Using an effective ground game and a unique defense, the San Saba Armadillos defeated the De Leon Bearcats 41-0 last Friday night at Bearcat Field in De Leon to open District 5 1A Div 1 play. San Saba amassed 415 yards on the ground and limited the Bearcats to 163 total yards.San Saba won the toss and deferred to the second half. Rodney Ortiz kicked off to the goal line and the ball was returned to the 25. De Leon was unable to gain a first down and punted the ball to the Armadillos.San Saba started at the Dillo 46. Russell Lowe returned from his injury and started at fullback. Lowe blocked for Sean Argote as Argote used a 37-yard gain to set up a 1-yard plunge by Argote to open the scoring. Ortiz added the PAT to make the score 7-0.The Ortiz kick went into the end zone for a touchback and the ball was spotted at the 25. On the first play, San Saba recovered a fumble. The Armadillos could not gain a first down and Ortiz came on to attempt a 40-yard field goal. The kick was true and San Saba had a 10-0 lead.The ensuing kickoff went into the end zone again but was brought out to the 20 before the Dillo cover team tackled Kaleb Nowlin. De Leon completed their only pass of the game to help garner a first down before having to punt the ball back to the Dillos. A penalty prevented the Armadillos from a first down and Russell Lowe came on to punt the ball. The ball rolled dead at the 5 yard line.The Bearcats moved the ball to near midfield before Nathan Amstead came out of the pile with the football for a turnover. Ten plays later, Jarrett Mathis broke several tackles on a 16-yard run for a touchdown. Rodney Ortiz was good on the PAT and the lead was 17-0 in favor of the Armadillos.The kickoff was returned to the Bearcat 32. De Leon gained a first down on a penalty but had to punt. The punt rolled dead at the San Saba 17.With 2:32 left in the half, San Saba was not content to run out the clock. A 21-yard swing pass to Lowe and the running of Kelan Verette moved the ball down the field. Verette was used at quarterback for the first time in 5 weeks. As time ran out in the half, Rodney Ortiz was called on to try a 42-yard field goal into the wind. The kick made it across the bar and the lead at halftime was 20-0.San Saba got the ball to start the second half. Starting at the 34 yard line, the Dillos called on Garrett Hartranft on 2nd down. Hartranft rambled for 45 yards to the Bearcat 18. Two plays later, Jarrett Mathis wove his way to the 1. On the next play, Diego Montoya moved from his right tackle position to running back and took the handoff for the touchdown. Rodney Ortiz made the score 27-0 with the PAT.De Leon started at the 31 after the kickoff. On 3rd down the ball came out and Montoya picked it and started for the end zone. He was tackled at the 7 yard line.San Saba was unable to score on four downs and pinned the Bearcats at the 4 yard line.A 30-yard run by Kaleb Nowlin moved the ball out from under the goal posts. Kelan Verette saved a touchdown on the play. On the next play, Aaron Perez recovered another Bearcat fumble at the 36 yard line.San Saba moved the ball inside the 5 again. This time the Bearcat defense held and Ortiz came on to try a 19-yard field goal from the right hash marks. The kick sailed right and was no good. It was first kick, field goal or PAT, Ortiz had missed all year.De Leon started at the 20 but could not gain a first down and punted back to the Armadillos.San Saba began on the Bearcat side of the 50. Using runs by Sean Argote, Hartranft and Russell Lowe the Dillos set up a 5-yard run by Lowe for the score. The PAT made the score 34-0 early in the final quarter.The Ortiz kick went into the end zone and the ball was placed on the 25. The Bearcats gained a couple of first downs before Jordan Watson got a fumble recovery at the Armadillo 44.A 22-yard run by Argote moved the ball deep into De Leon country but San Saba was unable to convert on 4th down at the 10 yard line.The Dillo defense, mostly subs now, held and the Bearcats punted with San Saba starting at the Bearcat 45.Kolton Ellis gained 9 yards on first down. The next play had TJ Hibler go to the left side and race 36 yards for the touchdown. Ortiz made the score 41-0 with 2:37 left in the game.De Leon began at the 16 yard line after the Ortiz kick was brought out from the end zone. The Bearcats ran the remaining time off the clock and San Saba had the 41-0 victory to open district play.Sean Argote led the Armadillo ground game with 130 yards on 22 carries and one score. Garrett Hartranft added 95 yards. Jarrett Mathis gained 79 yards and a touchdown. Lowe added 38 yards and a score, Hibler had the one carry for 36 yards and 6 points. Kelan Verette chipped in 28 yards and Diego Montoya had the final score. The team totaled 415 yards. Lowe had 2 catches for 18 yards to go with the catches by Cosme Diaz and Isaac Zepeda for a total of 4 receptions for 29 yards in the game.Tim’s tip of the cap: The San Saba offensive line opened the holes for the Armadillos to gain yardage. The line is made up of Montoya, Nathan Amstead, Aaron Perez, Dylan Rosales, Michael McKinnerney and Russton Ellis. Juan Carlos Garcia, Brian Rogers, Dusty Parum and Kolton Haverland add support and rest time. Robert Smith of De Leon had 87 yards rushing for the Bearcats.The other district game saw Hico defeat Santo 41-19 to open district play for the schools. Goldthwaite had the open week. This week San Saba has the open while Santo goes to Eagle Field in Goldthwaite and De Leon travels to Tiger Stadium in Hico. San Saba returns to action on October 26 when they host the Hico Tigers.