BY RUSSELL HUFFMAN
With one week left in district play, football teams are vying to maintain their playoff berth positions and of course there’s still a little drama left for teams in the local area.
No game will be bigger than DeLeon (6-3, 4-0) traveling to take on San Saba (8-0, 4-0) team that appears to be the best Armadillo squad in many years.
Long-time football fans will remember San Saba’s Rogan field which seats about 1,500 people has “extra fans.” The field is built over an old graveyard and the odd mishaps visiting teams have there have become Texas high school football legend.
Many teams have traveled to San Saba with undefeated records in district play and come away with a story of strange happenings of their own. The stories have grown to the level where even Texas Football magazine lists the field among the top ten in the state to visit.
With more than 1,200 high school stadiums that’s some elite company that includes Sweetwater’s Mustang Bowl and Mesquite’s Memorial Stadium that seats 20,000.
DeLeon started the season with high hopes and lots of hype, but suffered a bevy of injuries especially on defense and dropped three games before district play.
The injury situation showed itself against Stamford where the Bearcats scored 62 points while giving up two state 11-man football records (12 touchdown passes, 789 yards) and 90 points.
It’s been a magnificent comeback as players healed and the first district win over Hico (21-14) was a signal the Bearcats were on the mend. DeLeon tore apart Valley Mills 42-21 and proved they were for real against Crawford 30-14. Last week the Bearcats scored a season-high 77 points in downing Goldthwaite 77-7.
The common denominator between DeLeon and San Sana is Crawford. San Saba’s defense has been nothing short of spectacular this season and Crawford’s 14 points last week was the most allowed by the Armadillos.
Crawford only got 14 points against the Bearcats which makes this a game where the team with the least offensive mistakes wins the game. That’s without a doubt the oldest cliché in football, but it holds in this game.
San Saba’s defense has blanketed the field and has two shutouts, four games with one touchdown allowed and just 65 points all season. The Armadillo’s offense is averaging 52 points a game.
The two teams had a one-point differential against Goldthwaite on offense and seven points on defense. Which again starts to look like a game where neither side can afford errors on offense.
Then there’s also the fact they will be playing in a place nicknamed “The Graveyard” where the Bearcats hope to bury San Saba’s district championship hopes.