San Saba crushes Goldthwaite in Gordon Wood Stadium game
Risien Shahan had passed for one touchdown during San Saba’s first four football games this season. On Friday night, the Armadillos’ quarterback passed for six TDs in the first half alone.
San Saba, sixth-ranked in Class 2A Division I by texasfootball.com, blew out the archrival Goldthwaite Eagles 64-6 in the District 4-2A DI opener at Gordon Wood Stadium as Shahan passed for 375 yards and six touchdowns. The 5-foot-11 senior passed for 343 yards and all six TDs during the first half as the Armadillos (4-1 overall) built a 56-6 lead by intermission.
In other local action, the Bangs Dragons defeated the Grape Creek Eagles 62-0 to improve to 5-0 (1-0 in district play). The Dragons offense generated nearly 600 yards of offense.
“We didn’t have a good rhythm or a good pocket presence with our passing game,” second-year San Saba head coach Andreas Aguirre said of his team’s first four games. “We’ve been focusing on the passing game because we know we’re going to need it at some point.
“Our quarterback did a great job tonight, and our backs and line did a great job of protecting. We’re starting to jell, and that’s what we want to see in the passing game.”
Receiver Logan Glover enjoyed a breakout game Friday after not catching a touchdown pass in San Saba’s first four games. The 6-foot-5 senior, who had 20 touchdown receptions in 2018 and 2019 combined, caught five balls for 203 yards Friday -- including touchdowns of 48, 41 and 74 yards against a Goldthwaite secondary with no player taller than 5-9.
“Tonight was big for Logan, and it was big for Risien,” Aguirre said. “Logan did an incredible job of attacking the ball. When the ball’s up in the air, it’s anybody’s. Logan didn’t wait on the ball to come down. He went and attacked the ball. He did a good job of doing what we asked him to do, and that was to be in the game plan.”
Shahan also threw scoring passes of 26 and 38 yards to Reagan Mija during San Saba’s prolific first half. Running back Stone Sears also caught a 41-yard scoring pass from Shahan.
The 6-2, 200-pound Sears also rushed for 104 yards and TDs of 1 and 8 yards on just 13 carries. That extended his five-game season totals to 787 yards and 15 touchdowns rushing. If the Armadillos can run and throw like they did Friday, they’ll be a force in the 2A DI playoffs again this season. They’ve won 27 of 29 games in 2018 and 2019 with a state semifinals appearance and a state quarterfinals berth.
“We love having those options,” Aguirre said of being able to run and throw effectively. His team finished with 599 total yards Friday. “But it starts with defense. You’ve got to play defense to give your offense a chance to go score.”
San Saba’s defense did its part. After taking a 7-0 lead, Armadillos’ defensive back Wesley Lackey returned a Goldthwaite fumble 41 yards to the Eagles’ 1-yard line. Sears scored on the next play to make it 14-0.
Lackey then recovered an onside kick, and on the next play, Shahan threw a 48-yard touchdown pass to Glover. San Saba had scored two touchdown in 10 seconds and turned a 7-0 lead into a 21-0 lead with the first quarter not even half over. At that point, Goldthwaite had run only four offensive plays while San Saba had racked up 21 points.
“It was like the game kicked off, and we spotted them 21 points,” second-year Goldthwaite head coach Keith Virdell said. “Defensively, we got them into some third downs, and we were moving the ball some at first on offense. But they got the fumble and the onside kick, and the momentum rolled their way. They’ve got a great team.”
Shahan threw scoring passes of 38 yards to Mija and 41 yards to Glover as the Armadillos forged a 35-0 lead by the first quarter’s end.
The 41-yard scoring pass to Sears was a throwback screen, and the senior back broke at least three attempted tackles down the sideline on the way to the end zone. That touchdown gave San Saba a 42-0 lead before Goldthwaite scored on quarterback Jackson Patrick’s 76-yard run with 10:24 left in the second quarter.
It seemed hard to imagine that Friday was San Saba’s first game in three weeks after a scheduled bye that followed a COVID-19 cancellation by nondistrict opponent Dublin.
“It a great feeling to be playing again. There’s nothing like it,” Aguirre said. “It felt great to be going into battle with these kids again, knowing full well that it could be taken away just like that.
“We played well. There were some mistakes we need to clean up, but we played physical and we executed pretty well for the most part. It was nice to knock off the rust and get back after it. I was pleased with our effort.”
San Saba didn’t need any help Friday, but the Armadillos converted three Goldthwaite fumbles and the successful onside kick into 28 points.
Goldthwaite (2-3 overall) got 128 yards rushing from Patrick, but only 245 yards total.
Friday was the 103rd meeting between San Saba and Goldthwaite, and the Armadillos won for the 60th time overall. They also notched their first three-game win streak over the Eagles since 1987-1989. The three latest San Saba wins -- 78-0 in 2018, 60-0 in 2019, and 64-6 this year -- represent the three most lopsided victories in the 103 games played.
San Saba 64, Goldthwaite 6
Score by Quarters:
San Saba 35 21 8 0 — 64
G’waite 0 6 0 0 — 6
SS — Reagan Mija 26 pass from Risien Shahan (Justin Yarbrough kick), 8:28
SS — Stone Sears 1 run (Yarbrough kick), 6:31
SS — Logan Glover 48 pass from Shahan (Yarbrough kick), 6:21
SS — Mija 38 pass from Shahan (Yarbrough kick), 3:56
SS — Glover 41 pass from Shahan (Yarbrough kick), 1:01
SS — Sears 41 pass from Shahan (Yarbrough kick), 10:48
GO — Jackson Patrick 76 run (kick failed), 10:24
SS — Glover 74 pass from Shahan (Yarbrough kick), 9:45
SS — Sears 8 run (Yarbrough kick), 2:08
SS — Justin Yarbrough 24 run (Tegen Saiz pass from Mija), 3:00
First Downs 23 9
Rushes-Yards 32-212 46-241Passing Yards 387 4
Total Yards 599 245
Comp-Att-Int 17-24-0 1-3-0Punts 1-39 6-31Fumbles-Lost 0-0 3-3
Penalties-Yards 6-60 7-35
Individual StatisticsRUSHING: San Saba – Stone Sears 13-104, Justin Yarbrough 3-50, Lance Taylor 4-36, Wesley Lackey 6-19, Risien Shahan 3-10, Franco Franco 1-3, Team 3-(-)10. Goldthwaite – Jackson Patrick 15-128, Seth Gardner 14-45, Aaron Anzua 7-32, Carsyn Campbell 6-19, Dusty Partin 4-17.
PASSING: San Saba – Shahan 15-21-0 for 375, Taylor 2-3-0 for 12. Goldthwaite – Patrick 1-3-0 for 4.
RECEIVING: San Saba – Logan Glover 5-203, Reagan Mija 3-72, Lackey 3-17, Sears 2-51, Yarbrough 1-24, Tegen Saiz 1-9, Franco 1-5, Izaah Bessent 1-5. Goldthwaite – Gardner 1-4.
RECORDS: San Saba is 4-1, 1-0 in District 4-2A Division I; Goldthwaite 2-4, 0-1.