Sunday, April 21, 2019
Text Size

20181116 SHSRAttlersvSomersetBulldogsFrom low-scoring defensive slugfests to high-scoring shootouts, the Sharyland Rattlers have faced it all in 2018.

When it came down to a do-or-die situation in the 4th quarter of their bi-district playoff game Saturday against the Somerset Bulldogs, they knew exactly what they had to do: respond.

With the scoreboard reading 21-19 in favor of Somerset and 2:20 left to play, the Sharyland defense stepped up to force a punt and give the ball back to the Rattler offense.

That’s when Sharyland senior slotback Adrian Solis made the game’s biggest play. Solis let the punt bounce deep into Rattler territory and decided to pick it up at his own 7-yard line in hopes of making something happen--and he did just that. Solis found the wall his teammates created and returned the punt 76 yards to the Somerset 17 to set the offense up in the red zone.

“Honestly, I didn’t think I was going to do it,” Solis said of his momentum swinging punt return. “I didn’t want to not grab it and let them down it inside the 10. I said screw it and let’s see what I can get. Thank God, it happened.”

On the very next play, senior quarterback Edgar Longoria found senior receiver Gabriel Tamez open on a post across the middle to put Sharyland in front for good 27-21 after a successful two-point conversion.

“We knew we’ve been in tough situations at the end of games before,” Longoria said. “Adrian had some cajones and he picked it up and did his job and got us in good field position. I told the offense let’s take it one play at a time, and that one play ended up being a touchdown and we had to believe in the defense. There was no doubt the defense was going to do their job.”

Trying to mount a last-minute comeback, the run-heavy attack of Somerset was forced to throw the ball and the Sharyland defense took advantage. Senior middle linebacker Javo Lopez made back-to-back plays as he came up with a sack on third down and pressured the Somerset quarterback on fourth down to force an incompletion and seal the 27-21 win for the Sharyland Rattlers.

“I was telling myself, I was telling the team ‘we go back out there we have to ball out, if not, it’s over, we just have to go out there and make a play,’” Lopez said. “It was just a team effort, we knew we had to make a play and we knew if we didn’t ball out, it’s over.”

Longoria finished with 267 total yards, four touchdowns and one successful two-point conversion. Tamez was the team’s leading receiver as the senior hauled in seven receptions for 94 yards and two scores.

Sharyland has faced plenty of adversity throughout the year and Head Coach Ron Adame said he thought it paid off Friday night in the form of the comeback playoff victory.

“We saw some resiliency, we saw our boys not giving up,” Adame said. “I think at some point during our previous 10 games, we’d been behind, we’d been through adversity, we talked about being cool, being calm and staying poised, and they did that in the second half. Hats off to Somerset, they tested us tonight and this game could have gone either way.”

The Sharyland Rattlers now move on to the area round for the second straight season where they’ll face the Brenham Cubs on Friday, Nov. 23.

The Brenham Cubs (7-4, 5-2) finished second in District 13-5A DII and punched their second round ticket with a 23-20 win over Boerne-Champion.

Sharyland’s senior class remembers being one play away from advancing to the third round after losing to Alice in a triple overtime heartbreaker 42-39, something Coach Adame has used as a motivator.

“They saw what types of teams you play in the second round and they saw how close they were to advancing,” Adame said earlier this year. “There were a lot of kids that are on our team this year as returners that experienced that and know what that feeling is of two playoff games and being successful in the playoffs. We use that as a motivator and teaching tool for these guys that make up this year’s team.”

Kickoff of the Class 5A Division II Area Playoff matchup between the Sharyland Rattlers and Brenham Cubs is set for 1 p.m. Friday at Cabaniss Stadium in Corpus Christi.
For live updates of today’s game, follow The Sharyland Times on Facebook.