October 24, 2015 – Entering their District 26-6A game against the MacArthur Brahmas, the unbeaten Reagan Rattlers had much to lose, while their competitors had a whole lot to gain. But No. 3 Reagan used the running of Marquis Duncan, and a defense that came up big in key situations, to defeat MacArthur 56-35 on Friday before 3,027 at Comalander Stadium.
The Rattlers (9-0, 5-0) won the 26-6A championship. No. 10 MacArthur (5-3, 2-2), which lost its second straight game, fell into a tie with Lee (6-2, 2-2) for third place. The contest was delayed about an hour because of lightning. Duncan rushed for 327 yards and five touchdowns, including 54- and 66-yard scores in the game’s final 7½ minutes after the Brahmas had scored three straight touchdowns to close within 42-35.
Duncan’s performance headlined a Reagan rushing attack that amassed 527 yards. Reagan finished with 727 yards of total offense. But for as much offensive fireworks as they displayed, it was the Rattlers’ defense that perhaps provided the pivotal plays. Reagan three times stopped MacArthur drives deep in its territory. The first came when Reagan’s Leyton Leone stripped the ball from MacArthur wide receiver Nate Vega as he was about to cross the goal line.
Jake Hoggatt recovered the fumble for a touchdown, keeping Reagan ahead 7-0 with 7:40 left in the first quarter. The Rattlers also stopped MacArthur on first-and-goal from the 1 when the Brahmas gain no yards on their first three plays, including two incompletion passes, and linebacker Kyle Anderson sacked MacArthur quarterback Tyler Vitt for a 6-yard loss on fourth down. Reagan also forced and recovered a fumble at its 5-yard line with about a minute left in the game. Trailing 42-21 after three quarters, MacArthur surged into contention with three unanswered scores to get within 42-35 with 7½ left to play. Dai’Jon Williams scored on a 29-yard TD run to make it 42-21, and after the Brahmas defense recovered a fumble and forced a punt, Vitt — who passed for 433 yards and three scores — connected with wide receiver Bobby Lepovitz for scoring tosses of 36 and 30 yards.
But that was as close as MacArthur would get as Duncan raced to his fourth and fifth TDs, and Reagan’s defense forced a turnover on downs and recovered a fumble. Duncan ran for three first-half TDs, and quarterback Kellen Mond ran for two as the Rattlers led 28-14 at halftime.