Dog defense comes to the rescue in big road victory
Unable to score themselves, Thorndale didn’t allow San Saba to cross the goal line in a hardfought 9-7 road victory Friday night at venerable Rogan Field.
Thorndale improved to 5-1 on the season and slipped back into the rankings at No. 21 heading into the District 13A-DI opener Friday at Weimar. Thorndale is the district favorite.
San Saba sags to 2-4 after dropping its fourth straight game.
“Our defense had a great game,” said Thorndale Coach Brent Brevard, “two goal line stands in which we forced field goals. We have to make corrections with ball security, eight turnovers is uncalled for.”
The defense came to the rescue, gathering up three fumbles and picking off three Armadillo passes.
Thorndale limited San Saba to 220 total yards and just two short field goals, in the first and fourth quarters.
Most of that came by way of 5-foot-7, 145-pound halfback Sean Argote who picked up 111 yards on 24 carries.
Due to the miscues, the Bulldogs offensive numbers were down and managed just 189 yards on the ground, their lowest total of the year.
Rowdy McCoy peeled off 68 yards on just eight carries to lead Thorndale, while leading rusher Darius Brooks was held to 52 yards on 15 carries, but scored the Bulldogs’ lone touchdown on a two-yard plunge in the second quarter to make the score 9-3.
Road block nose guard Fabian Gomez accounted for Thorndale’s other score when he dumped San Saba running back Garrett Hartranft in the end zone for a safety on the first series of the game.
Schaefer finished 8-for-19 for 118 yards and the two picks.
The Wildcats are coming off a 33-32 loss to Shiner and have dropped two straight.
Weimar—a playoff team two of the past three years—has had trouble covering the goal line, averaging just over 18 points a game.
The Wildcats are picked second in district behind favorite Thorndale.
“They are very talented and play hard,” said Brevard.
Weimar joins Thorndale in its dip back into Class A, but as a 2A playoff team.
The Wildcats got hot at the right time and won five of six to end the 2011 season and make the playoffs. They were ousted in the second round by unbeaten Sonora.
Sixteen returning lettermen and 11 starters are back after enjoying the playoff ride after going 1-9 in 2010.
Seth Helmcamp (5-7, 160) is an experienced quarterback as a junior and some publications had him as the pre-season offensive player of the year.
Weimar had to replace leading rusher and two-way starter B.J. Jones and top receiver Jordan Smith.
Junior Jakyle Harris (5- 9, 150) and senior Delexus Gordon (5-9, 170) tote the ball for the Wildcats.
Senior D’Quane Rhodes (5-9, 160) was named the district’s top utility man in 2011.
Senior linemen Ja’Braylyn Thomas (6- 6, 320) and Cody Hamer (6-0, 210), senior wide receiver Torre Johnson (5- 9, 155), junior defensive end Ortis Newhouse (5-9, 185) and Helcamp (punter) received alldistrict mentions.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Weimar Stadium.
thorndale 9, San Saba 6
First quarter THORN—Fabian Gomez tackles Garrett Hartanft for safety 11:06 SAN SABA—Rodney Ortiz 22 FG 7:44
Second quarter THORN— Darius Brooks 2 run (Colton Austin kick) 10:20
Fourth quarter SAN SABA—Ortiz 22 FG 11:15
RUSHING—McCoy 8-68, Brooks 15-52 TD, Austin 3-12, Mays 3-16, Barker 4-17. PASSING—Schaefer 8-19-2, 187 yards. RECEIVING—Mays 4-63, Austin 1-29, Salinas 1-14, Miller, J. 1-10, Brooks 1-2...
This week—Thorndale at Weimar; Flatonia at Holland; Thrall is idle.
Last week—Thorndale 9, San Saba 6; Shiner 33, Weimar 32; Burton 46, Flatonia 13; Holland 40, Temple Holy Trinity 6; Thrall 43, Somerville 0.
Rushing—Brooks 94-666 10TD, Miller 25-205 3TD, Mays 21-139 TD, Barker 34-208 4TD, Guzman 11-102 TD, McCoy 21-157, Austin 9-98 2TD, Bigan 1-(-7), Miller, J. 13-17, Salinas 1-(-5), Schaefer 7-(-13) TD.
Passing—Schaefer 50-87-2, 915 yards 10 TD; Mays 3-8-0, 36 yards, Miller, J. 5-13-1, 95 yards TD; Stockton 1-1-0.
Receiving— Mays 18-329 4TD, Miller 5-67 TD, Gomez 8-85, Stockton 5-132, Guzman 5-120 2TD, Salinas 7-73 2TD, Miller, J. 4-106 2TD, Austin 1-29, Hafley 3-28, Bigan 1-6.