Miller leads Bulldogs to 39-21 victory at Comfort
By Tim McGrath BCC Sports Writer
Bandera senior quarterback Michael Miller rushed for 153 yards and four touchdowns while completing 10 of 15 passes for another 212 yards to lead the Bulldogs to a 39-21 victory over the Comfort Bobcats in non-district football action played on Friday, Sept. 21 at Comfort.
Miller engineered a balanced Bandera offensive effort that included 261 yards on the ground and 212 yards in the air as the Bulldogs earned their first victory of the 2012 season.
The Bandera defense also played a big part in the outcome and was led by junior linebacker Ishmael MacNeil.
MacNeil was credited with numerous tackles in the game and returned a fourth quarter interception 27 yards for a Bulldog touchdown.
The Bulldogs got off to a rocky start in the game as the Bobcats took an early 14-0 lead before Miller ignited the Bandera offensive surge halfway through the second quarter. With the Bobcats up 14-0, Miller tallied on a 15-yard run and Shane Montooth booted the PAT to bring the score to 14-7 Bobcats at the 6:36 mark of the second period.
Four minutes later, Miller took it in from four yards out and Montooth added the PAT to tie the score at 14-14 at halftime. The Bulldogs came out roaring in the second half and took a 27-13 lead on a pair of third quarter scores while keeping the Bobcats off the board in the period.
Alex Willoughby-Gonzales dashed nine yards for a Bulldog touchdown before Miller scored on a 1-yard push.
Montooth tacked on a pair of extra-points and the Bulldogs took a 14-point lead into the final period of play.
The Bobcats managed a score early in the fourth quarter but the Bulldogs rallied for a pair of touchdowns that included a Miller 28-yard run and a MacNeil 27-yard interception return to nail down the 39-21 victory.
Bandera Head Football Coach and Athletic Director Larry Prince had plenty of praise to go around beginning with Miller and MacNeil and expanding to the entire Bulldog team. "Michael did a great job for us," Prince explained. "Our passing game was much improved because he made all his reads, made good decisions and went through his progressions to the point of finding receivers on the back side. His velocity and timing was excellent and he is physically able to make all the throws.
"Ishmael has become the quarterback of our defense. He was all over the field making tackle after tackle and reading very well. He is definitely a leader out there and is improving all the time," Prince remarked. "So many of our players were involved in the game plan and contributed to this winning effort.
Bulldog rushing stats from Comfort include Willoughby-Gonzales with 57 yards and a score on 6 carries, Kavan Conner (5 for 40), and Fabian Muniz (12-18). Six Bulldog receivers contributed to the Bandera offensive effort; K. Conner (2-72yds), Noah Nelson (2-54), Dillon Erskine (2-37), Caleb Beauchamp (2-30), Michael Davis (1-13) and Fabian Muniz (1-6).
The Bulldogs are at home this week and will take on the LaVernia Bears on Friday, Sept. 28 beginning at 7:30 pm. The Bulldog/Bear encounter is the final non-district game of the season.
The Bulldogs will have an open date next week to prepare for the 2012 District 27AAA season which begins on Friday, Oct. 12 at Wimberley.