SAN ANTONIO – Thousands of high school football fans packed the Alamodome for the first-ever KSAT Pigskin Classic on Saturday.
The first game of the triple header – Smithson Valley Rangers versus the Reagan Rattlers – started with a bang and then went into the final.
Comal ISD’s Rangers defeated NEISD’s Rattlers 14-13 in a Class 5A-Class 6A showdown.
RELATED: Smithson Valley’s David De Hoyos named Jon Wayne player of the game in game one of KSAT Pigskin Classic
“Hats to Reagan, they’re a good football team,” said Smithson Valley head football coach Larry Hill. “It took the whole second half but I’m really proud of our boys.”
A 16-yard touchdown run on an end-around from wide receiver Freddie Dubose capped a nine-play 58-yard drive to open the scoring.
Strong defensive lines and good defensive play, along with poor field position, continued to score until Reagan, senior linebacker Giuseppe Sessi blocked a punt in the second quarter, leading to a special team touchdown by senior linebacker Donnie Laurence. However, the extra point that followed was blocked by Rangers.
Reagan took his first lead of the game with a 54-yard touchdown run in second and ninth place through the elder Carson Green and went into halftime with a 13-7 lead.
Despite the run, the Smithson Valley defense held Reagan for just 83 total yards in the first half.
Rangers started the second half and immediately drove across the field, taking them more than five minutes before the clock, but an early penalty halted their opening second-half drive.
The Rangers’ rushing game stayed within striking distance, but a big save in 4th and 7th place early in the fourth quarter put the ball back for the Rattlers.
Gavin Woods, a senior linebacker, forced a fumble that was fixed by Smithson Valley and then their offense went back to work, with runs from Debose and running back Doug Lantz putting the team in the red zone.
Rangers quarterback Chase Senelick scored a quarterback keeper with a first goal to retake the lead.
Reagan got within range on her next possession, but a missed field goal squandered her best scoring opportunity.
Smithson Valley senior safety and running back David De Hoyos was named the Jon Wayne Player of the Game.
“My teammates did a great job. I think I did well, but the guys behind me really are the MVPs of this game. I couldn’t have done what I did without her.”
The Rattlers, a two-district finalist a year ago, have a strong defensive line returning with four starters. Also thanks to the return of running back Carson Green from a season-ending injury (415 yards rushing, 6 touchdowns a year before the injury), Reagan is expected to be back at the top of the District 28-6A.
“In the beginning we had another really good team (to play), just like Smithson Valley is a really good program,” said Reagan head coach Lyndon Hamilton. “We were supposed to face Brennan and things got a little twisted and tweaked and Coach Hill and I agreed to that. And here we are, the first round out of the box, bringing the old Town and Country Bowl back to life.”
The Rangers, who enjoyed a 9-3 season in which they were also a Division 1 finalist, continue to be led this season by Texas A&M offensive player Colton Thomasson. Running back Doug Lantz’s ground play (364 yards ago a year ago) coupled with the experience of defensemen Gavin Woods and Jaxon Maynard could help give them a great season.
That year, the University Interscholastic League decided to move Smithson Valley to Class 5A due to a drop in their enrollment.
“Kids and coaches don’t really control the drop in signups, so we’re going to play where they put us,” Hill said. “Obviously we have fewer enrollments, so we have fewer people to choose from. How that will affect us – it’s hard to say.”
Smithson Valley: home vs. Harker Heights, September 2 at 7 p.m
Reagan: home vs. Round Rock, Sept. 2 at 7 p.m
The KSAT Pigskin Classic is the first of its kind in the Alamo City and opens the 2022 high school football season. The event features six local high school football teams over three games in a one-day event at the Alamodome.
The Aug. 27 triple header next features Judson vs. Johnson and then ends with Steele vs. Brennan. For more information, click here.
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