The Tolar Rattlers could’ve just won by one point against Rio Vista at home Friday, and it would’ve been enough to earn a playoff spot.
But the Rattlers left nothing to chance, dominating Rio Vista from the opening whistle in a 36-7 win that moved Tolar to 5-4 (2-2 District 6-3A DII) and locked down a postseason bid.
Freshman quarterback Jackson LeCluyse had his breakout game, passing for three touchdowns and 128 yards on 16 attempts. Wesley Miller ran for 66 yards and a touchdown and Braegan Berry added 33 yards and a score on the ground.
Seth Carroll, Matt Moody and Reese Robinson each hauled in touchdown passes, and Brett Jackson had three tackles for loss.
LeCluyse is one of a group of freshmen, including running back and linebacker Brock Owens, that has had standout games this year .
“We talked about it at the beginning of this year, we’re going to have some young guys in key roles,” Mullins said. “Two guys (LeCluyse and Owens) that in any normal year probably would’ve been subvarsity guys, but due to depth this year, we’re proud of those guys for stepping up and just playing.”
Mullins also credited his senior class for helping lead the Rattlers to their second playoff berth in three years.
“You always say this stuff, not to get stuck on looking at the magazines or looking at the paper and where people expect you to be,” he said. “I’m proud of these guys for proving some people wrong.”
STILL GETTING BETTER
Friday’s game at Comanche (4-5, 2-2 District 6-3A DII) will provide Tolar with a chance to improve its playoff seeding. If the Rattlers lose, they’ll be in the fourth spot and have to face perennial powerhouse Gunter, whereas a win most likely means they’ll play City View.
While he knows Gunter would be a difficult draw, Mullins is staying focused on Comanche.
“That’s my main focus this week,” he said. “Yeah, somebody’s waiting after this next week – and that’s awesome, we’re excited we’re in the playoffs – but the most important thing here is, are we a good enough football team to get better this week and build upon what we’ve done in the last couple (games) and beat a good Comanche team?”
Comanche runs the Wing-T offense, as it has for years under coach Stephen Hermesmeyer. The Indians have players that have grown up in that system, and will have a size advantage against Tolar.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. in Comanche.
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