The DeLeon Bearcats (9-5) turned over the football three times in the first quarter, and the San Saba Armadillos (14-0) made them pay by jumping out front to a 19-7 lead and held on for a 31-17 Region II 2A Championship win in Brownwood Thursday night.
Playing in a heavy mist and rain, DeLeon fumbled away its first snap and the Armadillos were quickly on the board with an Eli Salinas 4 yard run. The Bearcats also lost their next possession deep in their own territory and the first of lineman-turned-fullback Clayton Pierce’s two touchdowns came next.
With 8:55 remaining in the first quarter, DeLeon was down by a 13-7.
The Bearcats responded with Kevin Yeager scrambling away from a sack giving time for Dawson Matthews to break free from the defender and haul in a 50-yard scoring pass to make it 13-7 after Emery Amick’s PAT kick.
Things began to look like they might be rolling DeLeon’s way when the Bearcats stopped a San Saba drive, but the offense once again turned over the football at the Armadillos’ 24-yard line. San Saba responded with an eight-play drive and a Sean O’Keefe touchdown on a quarterback sneak that made it 19-7 heading into the second quarter.
The Armadillo’s defensive line kept constant pressure on Yeager who ended up tossing two interceptions on the night. San Saba was able to bottle up the Bearcats’ ground game allowing only 31 rushing yards.
Both teams’ defenses took over the second quarter of play, but with just over a minute left in the first half San Saba punched in a Joseph Watson five-yard run that made it a 25-7 game
Yeager passed for 266 yards and a pair of touchdowns including a 32-yard touchdown to Chris Cox in the third. The Bearcats were able to notch one more score with Amick booting a 34-yard field goal.
Cox, a senior wide receiver, had game-highs with ten catches for 130 yards while Amick caught two passes for 70 yards and Matthews had a 50-yard reception.
SAN — Eli Salinas 4 run (kick failed), 10:22
SAN — Clayton Pierce 1 run (Salinas kick), 8:55
DEL — Dawson Matthews 50 pass from Kevin Yeager (Emery Amick kick), 7:12
SAN — Sean O’Keefe 3 run (kick blocked), 4:15
SAN — Joseph Watson 5 pass from O’Keefe (run failed), 1:04
DEL — Chris Cox 32 pass from Yeager (Amick kick), 11:45
SAN — Pierce 1 run (pass failed), 7:17
DEL — Amick 34 FG, 6:09
RUSHING — San Saba, Sean O’Keefe 28-164, Eli Salinas 26-87, Clayton Pierce 1-2, Team 1-(-4). De Leon, Chris Cox 4-30, Tony Evans 2-19, Kevin Yeager 13-(-5), Kelan Hodges 3-(-8), Team 1-(-5).
PASSING — San Saba, O’Keefe 6-12-1—111, Risien Shahan 1-1-0—28, Salinas 0-1-0. De Leon, Yeager 14-28-2—266, Cox 1-1-0—4.
RECEIVING — San Saba, Joseph Watson 3-52, Salinas 2-24, Ruben Parra 1-37, Logan Glover 1-26. De Leon, Cox 10-137, Emery Amick 2-70, Dawson Matthews 1-50, Lane Powledge 1-9, Yeager 1-4.
RECORDS — San Saba 14-0; De Leon 9-5.