In many ways, the game last Friday night between San Saba and Bangs was one for the books.
Homecoming 2009 will be remembered as the game when San Saba broke a 12-game losing streak to the Dragons, the second overtime game in school history and first at Rogan Field, the first time since 2003 that San Saba won 2 district games in a season, the first time since 2001 that the Dillos have a 3 game winning streak and the first time since 2000 that San Saba has 5 wins in a season, matching the 5-1 start from that year.
Almost 12 years earlier, October 3, 1997, San Saba played at Blanco and the teams went 2 OTs before Mark Lewis connected on a 30-yard field goal to win 17-14. That was the first year the UIL had the tiebreaker rules following the NCAA adopting the rule the previous year.
Bangs won the toss but deferred giving San Saba the ball to start the game. The Dillos were unable to move and Max Palacio got off a nice punt, pinning the Dragons at the 26.
The San Saba defense was up for the challenge and forced Bangs to punt. Marcus Berniard returned the favor by punting the ball to the Dillo 27.
Palacio came up inches short on a fake punt on 4th down and the Dragons took over at the San Saba 36. Chance Gotcher intercepted a Tyler Fuqua pass to get the ball back.
The next Armadillo drive stalled and Palacio punted the ball to midfield. The Dragons gained a first down before Anthony Salinas scooped up a fumble. He was finally tackled at the Bangs 28.
San Saba came up empty when Diego Gonzalez hooked a 20-yards field goal wide left.
Bangs drove down the field and scored on a 15-yard pass from Fuqua to Marcus Smith. Marcus Berniard added the PAT and the Dragons led 7-0 with 7:41 left in the half.
The Dillos stalled again and Palacio pinned Bangs deep at the 8 yard line.
Another long Dragon drive resulted in a 2-yard Berniard run for the score with 12.7 seconds left. On the first PAT try, San Saba blocked the kick and Salinas picked it up and returned it all the way for a score, however, the Dillos were penalized for jumping early. Bangs then opted for a 2-point try but a procedure penalty negated that, so Bangs settled for a Berniard kick.
The ensuing kickoff ended the first half with Bangs leading 14-7. During the halftime, Nicole Sears was crowned the 2009 Homecoming Queen for San Saba.
Bangs began the second half controlling the ball. On the second play, Wil Sloan recovered a Dragon fumble and returned it to the Bangs 26.
A few plays later, Grant Bear intercepted a Ryan Pannell pass to give the ball back to the Dragons.
Pete Torres duplicated the theft for San Saba and the Dillos had the ball at the Dragon 35.
This time, the Armadillos took advantage of the turnover and scored on a Jack Whitten 1-yard run with 5:39 left in the 3rd quarter. Diego Gonzalez converted the PAT and the score was 14-7.
The Armadillo defense stopped Bangs and forced a punt that went out of bounds at the Dillo 43.
San Saba used 5:17 to drive for the tying score. Pannell connected with Isaac Jimenez in the end zone with 10:13 left in the game. Gonzalez converted the PAT and the game was tied 14-14.
Defense dominated the remainder of the game with both teams punting twice before Bangs ran off the final 1:00 after a Max Palacio “quick-kick” that caught the Dragons by surprise and pinned Bangs at the 12 yard line.
San Saba won the overtime toss and wanted to go on offense first. A 3rd down run by Jack Whitten was 2 yards short but had the ball in the middle of the field and Gonzalez split the uprights on a 35 yard field goal giving the Armadillos the 17-14 lead.
Bangs had an opportunity to tie or win on their possession but failed on a 4th and 9 pass at the 24 giving the Dillos the thrilling 17-14 OT win. The win gives San Saba a 5-1 record on the season and 2-0 in district play while Bangs drops to 3-2 and 1-1 in district.
The offensive line of Tyler McIntosh, David Smith, Wil Sloan, Anthony Salinas, John Hartranft, Dominic Rosales and Juan Rivera allowed San Saba to amass 154 yards running in the game. Gary Gant returned from an injury to lead the team with 66 yards including a 32-yard run during the final drive in regulation that got the ball away from the Dillo end zone. Whitten added 42 yards and Hayden Oliver chipped in 30 yards. Isaac Jimenez had the lone catch for the 21-yard score in the 4th period to lead the receivers while Chase Key had a beautiful diving catch for 8 yards and Gant caught a screen for 7 yards.
Salinas dominated the defensive side of the ball along with McIntosh, Smith and Sloan up front to create all kinds of problems for the Bangs run game. Whitten, Key, Tucker Cromer, Palacio, Jason Wells, Gant, Pete Torres and Ryan Parks helped limit the Dragons to one first down the second half after Bangs scored twice in the first half.
In other district 8-2A action, Brady routed Early and Comanche crushed Dublin while Coleman took the week off. This week has Coleman going to Dublin; Comanche goes to Bangs in an important game for the Dragons and Early takes the week off. The biggest game in district has San Saba traveling to Bulldog Stadium in Brady for the first time since 1996. Kickoff is set for 7:30. Be there to support the Armadillos on their drive for the playoffs.