Rattler Football falls short in 2014 season opener vs O’Connor

Cox smothers Panther runner
Cox smothers Panther runner

August, 31 2014 The 2014 Reagan Rattler Football season kicked off Saturday night at Farris Stadium versus the O’Connor Panthers. The rivalry between these to powerful programs is well noted with Reagan owning the overall record and winning the last 8 meetings. Coming off an impressive 2013 season that ended with an 11-1 record and a District Championship, the expectations were high for this years young Rattlers. With the loss of many key players the Rattlers worked hard in the off season to address the needs and put the right players in the right spots to have maximum success. The Rattlers took the field with great confidence and determination to begin the journey to solidify themselves in Reagan history. The defensive unit was the first to take the field and set the tone with a smothering three and out series to lay the plans for a Rattler victory. Unfortunately the Panthers had other plans for themselves. After two early turnovers and poor field position, the Rattlers found themselves looking up at a 20-0 deficit at the end of the first quarter of play. As in every season, the cool demeanor of Head Coach David Wetzel prevailed as he marched the sideline reminding the team we must weather the storms of the game. The team listened and answered the call holding the Panthers scoreless the second quarter, while sophomore quarterback Kellen Mond connected with senior tight end Ben Konetzke on a 16 yard pass for the teams first score. Pablo Herrera, junior kicker, who sat out the 2013 season recovering from a torn ACL, also chipped in a field goal to close out the first half 20-10. Coming out for the second half the defense resumed it’s same tenacity stopping the Panther offense on another crucial three and out. Momentum seemed to be shifting towards the Rattlers, however it would never fully swing to side of Reagan. The Rattlers lost the contest to the tough O’Connor team 28-23. Key standouts for the game included Junior Leyton Leone with 5 receptions for 92 yards and a score, Sophomore Kellen Mond who was 8-12 from the air with 134 yards passing and a score, while rushing on 11 carries for 90 yards and a score. The defensive line and secondary for the Rattlers also should be mentioned for their hard-nosed play throughout the game. The Rattlers look to notch their first win of the season versus a perennially tough Harlingen Cardinals team on Friday, September 5th with a kick off set for 7:30 pm at Heroes Stadium. As always the team would like to thank you for your continued support and we look forward to you cheering on the Rattlers this Friday! Strike ’em Rattlers!