The San Saba Armadillos defeated the Johnson City Eagles at Shockley Field in Johnson City last Friday 35-27. The teams showed a lot of offensive power with both having over 340 yards. Many recent games between them have been offensive explosions high-lighted by the game in 2002 where the teams combined for 942 yards. This was the first win on the road since the final game of the 2006 season against the Eagles at Grape Creek.
San Saba won the toss and deferred to the second half. Diego Gonzalez kicked the ball and it bounced off an Eagle. Jason Wells recovered for the Dillos at the Eagle 35. The drive ended when Ryan Parks fumbled inside the 10 and Tyler Troppy fell on it at the 7.
Johnson City moved the ball down the field mixing the running of Trenton Rodriguez and the passing of Cody Smith. Rodriguez scored the touchdown on the 10th play of the drive from 5 yards. The PAT by Rodriguez was wide left and the score was 6-0 Eagles.
The ensuing Eagle kick was recovered by the Dillos at the 45 and San Saba started a scoring drive of their own. Jack Whitten scored from a yard out to tie the game and Gonzalez added the PAT for the lead.
The Armadillo defense stopped Johnson City forcing a punt that rolled dead at the 9 yard line. The Armadillos next drive was cut short when a pass from Ryan Pannell was tipped and caught by a diving Kris McDonald of the Eagles.
Johnson City quickly capitalized on the turnover when Smith found an open Rodriguez for a 42-yard pass and the touchdown. The PAT was good and the Eagles had the lead back, 13-7.
The remainder of the quarter saw the Dillos punt twice and turn the ball over on downs, while the Eagles punted once, lost a fumble that Pete Torres recovered and a kneel-down to end the half with the 13-7 advantage.
San Saba started the second half with the ball at the Dillo 47. Five Jack Whitten runs later, the Armadillos had tied the game again with a 5-yard run. Diego Gonzalez was good on the PAT for a 14-13 lead.
The Eagles responded with a scoring drive behind the arm of Cody Smith. Smith passed to Kris McDonald for 20 yards to give Johnson City the lead. The two hooked up again on the conversion and led 21-14 midway through the quarter.
The Dillos began the with excellent field position after the kickoff. The drive ended when Anthony Salinas fumbled at the Eagle 7.
The defense held and the Armadillos started at the Eagle 25 after a penalty on the punt return. Four plays later, Whitten had his third touchdown of the game from 3 yards. The PAT was good and the scoreboard showed 21-21as the final quarter began.
Johnson City passed its way down the field towards another score. Trenton Rodriguez scored on a 1-yard dive. The PAT by Rodriguez was wide right and the Eagles had the lead back at 27-21 with 7:15 left in the game.
A great kick return by Hector Jimenez put San Saba in business at the Eagle 35. Jack Whitten carried the ball for 18 yards and then 17 yards for the touchdown. Diego Gonzalez made the score 28-27 with the PAT.
A good return by Johnson City had the Eagles at the Dillo 48 to start their drive. The defense prevented the score when Gonzalez picked off a Smith pass near the end zone and returned it to the 22. A holding penalty on San Saba during the return put the ball at the 12.
Seven plays later, Alex Cervantes scored on an 11-yard run with 1:08 on the clock. The PAT made it 35-27.
Johnson City had one more chance but was unable to score before the game ended, giving San Saba the 35-27 win. San Saba did not attempt a pass the entire second half.
Jack Whitten was most of the Armadillo offense with 248 yards rushing on 33 carries and four touchdowns behind the line of Tyler McIntosh, Anthony Salinas, David Smith, John Hartranft, Dominic Rosales, Wil Sloan, Cody Herd and Juan Rivera. This is the most yards rushing and most carries by a Dillo since Sean Smith had 294 yards on 36 carries at Johnson City in 2001. Whitten added 1 catch for 3 yards. Cervantes had 36 yards on 4 carries and the score. Hayden Oliver carried the ball once before sitting out the rest of the game nursing his high ankle sprain. The team amassed 342 yards on the ground in the game. Ryan Pannell completed 2 passes in the first half. One went to Whitten and 1 to Pete Torres.
The defense was led by Diego Gonzalez with the interception and several big hits and key stops of receivers. Contributing to the defensive effort were Tucker Cromer, Jason Wells, Ryan Parks, Rosales, Isaac Jimenez, Sloan, Whitten, Max Palacio, McIntosh, Torres, Salinas, Chance Gotcher, Chase Key and Hector Jimenez.
District play opens this week when 2-1 Bangs hosts the 0-4 Early and 4-0 Comanche travels to 0-4 Coleman. 4-0 Brady has the open week and 3-1 San Saba travels to the 1-3 Dublin Lions. Kickoff is set for 7:30 at Memorial Stadium in Dublin. This will be the first meeting between the schools in Dublin since 1993.