SAINT ANTONY – Thousands of high school football fans packed the Alamodome on Saturday for the first-ever KSAT Pigskin Classic.
The first game of the triple header, Smithson Valley Rangers vs. Reagan Rattlers, started with a bang and then went to the bottom.
The Comal ISD Rangers defeated the NEISD Rattlers 14-13, in a Class 5A-Class 6A matchup.
RELATED: Smithson Valley’s David De Hoyos named Jon Wayne Player of the Game in the first KSAT Pigskin Classic game
“Congratulations to Reagan, they are a good football team,” said Larry Hill, Smithson Valley head football coach. “He took the whole second half, but I’m very proud of our guys.”
A 16-yard touchdown run on one end by wide receiver Freddie Dubose capped a nine-play, 58-yard drive to open the scoring.
Strong defensive lines and good defensive play, coupled with poor field position, kept scoring until Reagan’s senior defensive back Giuseppe Sessi blocked a second-quarter punt, resulting in a special teams touchdown. from senior linebacker Donnie Laurence. The resulting extra point, however, was blocked by the Rangers.
Reagan took his first lead of the game with a 54-yard touchdown run on second down by senior Carson Green, taking a 13-7 halftime lead.
Despite the run, the Smithson Valley defense limited Reagan to just 83 total yards in the first half.
The Rangers took the second-half kickoff and immediately charged down the field, using more than five minutes on the clock, but an ill-timed penalty stopped their opening second-half drive.
The Rangers’ running game stayed within striking distance, but a big defensive stop on the fourth-and-seven early in the fourth quarter turned the ball back to the Rattlers.
Gavin Woods, a senior linebacker, forced a fumble that was recovered by Smithson Valley and then their offense was back on track, with runs from Debose and running back Doug Lantz getting the team into the red zone.
Rangers quarterback Chase Senelick scored on a quarterback keeper at first-and-goal to regain the lead.
Reagan, on his next possession, came close to scoring, but a missed field goal squandered his best scoring opportunity.
Smithson Valley senior safety and running back David De Hoyos was named Jon Wayne Player of the Game.
“My teammates did amazing. I think I did well, but the guys behind me are really the MVPs of this game. Without them, I couldn’t have done what I have done.”
The Rattlers, bi-district finalists a year ago, have a solid defensive line coming back, with four starters behind. Thanks also to the return of running back Carson Green from a season-ending injury (415 rushing yards, 6 touchdowns a year before the injury), Reagan is projected to be back atop the 28-6A District.
“Initially, we had another really good team (to play on), as well as the really good Smithson Valley program,” Reagan head football coach Lyndon Hamilton said. “We were supposed to face Brennan, and things got twisted and shifted a little bit, and Coach Hill and I agreed. And here we are, first round out of the box, bringing the old Town and Country Bowl back to life.”
The Rangers, coming off a 9-3 season in which they were also Division 1 area finalists, will continue to be led this season by Texas A&M offensive line Colton Thomasson. Running back Doug Lantz’s running game (364 yards a year ago) along with experienced defensive linemen Gavin Woods and Jaxon Maynard could help them put together a breakout season.
This year, the University Interscholastic League decided to downgrade Smithson Valley to Class 5A, due to a drop in enrollment.
“The kids and the coaches don’t really control the enrollment decline, so we’re going to play wherever they put us,” Hill said. “Obviously we have fewer enrollments, so there are fewer people to choose from. How that will affect us, that’s hard to say.”
UNTIL NEXT TIME:
Smithson Valley: Home vs. Harker Heights, Sept. 2 at 7 p.m.
Reagan: at home vs. Round Rock, September 2 at 7 p.m.
The KSAT Pigskin Classic is the first of its kind in Alamo City and kicks off the 2022 high school football season. The event features six local high school football teams over three games in one day event at the Alamodome.
The Aug. 27 tripleheader next features Judson vs. Johnson and then concludes with Steele vs. Brennan. You can get more information by clicking here.
Download the Big Game Coverage mobile app or visit the Big Game Coverage section to watch high school sports coverage, including live game broadcasts, from KSAT 12.
Copyright 2022 by KSAT – All Rights Reserved.