Bulldogs power past Greyhounds 35-23
By Tim McGrath BCC Sports Writer
The Bandera Bulldogs unleashed a powerful rushing attack against the home team Boerne Greyhounds and combined it with a stalwart defensive performance to earn a 35-23 victory in District 27AAA football action played on Friday, Oct. 25, at Greyhound Stadium in Boerne.
With the victory, the Bulldogs improved their district record to 1-2 and remain alive for a postseason playoff berth with only two games remaining on the 2013 schedule.
The Bulldogs went back to the basics of offensive football, rushing for a total of 384 yards and five touchdowns on their way to earning their first district victory of the 2013 season. The rushing attack was led by junior running back Alex Willoughby-Gonzales, who rushed for 181 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 22 attempts while junior back Landon Ventura added 112 yards and three TDs. Senior fullback Caleb Beauchamp rumbled for another 74 yards on 11 carries and kept the chains moving for the Dawgs throughout the contest.
Ventura put the Bulldogs on the scoreboard first with a 21-yard TD run at the 5:23 mark of the opening quarter. Bulldog placekicker Maverick Hicks tacked on his first of five consecutive PATs and the Dawgs were up 7-0.
The Bulldogs increased their lead to 14-0 early in the second period when Willoughby-Gonzales scored from five yards out. Hicks again booted the PAT and the Bulldogs led 14-0 with 11:55 still remaining in the half. Following a Noah Nelson interception, the Bulldogs widened their lead to 21-0 when Ventura scored on a 3-yard run with 8:34 left on the clock in the second period. Hicks again tacked on the PAT.
The Greyhound offense finally got on the scoreboard when Greg Dennard booted a 27-yard field goal with 6:57 remaining in the first half. The Greyhounds added a 21-yard touchdown pass with just 1:41 left in the period to make it Bandera 21, Boerne 9 at halftime.
The Hounds came out in the second half and found some success with their air attack while cutting the Bulldog lead to five points at 21-16 following a 1-yard TD pass and successful PAT at the 5:29 mark of the third quarter.
The Bulldogs answered with Ventura's third TD of the game, an 11-yard scamper with 1:57 left on the third period clock . Hicks' PAT put the Dawgs up 28-16 but not for long as the Greyhounds retaliated with another touchdown pass and PAT to again get within five points at 28-23 with a full quarter to play.
The Bulldog defense shut down the Boerne offensive effort in the final period and put the game away when Willoughby-Gonzales broke away on a 57-yard touchdown run with just 3:31 remaining in the game to cap off the Bandera 35-23 victory. Hicks' PAT was his fifth of the night. The Bulldog defensive charge was led by junior linebacker Averie Mansfield and sophomore linebacker Calvin Starnes, who each recorded 11 total tackles while junior safety Noah Nelson added 7 tackles and two interceptions to the defensive effort. Kyle Bauml, Blake Reed and Brennan Aguirre each had 5 tackles against Boerne while Ventura, Chance Lopez and Brayton Schmidt pitched in with 4 tackles each.
Ventura also had an interception while Lopez finished with three sacks and Aguirre one to add to the Bulldog defense against the Hounds. Corey Jennings, Bryce Dowda, Kyle Wilson, JT Milner, Shane Reynolds, Rueben Vargas, Beauchamp and Ishmael MacNeil also contributed to the Bandera defense.
Bandera Athletic Director and Head Football Coach David T. Sine had praised his team by saying, "Friday's win over Boerne can only be described as 'The Perfect Storm.' I was extremely pleased with our players' efforts and it was truly the first time all season we played four full quarters of football! First district win in 3.5 years and it was great to smile again!
"Navarro is a 23-point favorite and we will have to play our best to pull it off, but that's the plan!" Sine added.
Get your popcorn ready for 2013 Senior Night this Friday, Nov. 1, when the Bulldogs host the visiting Navarro Panthers. The Panthers are currently ranked in the top 10 of San Antonio Area Sub 5-A teams. Kickoff is at 7:30 pm at Bulldog Stadium.