top rushers: N — Jefferson 12-100 4 TDs
Story courtesy of B/CS Eagle