BALLINGER– If the Ballinger Bearcats were looking to make a statement, last Friday night they made it. The 39-7 win over the San Saba Armadillos was their third victory of the season. It proved that this year the ‘Cats are fully renovated, and they will be a serious contender in their district and beyond.
Five touchdown carries by the Bearcats quarterback Jacob Rodriquez, as well as Ballinger’s defense played a key role in the win. The Bearcast held the Armadillos scoreless until the fourth quarter, and stopped San Saba from crossing the 50 yard line until almost halftime.
The Bearcats’ quarterback Jacob Rodriquez had a busy night with six carries for a total of 80 yards. Five of those carries ended up into the endzone. Rodriquez completed six out of 12 passes, for a total of 63 yards and had no interceptions. Running back Zach Perez had 16 carries and ran for 90 yards.
The game started to take shape early for the Bearcats. San Saba’s second offense of the night was shortened by the Bearcat’s defense. Ballinger forced a fumble by running back Argote, and Eric Thomas recovered the ball leaving Ballinger at San Saba’s 8 yard line. Rodriquez opened the scoring with 3:52 left on the clock with a 7 yard run. Dustin King made the extra point for the Bearcats to take the lead 7-0.
Before the first period was over the ‘Cats would add another touchdown. With 13 seconds left Rodriquez would finish a 78 yard drive. From the 4 yard line Rodriquez found paydirt and clocked six more for the ‘Cats. Tyler McBurney made the 2-point conversion for the ‘Cats to increase the distance 15-0.
In the second quarter San Saba had time to play just one drive and punt before receiving more damage. In second and 11, 10:28 left on the half Rodriquez found a hole in the defense and carried the ball 37 yards into the endzone, the kicked was blocked 21-0.
Before going to the pause another key play would stop San Saba dead on. First play after the kickoff the quarterback Mathis throws a pass and gets intercepted by Zach Perez. The play left the Bearcats at their own 44. Three first down conversions later the Bearcats were at the Armadillo’s 3 yard line, and with 7:45 on the clock Rodriquez would score his fourth touchdown of the night. The kick was missed, 27-0.
It was until the fourth quarter when the scoreboard would move again.
Anthony Rodriquez intercepted a pass to Mathis and left the ball at San Saba’s 1 yard line. The officials penalized the Bearcats in the play and despite allowing Ballinger to keep the ball, the scrimmage line was moved back to San Saba’s 23. The ‘Cats tried with Zach Perez and Clayton Worthington, and finally it was Jacob Rodriquez again the one that made the final carry, a 20 yard run into paydirt to increase the lead 33-0 with 9:04 left in the game.
After the kickoff Ballinger defense prevented any damage and forced the Armadillos to punt with no first down conversions.
The Bearcats would start the ensuing drive at the Armadillos 46. Carries by Clayton Worthington, Zach Perez and Devon Hoelscher left the ball at the 2 yard line. With 3:59 left on the clock Willie Collins squared up the night for the Bearcats with a short carry. The kicked was missed, 39-0.
The ‘Dillos would score their only touchdown of the night after a 51 yard carry by T.J. Higher and kick by Rodney Ortiz, with 2:45 left on the game.