Garrison Bulldogs vs. Harleton

Tim Monzingo/The Daily Sentinel

Bulldogs’ Sabastion Porter looks for an opening up the field during a recent Bulldog game against the Harleton Wildcats.

On paper the San Augustine Wolves appear to be big favorite when they battle the Garrison Bulldogs in a battle of two East Texas rivals in the Class 2A Division I Bi-district round of the playoffs.

The contest between No. 4-ranked San Augustine (9-0) and Garrison (5-5) will get underway at 7 p.m. at Dragon Stadium on the campus of Nacogdoches High School. The audio broadcast of the game will be available online at:

These two squads are no strangers to each other. Garrison, which entered the playoffs as the fourth-place team in District 11-2A DI, posted a league mark of 3-3, tied with Timpson for third place in the final standings, but the Bears received the higher seed because they won the head-to-head matchup, 7-0.

The Wolves had an unblemished 5-0 mark en route to the league title. San Augustine has run roughshod over almost all of its opponents this year, scoring 565 points for the season, averaging 62.8 points a game. The Wolves have allowed 130, or 14.4 points a game.

San Augustine has had strong seasons under current head coach Marty Murr. In five seasons Murr has led the Wolves to a 50-14 (78.1%) including a 35-4 record (89.7%) in the last three years. SAHS advanced to the 2A DI state semifinals the past two seasons. In 2017 the Wolves lost to Refugio (63-21), and last year they fell to eventual champion Mason, 52-8.

Garrison, which hasn’t had a .500 season since 2015, was not an explosive team his year as they have been in the past, scoring only 218 points, or 21.8 points a game, while giving up 20.4. The Bulldogs are an excellent playoff team, posting a 51-35-1 (59.3%) record in the postseason. The last two seasons they advanced three rounds deep.

But when these two squads play, records can sometimes be thrown out. They played earlier this season on September 13 and were in a 28-28 deadlock in the fourth quarter before Kevorian Barnes scored on a five-yard run with 7:59 remaining to lift San Augustine to a 36-38 win — the closest the Wolves came to losing this season.

Tijay Thomas-Davis led San Augustine on the ground in that game with 176 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries. Barnes added 113 and a score on 12 runs.

Ja’Kedric Watts led the Bulldogs with 108 yards on five runs, with Sabastion Porter chipping in 60 yards and a score on 14 runs.

San Augustine posted 416 total yards for the game, with 344 of that coming on the ground. Garrison tallied 376, with 215 coming via the ground game and 161 through the air by quarterback Chace Rodriguez (9-of-20, 2 TDs, 2-int). Five different Bulldogs caught passes and Porter intercepted a pass and recovered a fumble on defense.

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