East hopes to extend San Marcos' road losing streak
Sept. 5, 2012 at 4:05 a.m.
Updated Sept. 6, 2012 at 4:06 a.m.
When Victoria East meets San Marcos in its home opener Thursday night, the game will be a matchup of similarities and differences.
The Titans and Rattlers both lost by three scores in their season openers - East in a 27-6 loss to Gonzales; San Marcos to Dripping Springs , 31-14.
Both schools have first year coaches, and those men said their teams displayed some first-game jitters.
Even the lessons both head coaches learned in their debuts sounded similar.
"I believe that we've learned that playing the game and practice are two different things," said East football coach Roland Gonzalez. "When you get on the field the competition is at a different level."
"I think they learned that Rattlers can be Rattlers," said San Marcos head coach Mark Soto, about a game where his team trailed 31-0 at one point. "In the first half we made a lot of mistakes and did things we haven't seen in practices and scrimmages."
Such similarities might provide the backstory, but the contrasts might make the game intriguing.
Soto, who won two state championships as an assistant at Converse Judson, is a defensive-minded coach, while Gonzalez is an offensive guy. The Rattlers will look to run the football from a multiple I-formation, whereas Gonzalez has installed a spread offense.
"We can run the ball," Soto said. "We chose to throw the ball when we want to, instead of when we need to. We'd rather run the ball, run the clock and make our yardage there."
San Marcos averaged 6.2 yards per play in its season opening loss. The Rattlers ran for 307 yards on 43 carries. Jonoah Fabian led the team with 145 yards on just 16 carries.
Though Victoria East allowed 260 yards on the ground against Gonzales, their head coach was pleased with the way his defense swarmed to the football, and allowed just one completion on 10 attempts. Gonzalez said playing such a physical team like the Apaches last week was a good preparation for the Rattlers rushing attack.
"Our goal is to peak at district," Gonzalez said. "We have to continue to fly around on defense. We have to continue to get better at executing our offense and special teams."
Though the final contrast between the two schools might mean the least, it's something the fans haven't overlooked. East has won eight of 11 games at Memorial Stadium, while San Marcos has lost 18 straight road games.
"You're going to see two teams out there that are battling to get better," Soto said. "When it's all said and done, you want your kids to get better. Win, lose, or draw - of course you want to get the win - but, you want to see your kids get better."