The San Saba JV football team travelled to Junction a little more than a week ago for their last game of the season. The team knew they would be taking on a very good team that had only one loss all season and was undefeated in district. An Armadillo win would swing the district title honors our way.
As the game began, it became evident early on that this would be a defensive struggle. Both teams had size and played physical and aggressive on defense. Both offenses were being shut down and punts and field position was being traded back and forth. Outstanding plays by Mario Valdez, Juan Carlos Garcia, Luis Vega, JT Mathis, Dusty Parum and Brian Rogers showed the strength of the San Saba defense and kept getting the ball back for the offense to have a chance.
Offensively, we would move the ball a little and then be stopped by a big and physical Junction defense as well. Kelan Verette ran the ball well behind blocking by Aaron Perez, Dylan Rosales, Dusty Parum, Nathan Amstead, and Brian Rogers. When our drives would stall out, Moises Vega did a great job of punting the ball away and pinning the Eagles deep in their own territory.
Late in the second quarter before halftime, the Armadillo offense crept down to the Junction 25 yard line. As time was running out, we had two pass plays deep and toward the end zone that just did not connect with the San Saba receivers. The first half ended in a scoreless 0-0 tie.
The third quarter had some more of the same action as the first half. Playing good defense in the second half was Kolton Ellis, Kelan Verette, Jordan Watson, Issac Zepeda, and TJ Hibler. After yet another defensive stand, the JV Dillos took the ball and began to drive down the field late as time ran out in the third quarter. We had a third and seven situation at about the eleven yard line of Junction. Juan Ortega caught a quick slant and got tackled at the one yard line for a fist and goal situation. JT Mathis tried a QB sneak and was unsuccessful. Kelan Verette tried a lead run and was unsuccessful. Finally, Jordan Watson took the dive handoff from fullback and scored. Our swinging gate two point play was a pass to Juan Ortega and gave the Dillos an 8-0 lead with about eight minutes left in the game.
The Junction offense came to life and proceeded to put together a scoring drive of their own and made their two point conversion as well. Now the score was tied 8-8 with about four and a half minutes left in the game. San Saba fumbled the ensuing kick return and gave the ball back to the Eagles. Our defense dug in and withstood the size, strength, and momentum of the Junction offense at the 10 yard line, where they attempted a field goal. The kick was no good, however there was a penalty that prolonged the drive and ultimately the Eagles scored one more touchdown and two point conversion making the score 8-16 with a minute and thirty-four seconds left to play. The offense had no time outs left and tried to pass for big plays and clock stoppage, but it was to no avail. The Eagles finished the season 9-1 and 5-0 district champs. The Armadillos ended the season 4-6 overall and 3-2 in district, which was good enough for a second place tie. We have enjoyed the season and look forward to these players’ help as the varsity makes a run in the playoffs. We are honored to be their coaches.