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Games of 2012, No. 6: San Augustine 49, Alto 42

The two teams expected to decide the District 10-A Division I championship didn’t disappoint when they met Nov. 2 in San Augustine County.

San Augustine jumped to a 29-point second-quarter lead, but Alto stormed back, taking an unexpected 42-41 lead in the fourth quarter before San Augustine answered a final time for a thrilling 49-42 victory in what wound up being the 10-A D-I title bout.

Setting the stage: San Augustine and Alto were the two teams expected to play for the 10-A D-I crown, and they collided in the next-to-last week of the regular season. Alto entered the meeting with six consecutive victories and a 7-1 record. The Wolves, who were 6-2 and winners of five in a row, boasted a running game fueled by Tony Hubbard, Ty’Aundra Taylor, and Bobby Tanner, while the Yellow Jackets relied on Jacolby Whitaker and Zac Sturns. Both offenses provided plenty of fireworks.

First impressions: San Augustine came out on fire, building a 35-6 lead in the second quarter. The Wolves appeared well on their way to their sixth win in a row. But Alto had other ideas …

In the moment: One of the biggest comebacks of the season propelled Alto back into the game. The Yellow Jackets erased the 29-point second-quarter deficit before miraculously, taking the lead, 42-41, midway through the fourth quarter. That’s when San Augustine gathered itself and found one last touchdown drive, which led to a two-point conversion that gave the Wolves a 49-42 advantage with less than two minutes left. Alto drove the field again, reaching the red zone, but San Augustine — which got 211 rushing yards from Taylor and 180 from Hubbard– got a defensive stand to prevent the Jackets from tying the game, spoiling their comeback and all but sealing the 10-A Division I championship in the process.

Last impressions: San Augustine and Alto proved to East Texas and the rest of the state just how good they were. After San Augustine’s victory, both teams were 7-2 and finished the regular season with identical 8-2 marks. The season parallels continued when San Augustine, which got a first-round bye, reached the third round before falling to eventual state finalist Mart, which beat Alto the following week in the Region III championship.

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