Trailing 18-6 midway through the second quarter, the San Saba Armadillos came from behind to win 34-24 at Kooken Field in Hamilton last Friday night. The Bulldogs returned a kickoff and a punt for touchdowns to give Hamilton the 18-6 lead with 8:48 left in the second quarter. San Saba scored twice before halftime and led 19-18 at the break.
Hamilton won the toss and deferred giving the Armadillos the ball to start the game. The kick went into the end zone and San Saba started at the 20 yard line. After gaining a first down, Russell Lowe was on to punt for the Dillos. The punt went out of bounds at the Hamilton 8 yard line.
The Bulldogs used a good running game and overcame three penalties to march 92 yards for the touchdown. Payden Nolen scored on a 25-yard run. The PAT was short and Hamilton led 6-0.
San Saba drove to the Bulldog 30 before Lowe came on for a short punt that was returned to the 16.
On the next drive, Hamilton fumbled at the 30 and Lowe fell on it giving San Saba excellent field position. Zack Davis turned it into points on a 27 yard run. Moises Vega came on for the PAT but the kick was blocked leaving the score tied at 6-6.
On the ensuing kickoff, Zachary Shrank fielded the short kick at the 34. Shrank stated on the left side of the field, headed to the right side and raced 66 yards for the score. The 2-pt conversion failed and the Bulldogs led 12-6.
San Saba was unable to gain a first down on their next drive. Russell Lowe kicked the ball to the Bulldog 20. The returner dodged Armadillo defenders and raced towards the end zone for another Hamilton touchdown. The PAT attempt failed and the Bulldogs had the 18-6 lead.
The Armadillo offense finally put together a long drive. San Saba went 65 yards in 9 plays with Luke Cox stretching out for the end zone on a 29-yard pass to get the score. San Saba went for 2 points but the run came up short. The score was 18-12 Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs looked to have another kick return for a touchdown but an illegal block put the ball at the Hamilton 39. The Dillo defense stopped Hamilton and forced a punt. Cox fielded the kick but was immediately tackled. A penalty pushed the ball back to the San Saba 13.
San Saba showed they can drive the field. Behind the running of Zack Davis and Ryan Pannell passes to Clayton Perry and Russell Lowe, the Dillos went 87 yards in 10 plays. Davis scored from 2 yards to tie the game. Rodney Ortiz added the PAT and gave San Saba the lead 19-18.
Hamilton ran out of time at the San Saba 30 to end the half trailing by 1.
The Bulldogs got the ball to start the second half. Starting at the Bulldog 43, Hamilton used 16 plays and 8:30 of the clock to score to take the lead back. Harley Patterson scored on a 1-yard plunge. The PAT failed and Hamilton led 24-19.
San Saba took the lead for good after a 10-play drive that covered 67 yards. Ryan Pannell passes to Clayton Perry and Luke Cox set up Zack Davis for a 1-yard run and the lead. Pannell connected with Isaac Jimenez on the PAT and gave the Armadillos the lead 27-24.
The Armadillo defense rose up and stuffed the Bulldogs for losses and San Saba took over at the Dillo 43 after the punt.
Hard running by Davis set up a Pannell to Jimenez pass for a 5-yard score. Rodney Ortiz made the score 34-24 after his PAT.
Hamilton lost 7 yards on their next possession and punted to San Saba. The Armadillos ran the final 4:01 off the clock for the 34-24 come from behind win.
Zack Davis was the work horse for the Armadillo running game as Allan Hale did not play because of a slight shoulder injury. Davis ran the ball 34 times for 226 yards and 3 TDs. Sean Argote gained 27 yards spelling Davis and Ryan Pannell chipped in 24 yards on quarterback runs. Pannell connected on 8 of 16 passes for 137 yards and 2 scores. Luke Cox pulled in 4 balls for 74 yards and a TD, Clayton Perry got 2 catches.
The Armadillo defense struggled at the start but finally put it together. Getting key stops for the defense were Davis, Perry, Cox, Pannell, Argote, Russton Ellis, Wil Sloan, Alex Cervantes, Nathan Amstead, Isaac Jimenez, Russell Lowe, Tanner Weyerts and Kelan Verette.
In other games, Wall routed Ballinger to move to 4-0 while the Bearcats fell to 0-4. Goldthwaite beat Grape Creek. Sonora shut out Brackettville, Junction played their first home game of the season and defeated Johnson City. Ozona lost to Van Horn by 7 and Coleman suffered their first loss of the year to Colorado City.
This is Homecoming week and the Lago Vista Vikings come into town off their thrashing of Austin Regents. Kickoff is set for 7:30 but room will be hard to find because of the activities.