The Ballinger Bearcats defeated the San Saba Armadillos 39-7 last Friday night at Bearcat Stadium in Ballinger. It was a rough night for San Saba on both sides of the ball. Starting quarterback Kelan Verette was relegated to playing defense only and running back/linebacker /punter Russell Lowe hurt a leg late in the first half. The Bearcats amassed 262 yards rushing and 324 total yards while the Dillos only gained 191 total yards in the game.Ballinger won the toss and deferred to the second half. San Saba returned the kick to the 39 but had to punt without gaining a first down. Ballinger began at the Bearcat 33 but the Armadillo defense held and the punt was returned to near midfield. A penalty on San Saba early in the return pushed the ball back to the 10 yard line. Ballinger got the ball back after a fumble was recovered by Eric Thomas at the Dillo 8 yard line.Quarterback Jacob Rodriguez ran the ball from 7 yards out to open the scoring for the Bearcats. Dustin King barely got the PAT through the uprights and Ballinger had the 7-0 lead.The kickoff went into the end zone and the officials placed the ball on the 25 yard line for San Saba to start the drive from. Russell Lowe came on the punt again after three plays. The punt was downed at the Ballinger 33.A 27-yard run by Zach Perez set up another Jacob Rodriguez score. This one was from 3 yards out. Rodriguez skirted around the right side for the 2-point conversion and a lead of 15-0 with 14 seconds left in the opening period.San Saba was unable to gain yards on the next drive and the Lowe punt was returned to midfield. A penalty on the Dillos put the ball at the 36, giving the Bearcats excellent field position.On the second play, Rodriguez got around the left side and raced 37 yards for his 3rd score of the game. The PAT was blocked and the Bearcats held a 21-0 lead.On the first play after the kickoff, a pass from Jarrett Mathis was intercepted by Zach Perez. A long run of 26 yards by Cory Johnson set up Rodriguez for his 4th score of the game on 4 rushes. This one was 3 yards long. The PAT was missed and the score was 27-0.San Saba failed to gain a first down and the punt from Lowe was returned to the Armadillo 30. The defense stiffened and the Bearcats turned the ball over on downs at the 28.The Dillos finally started moving the ball gaining their initial first down of the game with 3:00 left in the half. San Saba garnered 4 first downs before losing the ball on downs at the Ballinger 12. Rodriguez knelt down to end the half with the 27-0 lead.Rodney Ortiz kicked the ball to start the second half. An excellent return was wiped out by a penalty on Ballinger and the Bearcats started at the 9 yard line. The San Saba defense soon forced a punt and the Armadillos started in great field position at the Bearcat 38.Once again the Bearcat defense held and Russell Lowe limped on to punt. The ball just made it into the end zone for a touchback before a Dillo player could down it.The defense of the Armadillos held their ground again and the punt by Jacob Rodriguez rolled dead at the Bearcat 47.San Saba drove to the Ballinger 9 yard line before being stopped on downs.The Bearcats moved the ball to midfield. The Dillo defense stopped Ballinger and the punt was fielded by Kelan Verette. Verette was quickly tackled at the 7 yard line.Jarrett Mathis attempted a pass to give San Saba some room but the pass was picked off by Anthony Rodriguez. Starting at the San Saba 23, Ballinger used 3 plays to score with Jacob Rodriguez getting the tally on a 20 yard run. It was the 5th touchdown of the game for Rodriguez. The PAT was partially blocked and the score was 33-0 early in the final period.The Armadillos could not move the ball on the next drive and Russell Lowe punted the ball 20 yards to the San Saba 45 yard line.Ballinger put in substitutions and used seven plays to score again. Willie Collins rushed from 3 yards to earn the touchdown. Dustin King was wide to the left on the PAT and the Bearcats led 39-0.After gaining a first down near midfield, T. J. Hibler broke through the Bearcat defense and raced 51 yards for a touchdown. Rodney Ortiz converted the PAT and a score of 39-7. On the ensuing kickoff, Zach Perez fielded the ball inside the 5 yard line and got around the right side. Kicker Rodney Ortiz saved a touchdown with the tackle at the Armadillo 25. Ballinger ran the remaining 2:45 off the clock to end the game.Hibler led the team in rushing with 62 yards and the lone San Saba touchdown, all coming on the final possession. Jarrett Mathis added 38 yards from the quarterback spot while Sean Argote gained 29 yards.Argote led the receivers with 34 yards on 2 catches. Lowe, Kolton Ellis, Isaac Zepeda and Cosme Diaz had a reception each. Mathis completed 6 of 18 passes for 64 yards in the game.Tim’s tip of the cap: Jacob Rodriguez rushed for 80 yards and 5 TDs while completing 6 of 12 passes for another 62 yards as the Bearcat QB.It was a rough night for the district as Goldthwaite was the only victorious team with the 47-14 win over Bangs. Santo fell to Dublin 10-7 (the Lions are 2-1); Hamilton got past rival Hico 21-14 and Tolar routed De Leon 39-0.This week sees Goldthwaite traveling to Eastland to wrangle with the Mavericks; Hico goes to Palmer: De Leon is at Meridian and Santo entertains Olney. The Hamilton Bulldogs pay a visit to Rogan Field. The Bulldogs run the ball a lot and will be another test for the Dillo defense. Kickoff is set for 7:30. Come out and support the Armadillos.