KENS 5 H.S. football rankings: No. 2 Reagan savoring fourth district title in a row

SAN ANTONIO – Another football season, another district championship for the Reagan.

No, the Rattlers haven’t won district every year since their first varsity season in 2000. It just seems that way to their opponents.

Dominating both sides of the line of scrimmage, Reagan ran Madison into the ground en route to a 31-0 victory Friday that lifted the Rattlers to their school-record fourth consecutive 26-6A title. And they did it without blue-chip quarterback Kellen Mond, who transferred in January to IMG Academy in Florida.

“You don’t lose a guy that’s been a two-year starter and not have to coach a little bit more,” Rattlers coach David Wetzel said Monday, chuckling. “Say what you want to about who played quarterback for us last year, but the dude was very talented.”

Is this district title a little sweeter because of what the team had to overcome?

“It is kind of a cool one,” said Wetzel, who is 113-41 at Reagan since he succeeded Irl Kincaid in 2004.

Reagan, 8-1 overall and 5-0 in district, moved from No. 3 to No. 2 in the KENS 5 area rankings this week after Judson, which had been No. 2 since losing to Steele on Sept. 23, was thrashed by Smithson Valley last Friday.

Steele (8-1) remained No. 1 in the 6A rankings and Alamo Heights (8-1) inched from No. 2 to No. 1 in the Sub-6A Top 10 after beating Boerne Champion in a 26-5A showdown.  

A win over Roosevelt this week would give the Rattlers, who have won 23 league games in a row, the distinction of becoming the first North East ISD team to sweep the district for four consecutive seasons. Now in their 13th season under Wetzel, the Rattlers have won seven district crowns and reached the state quarterfinals five times during his tenure.

Mond, who has committed to Texas A&M, started for the Rattlers as a sophomore and junior, and was projected to be one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the state this season. Undaunted, Reagan closed ranks and has won with a punishing running game that features 5-foot-4 scatback Marquis Duncan.

Senior Cade Bormet has taken the majority of snaps at quarterback, but junior Justin Tibbs also has seen action at the position.  

“It’s kind of old school. It’s not real sexy,” Rattlers coach Dave Wetzel said, chuckling. “But it’s been effective. We’ve done what we’ve needed to do.”

Duncan, a senior, has rushed for 1,334 yards and 19 touchdowns in 205 carries. He ran for 129 yards on 13 carries, a 9.9 average, and three TDs in the win over Madison.

“He does a great job,” Wetzel said. “Our kids love him, blocking for him, and they love playing with him. He wants to do well. He takes a lot of pride in what he does. He is small. He knows that, but he’s a powerful, small young man who can make big plays. And he’s tough. That’s another thing. I don’t think people realize how tough he is.”

Of course, a running back is only as good as the guys doing the heavy lifting up front. The Rattlers’ offensive line of center Justis Wilson, guards Kyle Brookover and Brandon Smith, and tackles Matt Latronico and Derek Kerstetter has embraced the challenge of carrying the offense, Wetzel said.

Kerstetter, who has committed to Oklahoma State, has been selected to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in January at the Alamodome.

“Those guys on the offensive line have taken the challenge,” Wetzel said. “They realize that when we move the ball, it’s because of them. They know there are some talented skill people behind them that can make some plays. I think they like the guys they’re blocking for and protecting, and I think that’s important.”

Reagan rushed for 321 yards on 35 carries for a 9.17 average and held Madison to 37 yards on the ground in 36 attempts. The shutout was the second in a row for the Rattlers.

“We think that’s the first back-to-back shutouts we’ve had at Reagan,” Wetzel said. “We’ve got good players on defense that love to play together, and they buy into the coaching. They understand what the opponent is doing and they take great pride in playing. They want to get a shutout, and those don’t come easily.”

Lyndon Hamilton is the Rattlers’ defensive coordinator.

“I think our kids would give the credit to our defensive staff,” Wetzel said. “They do a super job of preparing our players every week. Lyndon is very passionate about coaching and he does an awesome job.”

Wetzel cited linebackers Kyle Anderson and Leighton Dimando and safeties Spencer Gilliam and Jake Hoggatt for their consistency this season. 

KENS 5 Area High School Football Rankings

Class 6A

1. Steele (8-1)
District: 27-6A
Ranking last week: No. 1
Last week: Defeated Wagner 40-28
The skinny: The Knights earned at least a share of their eighth consecutive district title with the victory over Wagner. 
This week: vs. Clemens, Friday, 7:30 p.m., Lehnhoff Stadium, Clemens

2. Reagan (8-1)
District: 26-6A
Ranking last week: No. 3
Last week: Defeated Madison 31-0
The skinny: The Rattlers won their fourth consecutive district title with the win against the Mavericks. . 
This week: vs. Roosevelt, Friday, 7:30 p.m., Comalander Stadium

3. O’Connor (8-1)
District: 28-6A
Ranking last week: No. 4
Last week: Defeated Clark 56-10
The skinny: The win against the Cougars completed a sweep of District 28-6A's Zone B for the Panthers.  
This week: vs. No. 8 Brennan, District 28-6A title game, Thursday, 7 p.m., Farris Stadium

4. Smithson Valley (6-2)
District: 27-6A
Ranking last week: No. 5
Last week: Defeated Judson 44-14
The skinny: The Rangers outgained the Rockets 421-146 in total offensive yardage. 
This week: at No. 10 New Braunfels, Friday, 7:30 p.m. 

5. Judson (7-2)
District: 27-6A
Ranking last week: No. 2
Last week: Lost to Smithson Valley 44-14
The skinny: The Rangers outgained the Rockets 421-146 in total offensive yardage.
This week: vs. New Braunfels Canyon, Friday, 7:30 p.m., Rutledge Stadium, Judson H.S.

6. Churchill (8-2)
District 26-6A
Ranking last week: No. 6
Last week: Defeated MacArthur 42-7
The skinny: Jordon Billups completed 10 of 15 passes for 232 yards and three TDs in the win over MacArthur.
This week: Bye

7. Johnson (6-3)
District: 26-6A
Ranking last week: No. 7
Last week: Bye
The skinny: The Jaguars are third in the 26-6A race heading into the final week of the regular season.
This week: vs. Madison, Friday, 7:30 p.m., Heroes Stadium

8. Brennan (6-3)
District: 28-6A
Ranking last week: No. 9
Last week: Defeated Marshall 34-14
The skinny: The Bears have won six in a row since starting the season 0-3.
This week: vs. No. 3 O'Connor, District 28-6A title game, Thursday, 7 p.m., Farris Stadium

No. 9 Brandeis (6-3)
District: 28-6A
Ranking last week: No. 10
Last week: Bye
The skinny: The Broncos must win this week to make the playoffs.
This week: vs. Stevens, Friday, 7:30 p.m., Farris Stadium

No. 10 New Braunfels (6-3)
District: 27-6A
Ranking last week: Not ranked
Last week: Defeated Clemens 35-28
The skinny: The Unicorns clinched a playoff berth with the win over Clemens
This week: vs. No. 4 Smithson Valley, Friday, 7:30 p.m., Unicorn Stadium

Dropped out of rankings: Clemens (5-4)

1. Alamo Heights (8-1)
District: 26-5A
Ranking last week: No. 2
Last week: Defeated Boerne Champion 38-34
The skinny: Heights, Champion and Dripping Springs have clinched playoff spots. 
This week: vs. Medina Valley, Friday, 7:30 p.m., Orem Stadium, Alamo Heights H.S.
2. Boerne Champion (7-2)
District: 26-5A
Ranking last week: No. 1
Last week: Lost to Alamo Heights 38-34
The skinny: The loss to the Mules dropped the Chargers into a three-way tie for first in 26-5A..
This week: at Seguin, Friday, 7:30 p.m.
3. Navarro (9-0)
District: 13-4A / Division II
Ranking last week: No. 3
Last week: Defeated Hondo 45-3 
The skinny: The Panthers already have clinched the district title. 
This week: vs. Bandera, Friday, 7:30 p.m., Panther Stadium, Navarro H.S.
4. Holy Cross (8-1)
District: TAPPS Division II / District 3
Ranking last week: No. 5
Last week: Defeated Austin Hyde Park Baptist 27-7
The skinny: The Knights bounced back from their loss to Austin Regents.
This week: at Austin St. Michael's, Friday, 7:30 p.m.
5. Antonian (8-1)
District: TAPPS Division I / District 2
Ranking last week: No. 4
Last week: Lost to Central Catholic 40-21
The skinny: The Apaches trailed St. Anthony 15-10 heading into the fourth quarter.
This week: at Brownsville St. Joseph, Friday, 7:30 p.m.
6. Somerset (7-2)
District: 15-4A / Division I
Ranking last week: No. 7
Last week: Defeated Pleasanton 24-13
The skinny: The Bulldogs are tied for first in district with Beeville Jones, but the Trojans own the tie-breaker because they beat Somerset.
This week: at La Vernia, Friday, 7:30 p.m.
7. Uvalde (7-2)
District: 29-5A
Ranking last week: No. 8
Last week: Defeated McCollum 42-14
The skinny: Michael Mata completed 20 of 28 passes for 296 yards and four TDs in the win over McCollum. 
This week: at Eagle Pass Winn, Friday, 7:30 p.m.
8. Brackenridge (6-3)
District: 28-5A
Ranking last week: No. 10
Last week: Defeated Lanier 20-14
The skinny: The Eagles go into their regular-season finale tied with Lanier and Highlands for first in 28-5A.
This week: vs. Highlands, Friday, 7:30 p.m. Alamo Stadium
9. Lanier (6-3)
District: 28-5A
Ranking last week: No. 6
Last week: Lost to Brackenridge 20-14
The skinny: The Voks can secure a share of the 28-5A title with a win this week.
This week: vs.Burbank, Friday, 7:30 p.m., SAISD Sports Complex
10. Highlands (6-3)
District: 28-5A
Ranking last week: No. 9
Last week: Defeated Memorial 48-17
The skinny: The Owls can get at least a share of the 28-5A title with a win in their regular-season finale.
This week: vs. Brackenridge, Friday, 7:30 p.m., Alamo Stadium
Dropping out of rankings: None .

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