The San Saba Armadillos defeated the Karnes City Badgers last Friday night in Dripping Springs by the score of 14-0. The win marks the first time since 1978-1979 that the Armadillos have won a playoff game in consecutive years. The game was dominated by defense and a 25 mph wind from the north. Neither team was able to gain 200 yards in the game.
San Saba won the toss and deferred to the second half. Karnes City chose to receive the kick and San Saba said they wanted the wind at their backs in the 4
The kickoff by Diego Gonzalez carried to the goal line and was returned to the 20. On 3
down, a jarring tackle knocked the ball loose and Zack Davis recovered for the Dillos.
Four plays later, Alan Hale scored on a 5-yard run around left end. Gonzalez converted the PAT and San Saba had the early 7-0 lead.
The Gonzalez kick carried into the end zone for the touchback. Good defense by San Saba forced a punt that was returned to the Badger 32. The drive was stopped when quarterback Ryan Pannell under threw a receiver and the pass was picked off by Nick Pacheco.
Karnes City drove down the field and was in position to score but the San Saba defense stopped the Badgers on 4
down at the 3 yard line. San Saba moved the ball out close to first down but Gary Gant fumbled the ball and Brady Labus recovered for Karnes City at the Armadillo 13.
The defense held again and Jack Whitten knocked away a 4
down pass giving the ball back to San Saba at Dillo 16.
San Saba was going into the wind in the second quarter. Max Palacio was called on to punt and the kick traveled 19 yards giving the Badgers good field position at the San Saba 39 yard line.
The Badgers were unable to gain any yards and the punt went into the end zone for the touchback.
San Saba was stymied and Palacio had the punt again. This punt went 18 yards and Karnes City had the ball at the Armadillo 46.
Karnes City turned the ball over on downs at the 34 after gaining a first down.
San Saba gained a first down before Palacio was called on to punt. The Badgers started at their own 36 with only 37 seconds left in the half but could not move the ball. The first half ended with San Saba leading 7-0.
San Saba got the ball to start the second half. The Armadillos drove down the field and were faced with a 4
th and goal at the Badger 3. Coach Jeff Pannell decided to try for the touchdown instead of attempting a field goal into the strong wind. The play came up a yard short and Karnes City had the ball at the 1 yard line.
The Badgers moved the ball out to the 43 before having to punt. The punt rolled dead at the San Saba 10 yard line.
The Karnes City defense forced a fumble that was recovered at the Armadillo 18. The San Saba defense held and Garret Schulz came on to try a 38 yard field goal with the wind at his back. The kick went wide to the left leaving the score 7-0 in favor of the Armadillos.
San Saba started at their own 21 but Max Palacio had to punt on 4
th and 1 at the 30. The punt rolled dead at the Badger 31 as the 3rd quarter ended.
As the final period began, Karnes City tried to move the ball but San Saba stopped the Badgers on 4
thdown at the Armadillo 36.
San Saba had to punt and the Palacio kick was picked up at the Badger 15 and returned for 2 yards to the 17. After gaining a first down, the Badgers tried a screen pass. The wind blew the ball backwards slightly and the Badger receiver let the ball hit the ground. Jason Wells picked up the ball and ran 26 yards for an apparent score. The official signaled touchdown as Karnes City argued that it was a forward pass and not backwards.
Diego Gonzalez added the PAT and the Armadillos led 14-0. The Gonzalez kickoff carried to the goal line and was muffed by the Badgers. The returned was brought out to the 19 yard line.
The Badgers tried several passes before turning the ball over on downs at their own 34. San Saba tried to run out the clock but turned the ball over at the Badger 30.
th down, Luke Cox picked off the pass and returned it inside the Badger 10 but a holding penalty at the 26 brought the ball out to the 36. Ryan Pannell kneeled down to end the game and the 14-0 bi-district win.
Gary Gant led the Armadillos with 116 yards rushing on 14 carries. Jack Whitten added 45 yards on 17 carries with Alan Hale gaining 11 yards on 5 carries and the lone offensive score. Jason Wells celebrated his birthday with the touchdown on the fumble recovery.
The win sets up a game against the Schulenburg Shorthorns. The game is scheduled for Friday night at 7:30 at Pflugerville Hendrickson Stadium.