The 2010 season opened on a rough note last Friday in Ballinger as the Bearcats beat the San Saba Armadillos 39-7. Ballinger had 252 yards passing and 190 yards rushing compared to the Dillos total offense of 258 yards.
San Saba won the toss and deferred to the second half. Diego Gonzalez kicked the ball into the end zone to start the game. Ballinger began at the 20 and the Armadillo defense forced a punt after 3 plays.
A nice return put the ball at the Bearcat 38. San Saba drove inside the 10 but a penalty on a touchdown run by Jack Whitten pushed the ball back to the 21. A 37-yd field goal by Gonzalez was short and Ballinger began at the 20.
A nice run by Dominic Nieto put the ball at midfield. On the next play, Bearcat quarterback AJ Keesee connected with Spencer Ryan on a 50-yard pass for the score. Beau Gonzales kicked the PAT and a 7-0 lead.
The Armadillo offense was unable to move the ball and Max Palacio came on to punt. The punt rolled out of bounds at the 28 yard line of Ballinger.
The Bearcats used seven plays to drive the ball down the field. The drive was capped by a Nieto 2-yard run. Gonzales was successful on the kick pushing the lead to 14-0 with 15.2 seconds left in the opening quarter.
San Saba began their drive at the 32 and drove down the field. The Ballinger defense ended the drive near the goal line when Gonzales intercepted a Ryan Pannell pass and returned it to the 26 yard line.
On the next play, Keesee and Ryan hooked up again. This time it was for a 74-yard strike. The Pat made it 21-0 Bearcats.
The Armadillos next possession ended with a fumble at the 40 yard line. Ballinger mixed runs with screen passes to move into the end zone. Nieto scored his second touchdown of the game from 6 yards. The Gonzales PAT made it 28-0.
A good kick return set up San Saba at the 42. Eight plays later, Jack Whitten scored on a 7-yard run. Diego Gonzalez added the PAT and the score stood at 28-7 as Ballinger ran out the clock to end the half.
The Dillos opened the second half with the ball. The drive appeared stalled when Max Palacio came on to punt. The return was muffed and Isaac Jimenez covered the football for San Saba at the Bearcat 38. Beau Gonzales intercepted another Pannell shortly afterwards and Ballinger had the ball at the 37.
The Bearcat offense moved the ball well, but the Dillo defense held them out of the end zone and Gonzales came on to kick a 22-yard field goal with 2:01 left in the quarter.
The Armadillos punted the punt after three plays and Ballinger started at the Bearcat 43. Two runs and a short pass put the ball at the Dillo 39. AJ Keesee hit Trevor Lange on a screen pass and Lange weaved his way into the end zone for the score. Lange bobbled the snap on the PAT and rolled out finding Zach Perez for the conversion. The score stood at 39-7.
San Saba drove down the field again but turned the ball over on downs at the 30. Ballinger soon punted and the Dillos ran out the clock trying to score again. Final score: 39-7 in favor of Ballinger.
Jack Whitten led the way for San Saba with 121 yards rushing and the lone score. Gary Gant added 60 yards but did not play the second half. Alan Hale contributed 32 yards and Alex Cervantes chipped in 24 yards.
It was a rough night for District 13 in general. Sonora scored the only win with a 28-22 victory over Brady in Brady. Coleman lost to Winters, Harper fell to Mason and Junction was beaten by Bronte. Ozona did not see action.
This is a big week for San Saba as it is the annual "Battle of the River" against the Goldthwaite Eagles. The Eagles are coming off a 41-3 win over Thrall. Game time is set for 7:30 at Rogan Field Friday night. Come and support the Dillos as we "take the next step TOGETHER."