It was a long time coming, 19 years to be exact, but the San Saba Armadillos claimed a share of the district championship with a 66-14 victory over the Junction Eagles last Friday at Rogan Field. The last time San Saba had won a district title was in 1991 when they were 10-0 before losing to Hamlin in the playoffs. It is the most points the Armadillos have scored against the Eagles and is only topped by a 53-0 win in 1994 for biggest margin of victory.
San Saba won the opening toss and deferred to the second half. Diego Gonzalez kicked the ball into the air on the chilly night to the 3 yard line and it was returned to the 27. Two plays later, the ball came out and Tucker Cromer recovered it at the Eagle 38.
Gary Gant did all the work using running plays of 23 and 15 yards to put San Saba in the lead. Gonzalez added the PAT for a quick 7-0 score.
Junction returned the Gonzalez kickoff to the 25 but punted after 3 plays. San Saba had the ball at the Dillo 45.
The Eagle offense was unable to move and punted back to San Saba. The Armadillo offense was forced to punt back after three plays. Junction could not gain a first down and returned the ball to San Saba.
The second quarter opened with the Armadillos threatening to score. Coach Jeff Pannell reached into his bag of tricks and pulled out a play not seen in a long time in San Saba. Quarterback Ryan Pannell handed the ball to Gary Gant on a sweep around the right side. Gant stopped and tossed the ball back to Pannell who then threw a pass to an open Clayton Perry for the 18-yard score on the flea-flicker. Diego Gonzalez kicked the score to 21-0.
The Eagles were stymied by the Dillo defense and punted the ball to San Saba 39 yard line.
San Saba used 5 plays to go down the field. A Pannell pass to Jack Whitten set up the touchdown for Alan Hale. Hale scored on a 24-yard run. The PAT made it 28-0.
Junction tried to get something going when Ty Stapp returned the Gonzalez kick from 4 yards deep in the end zone and brought it out to the 28. Stapp was close to breaking it for a score. The Eagle offense had problems holding on the football and Zack Davis recovered a fumble at the Eagle 27.
On the first play, Isaac Jimenez split the defense and Ryan Pannell connected for the scoring pass of 27 yards. Gonzalez came on for the PAT. It was the 100
The Armadillo defense rose up again to stop Junction when Gary Gant intercepted a Brad Sandlin pass and returned it to the Eagle 12.
Three plays later, Pannell threw the ball to Alex Cervantes in the flat for a 6-yard score. The scoreboard showed San Saba 42, Junction 0 after the PAT.
Junction started at the 20 after the touchback on the kickoff. The Eagles used 5 plays to travel the field. The touchdown came on a pass from Sandlin to Dwayne Stewart good for 51 yards. Kade Wimberley kicked the PAT to cut the lead to 42-7. The ensuing kickoff was picked up by Zack Davis but his knee was on the ground at the 5 and the Dillos started there. San Saba ran one play to run out the clock with a 42-7 score.
San Saba started the second half with the ball. The Armadillos ran 8 plays for the score. Alan Hale scored his second of the game on a 15-yard run. Diego Gonzalez made the score 49-7 with his PAT.
The Eagles started driving down the field. A strange play ended the drive when the Eagle receiver lost control of the ball after a 30-yard pass, Luke Cox picked up the fumble and started towards the home side on the return. Cox reversed towards the visitor side and got two crushing blocks before being tackled at the Eagle 37.
San Saba faced a 4
The next Junction possession ended when Diego Montoya took the ball out of the hands of the Eagle runner and was brought down at the Eagle 11.
Ryan Pannell darted across from 1-yard out for the score. The PAT made it 59-7.
Junction got on the scoreboard again after a 4-play drive. Ty Stapp raced the final 40 yards. Kade Wimberley made the score 59-14 late in the third quarter.
Junction tried an onside kick and recovered the ball at the Dillo 49 when San Saba started into return coverage too quickly. However, the Dillo defense stopped the Eagles on a fake punt at the Dillo 41.
The final period opened with San Saba having the ball. The Armadillos soon punted to Junction.
The Dillo defense held and the Eagle punt rolled dead at the San Saba 42 yard line. San Saba could not move and punted back to Junction. The return was dropped and Sean Argote recovered the fumble at the 11 yard line.
Alan Hale scored his third tally of the game on the next play. Diego Gonzalez kicked the PAT to make the score 66-14.
The teams traded fumbles deep in Eagle territory. Junction moved the ball down the field as the clock ran down. Clayton Perry intercepted a Brad Sandlin pass with 50.8 seconds left in the game and San Saba knelt twice to end the game.
Alan Hale led the team in rushing with 110 yards on 16 carries and 3 touchdowns. Gary Gant added 108 yards and a score on 12 carries, Jack Whitten had 53 yards, Zack Davis got 51 yards and a score. The team totaled 345 yards on the ground. Isaac Jimenez, Clayton Perry and Alex Cervantes had touchdown catches. Diego Gonzalez ended the game with a career total 96 of 104 PATs.
The win along with Ozona beating Harper and Sonora defeating Coleman created a 3-way tie for the district title. The tie-break favored Sonora and the Broncos will get the bye as champs this week. Ozona gets the runner-up seed and will play Three Rivers in Boerne on Friday night. The Armadillos will play the Karnes City Badgers as the third place team in Dripping Springs at 7:30 Friday night. Come out and support the team.
nd down, Zack Davis took the inside handoff and raced around left end for a 50-yard score. The PAT made it 14-0.th attempted for Gonzalez. He has been successful on 92 of them with more to come.th and goal just inches from the end zone. Coach Pannell called on Diego Gonzalez to try the 17-yard field goal. The kick was good and San Saba led 52-7.