Thursday, December 7, 2023

Tolar, now 11-1, moves on to face Italy

Rattlers romp to third round


The Tolar Rattlers continued their onslaught of opponents in the postseason as they disposed of Cayuga 60-0 Thursday night at Lumpkins Stadium in Waxahachie.

The Rattlers, now 11-1, now move on to the third round of the Class 2A Division I playoffs where they will meet upstart Italy (7-5) at a site, day and time yet to be decided at press time. The Gladiators disposed of DeLeon 55-19 Thursday.

Tolar opened the playoffs with a 57-12 rout of Trenton the week before. Over their past five games the Rattlers have outscored their opponents 302-24.

Cayuga, which ended its season at 7-5, was held to less than 100 yards of offense (62 yards on 27 carries, 25 passing yards). Meanwhile, the Rattlers compiled 399 total yards (290 rushing on 33 carries and 109 passing).

“Our guys did a great job of coming out and starting fast again tonight,” Tolar coach Jeremy Mullins said. “Very proud of their effort. We’ve got some things to clean up, but we’ll enjoy tonight and get started this weekend on the next one.”

Garrison Nation led the Tolar rushing attack with 144 yards and two touchdowns - including a 77-yard score - on just six carries. Peyton Brown carried eight times for 50 yards and a pair of TD.

Brown, who rushed for 2,777 yards and 49 touchdowns last year, played the first game of the season and missed the next eight games with an injured ankle. He returned in limited action in the final game of the season.

Quarterback Isaac Blessing accounted for three of Tolar’s touchdowns. He completed six of 10 passes for all 109 of their passing yards with touchdowns to Matthew Behrens and Clayton Stembridge. Blessing also ran nine times for 61 yards and a TD.

Blessing spread his completions around to five different receivers. Behrens hauled in two catches for 46 yards.

The Rattlers defense also forced a pair of turnovers via interceptions while the Tolar offense was turnover free. On the season, the Tolar defense has 30 takeaways (19 interceptions, 11 fumble recoveries).

The victory was Tolar’s 24th in its past 26 games dating to the start of last season, the best season in Rattlers history to date. They finished 13-1 and reached the state quarterfinals.

Since the start of the 2021 season Tolar is 34-5 and is in the third round of the postseason for a third straight year. This is also their fifth straight season in the playoffs and fourth consecutive season in which they’ve advanced to at least the second round.

Tolar Rattlers Football