The San Saba Armadillos defeated the Dublin Lions 35-6 last Friday night at Memorial Stadium in Dublin. The win marks the first time since 2003 that San Saba has won 4 games in a season, had 2 road wins in a season and won consecutive road games.
San Saba received the opening kick. Hayden Oliver had a great return but it was called back because of penalties on each team during the return. San Saba started at the Lion 40 but had to punt the ball.
On the Lions first play, Pete Torres got the ball back for the Armadillos and was tackled on the Dublin 13. On the next play, Ryan Pannell threw up a “jump ball” that Chance Gotcher came down with in the end zone for the score. Diego Gonzalez kicked the PAT and the Dillos had a quick 7-0 lead.
The defense held and forced the Lions to punt. Chase Key muffed the kick and A. J. Parent fell on it for Dublin at the San Saba 27. Anthony Salinas got the ball back when he recovered a fumble and brought it to the 44 of San Saba.
The drive stalled on 4th down at the Lion 30 and Dublin took over. Wil Sloan soon got the ball back on another fumble and was finally brought down at the Dublin 10.
Salinas scored on the next play and Gonzalez made the score 14-0.
The teams traded punts on the next drive for each team and Dublin got the ball with 9:37 to go in the half. The Armadillo defense held the Lions out of the end zone on 4th down at the 4 with 2:12 left. San Saba ran out the clock for the 14-0 halftime lead.
Dublin started the second half with the ball. A Lion punt soon followed and the Dillos started a drive near midfield.
The Lions stopped San Saba on downs at the 26. The Dillos held and Anthony Salinas broke through to block the punt. San Saba had the ball at the Lion 26.
Hayden Oliver capped the short drive on a 1-yard run. Diego Gonzalez added the PAT for a 21-0 advantage.
The teams traded punts again with Dublin having a big advantage on the 46 yard punt to the Dillos 18-yarder. The Lions started at the Dillo 26 after the punts. Jack Whitten put an end to the possession with an interception at the 18.
Whitten scored on a nice 59-yard run that saw him go almost sideline to sideline avoiding Lions. The PAT made the score 28-0 with 7:04 to go.
The Armadillo's forced another punt that gave San Saba good position at the Lion 39. Alex Cervantes and Max Palacio took over running the ball and Palacio got the touchdown from 10 yards. A Lion player was hurt on the play and there was a lengthy delay before Diego Gonzalez came on to kick the PAT. All precautions were taken to insure nothing serious had occurred.
On the Lions next drive, Terrell Shaw got loose on a 74-yard run for the Lions. Dublin went for a two-point conversion after the score but the pass fell incomplete. The scoreboard showed the 35-6 lead for San Saba. The Armadillos ran out the clock to end the game.
Jack Whitten led the rushing attack with 128 yards and a touchdown. Hayden Oliver added 44 yards with a score, Ryan Pannell had 56 yards and Alex Cervantes got 37 yards. Anthony Salinas and Max Palacio contributed 10 yard scoring runs. Pannell completed 6 of 16 passes for 95 yards and the score to Chance Gotcher. Gotcher led the receivers with 3 catches for 50 yards. Chase Key, Whitten and Isaac Jimenez had a reception each. Several Armadillo drives were hampered by penalties. San Saba was called for 14 infractions totaling 155 yards while Dublin committed 5 for 40 yards.
The defense was led by Wil Sloan early and Salinas later in the game. Whitten had an interception and Pete Torres, Salinas and Sloan recovered fumbles. Adding to the overall defensive effort were Gonzalez, Tucker Cromer, Hector Jimenez, Tyler McIntosh, Juan Garcia, Isaac Jimenez, Palacio, Key, Ryan Parks, Jason Wells, David Smith and Dominic Rosales.
In other district action, Comanche routed Coleman 49-13 and Bangs got by Early 21-15 setting up the game this week between the Dillos and the Dragons. It is Homecoming for San Saba with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m.
The EMS is having the steak supper before the game so come early and get a good meal before going across the street to watch another Armadillo victory.