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2013-09-12

Explosive Bulldogs stun Warhorses at Devine 34-20

By Tim McGrath BCC Staff Writer

The 2013 Bandera Bulldogs, down 20-6 in the third period, exploded for 28 unanswered points in the final 16 minutes of the game to stun the hometown Devine Warhorses while taking a most impressive 34-20 victory in non-district football action played on Friday, Sept. 6 at Warhorse Stadium in Devine.

The Bulldog victory, sparked by an up-tempo, high octane, explosive offense along with a rock solid, hard hitting and disciplined defensive unit sets their record at 2-0 while the Warhorses fell to 1-1 on the season.

At Devine, the first half turned into a defensive battle as the Warhorses took a slim 7-6 lead going into the locker rooms at halftime. The Warhorses scored first in the opening quarter on a 10-yard pass from Eric Trogden to Cody Trevino to take a 7-0 lead.

The Bulldogs got on the board when junior quarterback Joe Rodriguez connected with senior receiver Jonathan Stoufflet for a 9-yard TD with just 20 seconds remaining in the half. The two-point conversion attempt failed but the Bulldogs trimmed the Devine lead to one at 7-6.

The Warhorses came out in the second half and extended their homefield lead to 20-6 on a pair of tailback Pat Mares TD runs of 10 and 1 yards respectively.

With 5:35 remaining in the third period, the Bulldogs began their 28-point offensive explosion when Rodriguez once again teamed up with Stoufflet for a 17-yard TD to make it Devine 20, Bandera 12 with still 4:03 remaining in the third quarter. With 1:26 left in the period the Bulldogs lit up the entire stadium as Rodriguez hooked up with junior receiver Noah Nelson for a spectacular 77-yard catch and run for a Bulldog touchdown while cutting the Warhorse lead to 20-18.

The stingy Bulldog defense continued their aggressive play while putting a stop to the Warhorses offensive efforts during the Bulldog rally.

The fourth quarter was all Bulldogs on both sides of the ball. The Dawgs took their first lead of the game at the 9:49 mark of the final period when junior running back Landon Ventura took it in from eight yards out for a Bulldog touchdown. Rodriguez passed to Joe Phair for the two-point conversion and the Bulldogs were up 26-20.

The Bandera defense continued their dominant play and the Bulldog offense completed their 28-point unanswered run when Ventura again scored from 8 yards out and ran it in for a 2-point conversion to cap off the Bulldog 34-20 victory.

Rodriguez sparked the Bulldog offensive effort by completing 13 of 20 passes for 244 yards and three touchdowns while Nelson led Bulldog receivers with 6 catches for 156 yards and a touchdown.

Stoufflet added three receptions with a pair of scores to the Bulldog effort while Joe Phair (2-43) and Alex Willoughby-Gonzales (2-20) also contributed big plays for the 2-0 Dawgs. Ventura and Willoughby-Gonzales accounted for 148 yards on the ground with Ventura finishing with 77 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 15 carries while Willoughby-Gonzales added 71 yards on just 7 rushing attempts.

The Bulldog defense was led by linebackers Ishmael MacNeil, Kyle Bauml and Averie Mansfield. MacNeil and Bauml totaled 11 tackles each while Mansfield added 10 to the Bulldog defensive effort. Others contributing tackles to the Bandera effort include Caleb Beauchamp (9), Nelson (8), Stoufflet 7, Brennan Aguirre (6), Stephen Young (6), Ethan Greven (6), Kyle Wilson (6), Chance Lopez (5), Logan Breen (4) and Corey Jennings (3).

The impressive comeback victory by the Bulldogs once again served notice to upcoming opponents that these Dawgs come to play.

First year Bulldog Athletic Director and Head Football Coach David T. Sine had much praise for his Bulldog team who are off to a hot start with a 2-0 record. " It was a huge win and we're excited about it," Sine said. "I was extremely proud of our kids last night...being down 20-6 they never gave up and our coaching staff learned a lot about our kids' character and their will to compete.

I felt Noah Nelson's catch and run was huge and really sparked us.

"It was phenomenal to see all the people from Bandera travel to Devine because we are in this together," said Sine. "It was great for the defense to keep us in the game and special teams were huge as well. Overall it was a great team effort. We are excited about it and looking to build on it.

"I do think this can be a springboard for something special but we'll still take them one at a time," Sine remarked.

Next up for the Bulldogs are the Llano Yellow Jackets. The Bulldogs travel to Llano on Friday, Sept. 13 with kickoff set for 7:30 pm.

Sine had this to say about Llano. "Coach Slaughter does a great job in Llano so we will have our hands full. Get your popcorn ready and travel to Llano."


Pictured: Photo by Sandy Jennings
Running back Alex Willoughby (22) rushes against the Warhorses for the Bulldogs’ 34-20 win over Devine Friday night.