GOLDTHWAITE – Drew Hermesmeyer’s emergence as a passing threat, combined with reliable runner Quaid Seward, has turned the Goldthwaite Eagles into an offensive machine in recent weeks.
Scoring on the ground and through the air, Goldthwaite won the 100th game in its rivalry with the San Saba Armadillos, 35-13, Friday night before an overflow crowd at Eagle Field. Goldthwaite beat San Saba in the state’s eighth-oldest rivalry for the 18th time in the last 21 games. San Saba, though, still leads the all-time series that began in 1916 by 57-39 with four ties.
Hermesmeyer passed for 205 yards and two touchdowns while Seward rushed for 241 yards and two more scores.
The Eagles won their fourth consecutive game after an 0-3 start and improved to 4-3 overall and 3-0 in District 7-2A Division I. During the four-game win streak, Goldthwaite is averaging 37 points and 433 total yards. Seward has been consistent all season, and Friday’s performance pushed his season totals to 1,169 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Hermesmeyer, a first-year starter at quarterback, began the season without a touchdown pass the first four games. But in the last three games, the 6-foot-1 junior is 35-of-45 passing for 637 yards and seven TDs. On Friday, he guided the Eagles to touchdowns on their first four possessions and a 28-0 second-quarter lead.
“It took me a couple of games to get going,” Hermesmeyer said. “The first half tonight was probably as well as we’ve played this year. Our line blocking was excellent, and our receivers blocked well out in the open. Quaid ran hard. All that makes it easier on me.”
Hermesmeyer completed short passes that McKennan Jones and Isaac Chavez turned into touchdowns of 32 and 76 yards, respectively, in the first half. On both touchdowns, Jones and Chavez broke one attempted tackle and eluded a second defender near the sideline.
Meanwhile, Seward’s rushing helped Goldthwaite control the ball for 62 plays compared to 45 for San Saba. The compact, 165-pound senior scored the Eagles’ first touchdown on an 11-yard run, and he added their final score in the third quarter on a 27-yard sprint.
“I give the credit to my o-line. I was running 5 yards before I was getting touched,” Seward said. “When you can run free to the second level, that’s huge.”
Goldthwaite racked up 522 total yards, but the Eagles also drew 16 penalties for 145 yards.
“With the rivalry and how electric the crowd was, I thought our players were able to feed off that without going over the edge,” said Goldthwaite coach Greg Proffitt, whose team has a bye this week and finishes with crucial district games against Crawford, Hico and De Leon.
“When other teams load up to stop our run game, we have shown that we can throw and catch. Our offense is finally clicking on all cylinders, but we can still do better,” Proffitt added.
The Armadillos fell to 3-3 overall and 1-1 in district after Friday’s loss.
After the Eagles took a 15-0 first-quarter lead on Seward’s 11-yard touchdown run and Hermesmeyer’s 32-yard scoring pass to Jones, a huge turning point followed.
The Armadillos drove to the Eagles’ 9-yard line, but were held on downs after tackles by Goldthwaite’s Hagen Hohertz, Trey Patterson and Christian Valencia. The Eagles took possession and methodically drove 91 yards in 15 plays, taking a 22-0 lead on Hermesmeyer’s 2-yard run with 5:02 left before halftime. Goldthwaite converted a third-and-9 and a third-and-14 during the seven-minute drive.
“Anytime you’re in the red zone and don’t get points, it’s an emotional letdown. It’s tough to overcome,” San Saba first-year coach Jerod Fikac said of the potential 14-point swing. “They played better than we did tonight. They were more physical up front.”
San Saba had two other drives inside Goldthwaite’s 20 that produced no points. One of the possessions was stopped on downs after the Armadillos drew two penalties. An interception in the end zone by Jones ended the Armadillos’ other threat.
“We had a few chances, but we didn’t execute,” Fikac said. “When you don’t execute against a good team, you’re facing an uphill battle. After we were held, we needed to hold them on defense to create some positive field position for us. Our kids are learning how to fight through adversity.”
The Armadillos got 114 yards passing and 65 yards rushing from sophomore quarterback Sean O’Keefe, who threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Cole Tupin. O’Keefe also scored on a 1-yard run in the fourth quarter.
Goldthwaite 35, San Saba 13
Score by Quarters:
San Saba 0 7 0 6 — 13
Goldthwaite 15 13 7 0 — 35
GOL — Quaid Seward 11 run (McKennan Jones pass from Leo Garcia), 8:52
GOL — Jones 32 pass from Drew Hermesmeyer (Garcia kick), 3:54
GOL — Hermesmeyer 2 run (Garcia kick), 5:02
GOL — Isaac Chavez 76 pass from Hermesmeyer (kick failed), 2:16
SAN — Cole Tupin 10 pass from Sean O’Keefe (Elijah Salinas kick), 0:26
Third Quarter GOL — Seward 27 run (Garcia kick), 0:12
SAN — O’Keefe 1 run (kick failed), 4:01
First Downs 10 26
Rushes-Yards 20-105 48-317
Passing 114 205
Comp-Att-Int 13-25-1 11-14-0
Punts 3-38 0-0
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 2-1
Penalties-Yards 10-60 16-145
Individual Statistics RUSHING: San Saba – Sean O’Keefe 14-65, Josh Lambert 2-42, Elijah Salinas 4-(-)2. Goldthwaite – Quaid Seward 30-241, Leo Garcia 7-28, JP Gibbard 2-22, Trey Patterson, 2-16, Darren Massey 2-10, Drew Hermesmeyer 3-0, Team 2-0.
PASSING: San Saba – O’Keefe 13-25-1 for 114. Goldthwaite – Hermesmeyer 11-14-0 for 205.
RECEIVING: San Saba – Cole Tupin 4-33, Joe Watson 3-48, Klay Prew 3-36, Salinas 3-(-)3. Goldthwaite – Isaac Chavez 4-116, McKennan Jones 4-64, Kyle Schwartz 1-13, Patterson 1-10, Seward 1-2.
RECORDS: San Saba 3-3 overall, 1-1 in District 7-2A Division I. Goldthwaite 4-3, 3-0.