A loss to the Wheatley Wildcats last season in the final District 12-4A match-up left a bitter taste in the mouths of the Navasota Rattlers, and they have waited a year to spew the taste from their mouths. Now the Rattlers have replaced that bitter taste with the sweet taste of victory after defeating the Wildcats Friday 42-7 to claim an undefeated district championship.
Wheatley (5-4, 3-2) notched the game’s first score on a 2-yard run by Mike Buchanan. A successful point-after gave the Wildcats an early 7-0 lead.
Navasota (6-4, 6-0) came raging back with three scores in the opening-quarter. The senior combination on senior night, worked wonders as Zack Dyer connected with La’Darrin Thomas for touchdowns of 19 and 11 yards. Dyer ran in the final score of the quarter from 4-yards out. Miguel Alvarado successfully tacked on each of the extra-point attempts.
This game is by far one of the most efficient nights for Dyer who finished 11-of-17 passing for 188 yards, 3 touchdowns and no interceptions. He also carried the ball 13 times for 113 yards and a touchdown. Thomas caught 4 passes for 55 yards and a touchdown.
“Our kids deserve this. They played great,” said Navasota head coach Casey Dacus. “Last year we had a bad taste in our mouths but this year, obviously we wanted to right that and I thought our kids did a nice job of doing that.”
Dacus fought back tears and was choked up when talking about this group of seniors, “They mean a lot to me. Th ey bought in when it wasn’t always popular to do so. They held the rope and did what we asked them to do and hung in there when things weren’t always easy and I’m so proud of them.
They’ve earned everything they have, and nothing has been given to them.”
It was all Navasota in the second half as the Rattlers continued their scoring barrage. Mark Martinez caught his second career touchdown. Martinez found space in the middle of the field and Dyer found him for the 32-yard connection.
The defense got in on the scoring as Keith Steptoe picked up a Wildcat fumble and darted in for a 30-yard touchdown. Joel Castaneda punched in the game’s final touchdown with a 7-yard run to finalize the score 42-0, clinching the District 12-4A championship.
The crowd joined the Rattlers on the field beckoned by chants of “who dat talking about beating them Rattlers” from the Navasota players.
“This is a great feeling. Last year we were leading at halftime and they came back and beat us,” said Navasota offensive and defensive lineman Jordan Jefferson. “We got that bitter taste out of our mouths and doing it on senior night, you can’t ask for anything better.”
Navasota will face the fourth-place finisher from District 11-4A, in the Bi-District round of the playoffs with a date, time and location to be determined. Currently Lumber-ton is sitting in fourth place in 11-4A but face Little Cypress Mauriceville Friday.
Wheatley hosts Furr Friday at 7 p.m.