The Goldthwaite Eagles won the annual “Battle of the River” over the San Saba Armadillos 28-14 last Friday night at Eagle Field in Goldthwaite. The Armadillos gained 161 total yards and 123 on the ground. Goldthwaite gained 372 yards rushing in the contest.San Saba won the toss and deferred. Rodney Ortiz kicked the ball deep and the return got to the 20 yard line. Logan Harper got loose on a 47-yard run during the drive. Taylor Stephens scored on a 1-yard plunge to cap the 10-play drive. Brian McCasland kicked the PAT.Goldthwaite tried a short kick but the ball went out of bounds. San Saba took over at midfield after the penalty. The Eagle defense stopped the Dillos forcing Russell Lowe to punt the ball with Goldthwaite starting at the 26.The Armadillo defense held on 4th down at the Dillo 45 to end the drive with 44 seconds left in the opening period. San Saba was stymied again on offense and Lowe punted the ball to the Eagle 38.Goldthwaite used 4 plays to score. Dakota Perry got the honors on a 33-yard run. The PAT made the score 14-0. Things did not look good for San Saba with 6 plays and -10 yards of offense to this point. That was about to change. The Armadillos started at the 32 after another short kick. A short pass from Kelan Verette to Kolton Ellis netted 3 yards but it opened up the running game. San Saba moved the ball down the field. A pass to Jarrett Mathis gained 10 more yards during the drive. The key play was when Coach Jeff Pannell reached into his bag of tricks and pulled out a great call. It was 4th down and 9 at the Eagle 14. Verette handed off to Russell Lowe who started to the left, Verette went right and Lowe stopped and threw the ball back to Verette for a gain of 11 and a first down at the 3. Garrett Hartranft scored from the 1. Rodney Ortiz made the score 14-7 with the PAT after the 15-play drive that took 6:20 off the clock.The Eagles moved the ball down the field. A pass from TR Jones to Ryan Wright was complete but Wright was hit by Sean Argote and the ball popped into the air. Taylor Stephens caught the ball but was tackled immediately 4 yards down the field. Brian McCasland was called on to try a 29-yard field goal when the Eagles were stopped inside the 10 yard line. The kick was wide to the left, leaving the score 14-7. San Saba ran out the clock to halftime knowing they got the ball to start the second half.Goldthwaite tried another pooch kick to start the 3rd quarter. Juan Carlos Garcia covered the ball at the Dillo 46. On the second play, Garrett Hartranft went off the left side, broke a tackle and out-raced Eagle defenders into the end zone for a 51-yard touchdown. The PAT by Rodney Ortiz tied the game at 14-14 just 47 seconds into the 3rd quarter.Ortiz kicked the ball into the end zone for his 7th touchback on the year. Starting at the 25, the Eagles failed to gain a first down and punted back to San Saba.The Dillos fared no better and the Russell Lowe punt went out of bounds at the Eagle 40.Runs of 25 and 15 yards by Dakota Perry on the drive set up a 1-yard dive by Perry for the score. The McCasland PAT made the score 21-14.On the first play, Garrett Hartranft lost control of the ball and Goldthwaite recovered at the Dillo 40 yard line. The Eagles looked to be scoring again but the San Saba defense held on 4th down at the 5 yard line.A penalty pushed the ball back to the 3 but San Saba had to punt from the 9. Russell Lowe booted the ball into Eagle territory and it finally stopped at the Eagle 30 for a 61-yard kick.The fourth quarter stared after the kick. Goldthwaite moved down the field but had to punt the ball from the Dillo 36. The punt went into the end zone before it could be downed.San Saba tried to move the ball with Hartranft gaining 14 yards on first down. A 12-yard sack on 3rd down forced the Dillos to punt, giving the Eagles good field position at the Armadillo 44.Goldthwaite ran eight plays to score. Taylor Stephens got his second touchdown of the game on a 3-yard run. Brian McCasland kicked the final point for the 28-14 lead.San Saba had one last chance to score, moving the ball from the Dillo 37 to the Eagle 18 before losing the ball on downs.Goldthwaite ran out the clock toearn the 28-14 win in the “Battle of the River.” The win puts the Eagles at 3-0 in district and dropped San Saba to 2-1.Garrett Hartranft led San Saba with 100 yards rushing and both touchdowns. Kelan Verette added 23 yards rushing, 1 catch for 11 yards and was 3-8 passing for 27 yards. Jarrett Mathis had 2 catches for 24 yards. Kolton Ellis had the remaining completion.Tim’s tip of the cap: Dakota Perry had 179 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns for the Eagles with Logan Harper adding 137 yards on the ground.The other district game saw De Leon be victorious over Santo 31-28. The Bearcat win clinches a playoff berth for the Armadillos for a record 4th straight year. Goldthwaite travels to Hico this week. A win by Hico puts San Saba as the third place team but an Eagle win moves the Dillos to second place. Santo comes to historic Rogan Field for the final regular season game. It is Senior Night and all senior players, cheerleaders, Dilloettes and band members will be recognized with their parents before the game. Kickoff is set for 7:30. Come out and show your support for the team as they prepare for the playoffs.