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Jackets defense sparks 21-17 decision over Bulldogs

By Tim McGrath BCC Sports Writer

The Llano Yellow Jackets defensive unit sparked a late fourth quarter rally by the "Homecoming" Jackets to secure a 21-17 victory over the Bandera Bulldogs in non-district football action played Friday, Sept. 13 at Llano.
With a little over 5 minutes remaining in the game, the Bulldogs held a 17-14 lead and were in possession of the football inside Llano territory when the Jacket defensive unit forced and recovered a Bulldog fumble that sparked that Llano rally. The Jacket offense responded with a go-ahead 22-yard touchdown run by senior RB Carter Tatsch along with the extra point to put Llano up 21-17 with 2:36 remaining in the contest. The Bulldogs attempt to put a game-winning offensive drive together was once again snuffed out by the Jackets defense when safety Jalen Bauman made a diving grab for an interception that sealed the game for Llano with less than two minutes remaining on the clock.
The Bulldogs were stymied time and time again by turnovers and penalties during the hard-fought encounter. In all, the Dawgs were penalized 12 times for 105 yards and lost four turnovers (3 Int's, 1 fumble) to the Jackets while also turning the ball over on downs inside the Llano 1 yard-line just before halftime.
The Bulldogs got on the scoreboard first when senior placekicker Maverick Hicks nailed a 36-yard field goal to give the Dawgs a 3-0 advantage with 9:25 remaining in the opening period.
The Bulldog defense stepped it up and gave Bandera the lead when senior linebacker Brennan Aguirre picked up a Jacket fumble and returned it 21 yards for a Bulldog touchdown. Junior running back Landon Ventura carried it in for the two-point conversion and the Dawgs led 11-8 with 1:02 left in the first. The score remained 11-8 at the half and the Jackets closed out the third quarter with a 1-yard TD run by Tatsch to take a 14-11 lead going into the final period.
The Bulldogs regained the lead at the 8:44 mark of the period when Ventura capped off a Bandera offensive drive with a 2-yard touchdown run to put the Dawgs up 17-14.
The Bulldogs stopped the Jackets on their next possession when senior Caleb Beauchamp picked off a Jacket pass to give the ball back to the Dawgs with 5:56 remaining in the game.
Bulldog junior quarterback Joe Rodriguez finished 10 of 19 passing for 167 yards with two interceptions and no touchdowns. Bulldog receivers included Joe Phair with 2 catches for 65 yards while Ventura (3-36), Beauchamp (2-31), Jonathan Stoufflet (1-22) and Alex-Willoughby Gonzales (2-13) all contributed to the Bulldog offensive effort.
Ventura led Bulldog rushers with 45 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries while Rodriguez (6-26), Willoughby-Gonzales (4-9) and Ishmael MacNeil (2-7) added run support to the Bandera effort.
On defense, the Bulldogs were led by linebacker Averie Mansfield with 8 unassisted and 4 assisted tackles while MacNeil (2-12-14), Chance Lopez (2-11-13), Aguirre (4-8-12) and Ethan Greven (3-8-11) all contributed heavily to the Bulldog defensive effort. Logan Breen ((3-6-9), Beauchamp (6-2-8, 2 Int's), Stephen Young (2-5-7) and Kyle Bauml (5-1-6) also joined in on the Bulldog defensive effort at Llano.
Coach David Sine cited turnovers and penalties as key to the Dawgs' setback at Llano. "Four turnovers and turning the ball over on downs inside the one-yard line were too much to overcome," Sine said. "Our lack of discipline with numerous penalties will be addressed this week and we look forward to a huge crowd for Homecoming."
This week, the Comfort Bobcats come to town for Bandera's Homecoming Game Friday, Sept. 20. Kickoff is 7:30 pm.

Pictured: Photo by Sandy Jennings
Bulldog receiver Caleb Beauchamp pulls one down near the end zone.