The Murfreesboro Rattlers will open conference play and look to rebound from a big loss when they host the Lafayette County Cougars this homecoming Friday at Rattler Stadium.
The Rattlers (1-2) dropped a non-conference game Friday night, 67-14 to the 3-0 Hampton Bulldogs of the 2A-8 division. The LC Cougars will bring a 0-3 record with them Friday as the Rattlers’ homecoming opponent.
The 2016 Rattler Homecoming activities will begin on Holloway Field at 6:15 with kick-off set for 7:00..
The Bulldogs struck quick and often against the visiting Rattlers. Their offense amassed 564 yards of offense with 548 coming from the Bulldog ground game. Monta Thomas rushed for 176 and two touchdowns while Emmanuel Hegler picked up 128 yards and two touchdowns. Thomas’ only pass of the night was good for a 16-yard TD.
The Rattler offense, buoyed by the return of senior running back Gavin Gardner, had 231 yards on offense. Gardner had 14 carries for 96 yards and two touchdowns. Tyler Tomlinson picked up 68 yards, Jack Stuard had 24 yards and Cameron Snowden added 14 yards to the Rattler rushing total of 166 yards.
Rattler quarterback Ryan Roberts hit 10 of 23 passes for 65 yards. Roberts was intercepted twice. His receivers included Stuard, Gardner, Snowden, Troy Stone and J.C. Motley.
After the Rattler defense gave up a 58-yard five-play TD drive to open the game, Hampton’s defense put the next points on the board on the Rattler offense’s first play of the game. Hampton’s Hegler took the picked pass 32 yards for the score to put the Bulldogs up, 13-0. The Rattlers responded in the first quarter with a 10-play 65-yard drive that Gardner capped from one yard out to cut the score to 13-6.
Hampton hit the end zone two more times in the first quarter and twice in the second to carry a 47-14 lead into the locker rooms.
The Rattlers’ last score of the night came in the second when Gardner broke a 60-yard TD run and Roberts ran in the two-point conversion.
Hampton’s defense threw a shut-out second half at the Rattlers while their offense added eight more points in the third quarter and 12 in the fourth to tally the 67-14 win.
Chris French, Scott Evans and Brody Hignight led the Rattler tackle chart.