Sunday, December 16, 2018
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20181123 RattlersvsCubsThe Sharyland Rattlers and Pioneer Diamondbacks proved to be two of the top 5A programs across the Rio Grande Valley in 2018, and the fight they showed in the state playoffs is evidence of that.

Here’s a look back on the season that was for the Sharyland Rattlers and Pioneer Diamondbacks.

Sharyland Rattlers
For the second straight year, the Sharyland Rattlers’ season came to an end in overtime of the second round of the playoffs.

There was heartbreak, hugs and tears last Saturday at Cabaniss Stadium in Corpus Christi after Sharyland’s 42-35 double-overtime loss to the Brenham Cubs, but the Rattlers didn’t go down without a fight.

“It’s kind of ironic, the first game of the year was overtime and here today, the last game took overtime,” said Sharyland Head Coach Ron Adame in reference to the Rattlers’ season opener, a 20-17 overtime win over Brownsville Pace. “I don’t think it surprised our boys that we find ourselves in that situation, it’s a little disappointing that we come out on the losing end for the second year in a row in the playoffs, but I’m proud of each and everyone of these individuals. They gave us everything they had, not just today but all season long.”

Sharyland built a 21-point lead heading into halftime after senior quarterback Edgar Longoria threw touchdown passes to receivers Gabriel Tamez and Ruben Davila and a rushing score by slot back Adrian Solis.

Coming out of the locker room, Brenham turned things up and scored three touchdowns in the third quarter, creating ties at 21 and again at 28 before heading into overtime where they eventually prevailed.

“You got to give them credit for stepping up their game defensively and offensively,” Adame said. “They executed on defense and kept us bottled up, our defense gave us a couple turnovers that we couldn’t do anything with. We didn’t win the second half, that’s the reason they were able come back.”

The District 16-5A Division II Champion Sharyland Rattlers season comes to an end as city champions, district champions and bi-district champions who managed to put together an seven-game win streak.

Longoria finished the season with 1,409 passing yards, 709 rushing yards and 28 total touchdowns, while Solis put together over 1,000 all-purpose yards with and five scores. Senior linebacker Javo Lopez, one of the team’s captains, finishes his career with 360 total tackles, 10 sacks, six fumble recoveries and one interception.

The Rattlers now move on to the offseason where they’ll look to put together the pieces that will lead Sharyland to another successful showing next year.

Pioneer Diamondbacks
The Pioneer Diamondbacks were back in the playoffs for the third straight season and put together their best postseason performance to date under first year Head Coach Tom Lee.

After a 5-1 district finish, good enough for second in 16-5A DII, the Diamondbacks took on the Port La Vaca Calhoun Sandcrabs in the Bi-district round of the playoffs and put on a show for those in attendance at Richard Thompson Stadium.

The Diamondbacks and Sandcrabs went blow-for-blow in a fast-paced shootout, scoring 111 combined points in Pioneer’s first ever home playoff game.

With one minute left on the clock, Pioneer’s senior quarterback Jacob Rosales ran his way into the endzone for his third rushing touchdown of the game, adding to his six total scores and 626 total yards. Down 55-56 and needing an extra-point to tie, Lee elected to go for the win and keep the Diamondback offense on the field.

Rosales took the snap on the two-point conversion and tried to burst through the middle for the win but was ultimately denied, falling one-yard short of the endzone and one point shy of Pioneer’s first ever playoff victory.

Receiver Lavar Lindo hauled in six receptions for 181 yards and two touchdowns on the night, while sophomore running back Tristan Castillo provided 236 all-purpose yards with two touchdowns on the ground in the first round shootout.

Rosales finishes his career with 5,991 passing yards, 2,177 rushing yards and 92 total touchdowns and will handover the reins to Eddie Lee Marburger.

The Pioneer Diamondbacks are becoming playoff regulars with three straight appearances and will be on the hunt for their first postseason win in program history in 2019.