San Augustine comes back, beats Garrison 29-27 to advance to Regional Finals

Gets rematch with Tenaha next

San Augustine comes back, beats Garrison 29-27 to advance to Regional Finals
JaChristian Lovell celebrates as San Augustine beats Garrison 29-27 Saturday afternoon.

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - In Hollywood the equal is almost always never as good as the original. The same cannot be said about the 2018 Round 3 UIL Plyaoff game between San Augustine.

The two teams previously met up in week 3 with Garrison coming out on top 48-39. Nothing was on the line in the first matchup but a lot was at stake Saturday in Nacogdoches. Only one team would be moving on to the Regional final. The game pan had to be simple for San Augustine - stop junior sensation Sebastian Porter and hope for the best.

That game plan did not work early. On a 4th and 4 early in the game, Porter gained the first down yardage. It looked like the Wolves would stop him but Porter was able to stay on his feet and make a 6 yard run a 46 yard run for the game’s first points.

A few drives later, Porter lined up in the play caller position and called his own number, going 50 yards for a touchdown. Early in this game it looked bad for the Wolves as they were down 14-0 and could not get the offense going.

Junior all-around athlete TiJay Thomas would not let the game get away as he was able to connect with JaVarious Miller to get the wolves on the board. Murr and his staff took the team into the locker room down 14-6.

It is unclear what was said in the locker room but the Wolves came out in the second half and made adjustments. The would score 14 unanswered points. With a 20-14 lead the game took on a new feel.

Porter would break a big run down the field and then a few plays later punch it in for a score to tie the game at 20. It was early in the fourth but the following play would be the play of the season so far for San Augustine. On the extra point, the Wolves were able to get the block and JaChristian Lovell was able to make a big return to the opposite endzone for 20 points. Instead of Garrison kicking off with a one-point lead, they would kickoff trailing by two.

Both teams then exchanged quick scores and with under 30 seconds left, Garrison was running out of options. As time expired Porter got the ball in his hands but the Wolves defense was ready and Porter was unable to break out of the tackles and San Augustine beat Garrison 29-27 in an instant classic.

“I don’t know [how we stopped Porter],” San Augustine Head Coach Marty Murr said. " He is a great back. You know we lost our quarterback in the first half and our backup came in and did a fantastic job. I am just so proud of these guys."

Heading into the game, San Augustine was considered the underdog. The team that went to the state semi-finals last year had lost a lot of talent to graduation. Murr credit’s his young players' attitudes of “team above self” as the driving force behind the success.

“At the beginning of the year people said this was a rebuilding year, but now we get to play for a regional championship,” Murr said. “I am just so proud of these kids, I cannot put it into words.”

Next up is Tenaha, another rematch from early in the season. The Tigers upset #7 Carlisle Saturday afternoon. The two last played back on week 4 and Tenaha won a rain-soaked game 14-0. The two teams will play Friday, Dec. 7 at Nacogdoches High School. Kickoff is set for 7 pm.

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