The San Saba Armadillos escaped Longhorn Stadium in Early last Friday night with a 20-17 win. A 21-yard field goal by Rodney Ortiz with 2:03 left in the 4th quarter proved to be the margin of victory. Early drove down the field after the kickoff but ran out of time deep in San Saba territory to preserve the win.Early won the toss and deferred to the second half. San Saba returned the kick to the 31 yard line. The Longhorn defense held and Russell Lowe punted the ball to the Early 19.San Saba pushed Early back to the 12 and the ensuing punt was returned by Kelan Verette for an apparent touchdown. A penalty on the return placed the ball at the Longhorn 19.Three plays later, Russell Lowe scored on a 4-yard run. Rodney Ortiz kicked the PAT and San Saba led 7-0.Ortiz kicked the ball 2 yards deep into the end zone. The kick was brought out to the Longhorn 39. Using a mix of passing and running, the Horns moved to the Dillo 16 before attempting a 33-yard field goal by Brandon Brownlee. The ball hit the crossbar and bounced through making the score 7-3.The teams traded punts before the Armadillos took over at the Dillo 11. San Saba pounded the ball down the field before stalling at the Early 20. Ortiz came on to kick a 38-yard field goal. The kick made the score 10-3 with 8:09 in the 2nd quarter.The kickoff went through the end zone for a touchback. The ball was placed at the 25 yard line after a rule change that went into effect this year. Early moved the ball to midfield before the San Saba defense forced a punt. The kick was returned to the Dillo 20.San Saba drove down the field helped by a 40-yard pass from Verette to Lowe. Sean Argote capped the drive with a 5 yard run. Rodney Ortiz added the PAT to increase the score to 17-3. Ortiz booted the ball into the end zone and it was returned to the 24. The drive ended with 17 seconds when the Horns turned the ball over on downs at the Dillo 20. San Saba took a knee to end the half with a 17-3 lead.Early received the second half kick and returned it to the 15 yard line from 2 yards deep in the end zone. Using the running of Jake Fisher and timely passing from Cameron Denison, the Horns closed the gap after a 9-yard pass from Denison to Chase Riker. Brandon Brownlee kicked the PAT and the lead was 17-10.San Saba gained a first down before having to punt. The kick was blocked by Payton Ashworth. Early took over at the Longhorn 49 yard line.A 33-yard pass from Denison to Colin Walker set up a 1-yard plunge by Denison. The PAT tied the game at 17-17 with 1:14 left in the 3rd quarter.As the 4th quarter started, San Saba was moving the ball. The Early defense forced the Dillos to punt at the 45 yard line. Jake Fisher let the ball roll and it was downed at the 1.Early gained an apparent first down but an inadvertent whistle negated the play. Fisher did gain the first down but the Armadillo defense held and the Brownlee punt went out of bounds at the Longhorn 39.San Saba moved the ball inside the 5 yard line before Rodney Ortiz was called on to kick a 21-yard field goal with 2:03 left in the game. With the score at 20-17, Ortiz kicked the ball towards the left sideline. The kick appeared to be going out of bounds but stopped near the line at the 1 and Jake Fisher had to pick it up and returned it to the 20. Cameron Denison passed the Longhorns down the field with completions to Chase Riker, Brownlee and Austin Isom. Time ran out on the Longhorns with the ball at the San Saba 13. San Saba escaped with the 20-17 win and the Horns threaten to score.Kelan Verette led the team in rushing with 96 yards on 16 carries. Sean Argote had 69 yards and a touchdown on 12 attempts and Russell Lowe gained 25 yards and a score on 6 rushes. Lowe also caught 3 Verette passes for 53 yards. Verette completed 3 of 7 passes in the game.Tim’s tip of the cap: I am starting a new feature this year. The mention of Cory Solomon of Tolar last week started it. This week a tip of the cap goes to Jake Fisher of Early with 137 yards rushing and Cameron Denison completed 14 passes on 26 attempts for 168 yards and 1 touchdown.In other district action, Hico defeated Rio Vista; De Leon routed Baird, while Santo got past Meridian. Mason defeated Goldthwaite. This week shows Bangs traveling to Goldthwaite, Hico makes the drive down US281 to tangle with Hamilton, Santo travels to Dublin and De Leon goes to the Rattler Pit in Tolar.The Armadillos embark on the longest road trip of the year going to Ballinger and a tussle with the Bearcats. San Saba opened the 2011season with a 28-14 win against Ballinger at Rogan Field.