HUFFMAN – Fueled by a tough loss a week ago, Navasota unleashed their frustrations on the Huffman-Hargrave Falcons with a bounceback 42-14 win.
Navasota (3-1) turned to junior quarterback Hudson Minor to reignite the offense. Head Coach Casey Dacus said a lot of things factored into the decision to start Minor. “You look at team morale and offensive- consistency, but you also look at the other side of the ball, because he [Minor] is a big part of what we do at safety,” explained Dacus.
Minor led the Rattlers offensively with three rushing touchdowns and a passing score. Dacus said he has always been confident in Minor as a quarterback, but his defensive abilities led him to begin the season with Minor at safety. “I thought last week we were stagnant offensively,” said Dacus. “I thought we needed a little bit of change and I thought Hudson answered the bell and did a great job. That is what I expected from him. He is a great leader and his intangibles are off the chart. When you bring that kind of energy into the huddle it is contagious.” After forcing a punt to start the game, Deontray Scott escaped for a 55-yard run. Juan Vargas tacked on the point-after to give Navasota a 7-0 lead. The lead was shortlived. Tyler Wilkins returned the ensuing kickoff 95 yards to tie the game. Navasota answered with a huge return from Scott. The Rattlers took the lead on a 5-yard run by Minor and never looked back. “It gives us good momentum going into district, especially to bounce back from last week’s loss at home,” said Minor of the win. “Next week in district going against El Campo, we’re going to get that win at home, bring the juice back and show them what Navasota Rattler Football is about.”
Hargrave downed a punt at the 1-yard line, but the Rattlers drove 99 yards capped by Scott’s second touchdown of the opening- quarter. With 30 seconds remaining and facing a 4thand- goal, Scott carried the ball 17 yards for the score.
Justin Evans narrowed the lead 21-14 on a 1-yard run, but the Rattlers answered with consecutive scores to end the half. Minor eluded a tackle and scampered for a 17-yard score.
Minor credited his huge night to his teammates. “There was a lot of green space,” said Minor. “I love my [offensive] line. I have so much chemistry with them that we developed from last year and in junior high. My receivers made plays and were blocking amazing. Everything was executed perfect.”
“I thought we executed well,” said Navasota center Chance Risner. “We had good looks in practice from our JV team.” Risner said everyone practiced extremely hard this week because they were mad about the home-loss to Bellville.
Minor connected with Kaddon Hubbard, who moved inside from receiver to tight-end. The 6-4 junior broke a tackle and scored on the 49-yard reception. “It kind of caught me off guard,” Hubbard said of the position change. “But I was able to learn the fundamentals of the position and it paid-off with a touchdown.” Navasota added a final score in the third quarter, a 10-yard run by Minor. Vargas remained perfect on the night.
The Rattlers begin District 13-4A play at Rattler Stadium Friday, Sept. 23, against the El Campo Ricebirds (2-2). Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. El Campo features the nation’s number one running back prospect and Louisville commit, Rueben Owens.