Struggles continue for Titans
SAN MARCOS - Victoria East had things going with the backfield combination of Jonathan Ortega and Laken Williams for most of the night.
When Williams wasn't carrying it off tackle, Ortega would break through with long runs on options.
Unfortunately, mistakes caught up with the Titans (0-2).
Despite Ortega and Williams' combined 239 yards rushing, East couldn't overcome four turnovers that led to 21 points for the San Marcos Rattlers in a 38-12 loss Thursday night at Bobcat Stadium.
"It would have been a different game if we didn't turn the ball over as much as we did," Ortega said.
Ortega carried the ball 11 times for 102 yards, including a 4-yard touchdown run, and completed 6-of-10 passes but threw a pair of interceptions. Laken Williams finished with 137 yards on 25 carries.
Although the Titans have dropped their second-straight game to begin the season, Laken Williams said this game was an improvement from the Week Zero setback, in which the Titans allowed Gonzales to score 60 points and accumulate 607 rushing yards.
"We came out and got some stops," Laken said. "We definitely improved; it's a stepping stone to next week."
San Marcos (2-0) finished the day with 402 total yards.
East wide receiver Cameron Williams did give the Titans the final score of the game with a 4-yard touchdown with 5:47 remaining in the fourth quarter. He rushed for 14 yards on three carries.
The Titans got Laken Williams into a rhythm early on thanks to a big first half in which he rushed for 92 yards on 13 carries.
"The dude plays hard, and he got the ball a lot tonight," Ortega said. "I guess they couldn't stop him."
San Marcos running back Jenoah Fabian got the Rattlers on the board with the first carry of the game - a 61-yard run.
Smith connected with Zach Sterling for a 5-yard touchdown that finished off a 10-play, 65-yard drive that put the Rattlers up 14-0 midway through the first quarter.
Smith later scored on a 7-yard carry to cap a 21-point first quarter.
The East offense was able to build some momentum on its second drive of the game by advancing the ball 49 yards on eight plays, setting up a first down on the Rattler 15, but that's the closest it came to scoring in the first quarter.
San Marcos cornerback Michael Ousey intercepted Ortega's first pass attempt of the game and returned it 8 yards.
Robert Rocha scored the fourth Rattler touchdown of the first half 11 plays later.
"Toward the end of the first half they did a great job," said East head coach Roland Gonzalez. "We established some continuity with our offense, we've just got to be more consistent."
Ortega gave the Titans the momentum with a 4-yard touchdown run with 1:09 remaining in the first half, but San Marcos responded by moving the ball 30 yards on eight plays to set up Christian Munoz' 33-yard field goal right before halftime.
The Titans took the field without senior wide receiver Deondric Lofton. Gonzalez said Lofton didn't play because of personal reasons.
San Marcos 38, Victoria East 12
SM- Jonoah Fabian 68-yard run (Christian Munoz kick), 11:21SM- Zach Sterling 5-yard pass from Tucker Smith (Christian Munoz kick), 6:58SM-Tucker Smith 7-yard run (Christian Munoz kick) 4:45
SM- Robert Rocha 29-yard run (Christian Munoz kick), 10:03VE- Jonathan Ortega 4-yard run (kick blocked), 1:09SM- Christian Munoz 33-yard FG, 0:00
SM- Brandon Chapman 14-yard run (Christian Munoz kick), 3:46
Cameron Williams 3-yard (2-point conversion failed), 5:47
RUSHING-- Victoria East, Bryce Martinez 2-5, Cameron Williams 3-14, Jonathan Ortega 11-102,
PASSING-- Victoria East, Jonathan Ortega 10-6-63-2,
RECEIVING-- Victoria East, Dillon Lippe 1-9, Cameron Williams 3-26
San Marcos 38, Victoria East 12
Wharton 71, Houston Scarborough 0
Woodsboro 34, Leakey 0