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2017-09-07

Bulldogs dominate Pirates in season opener 45-16

By Tim McGrath BCC Sports

The Bandera Bulldogs unleashed a new offensive attack along with a new pressure filled, physical defensive scheme in dominating the Lytle Pirates 45-16 in the 2017 football season opener played on Friday, September 1 at Lytle. This week, on Friday, September 8, the Bulldogs are at home to host the San Antonio Christian Lions. The Lions (0-1) played it tough last week but dropped a close one in their opener last Friday night at Cole by a score of 27-21. Kickoff for the Bulldog/Lions matchup will be at 7:30 p.m. at Bulldog Stadium.
The Bulldog offense got off to a quick start at Lytle after Bandera’s Jake Tacker recovered a misdirected opening kickoff that the Pirates failed to cover. Tacker recovered the ball at the Lytle 39 and the Bulldogs took only three plays to find the end zone with their first touchdown of the new season. From the 39, Chisom Magee picked up 23 yards on a sweep right and two plays later the Bulldogs lit up the scoreboard on a 5-yard touchdown run by sophomore running back Tommy Cardenas. Freshman placekicker Blaise Salazar tacked on his first of six PAT’s on the night and the Bulldogs led 7-0 with still 10:52 left on the first quarter clock. The Lions went three and out on their first offensive possession. The Bulldogs increased their lead to 10-0 following a 10-play, 78-yard drive resulting in a Salazar field goal from 19 yards out with 5:08 remaining in the opening period. The Pirates struck back with a 9-yard touchdown pass and a 2-point conversion to bring the score to Bandera 10, Lytle 8 with :21 to go in the first quarter.
The Bulldogs made it 17-8 on sophomore Gunnar Brown’s 8-yard touchdown run and a Salazar PAT at the 6:18 mark of the second period. Following a Pirate turnover, the Bulldogs took over possession at the Pirate 23 and four plays later lit up the board again on a 10-yard touchdown scamper by Travis Adams. Another Salazar PAT and it was Bulldogs 28, Pirates 8 with 2:40 left in the half. The Pirates turned the ball over again with 1:41 remaining on the first half clock. This time, the Bulldogs gained possession at the Bandera 45 yard line and took only two plays to reach the endzone. Ryan Smith dazzled the crowd with a remarkable 53-yard run to the Lytle 2-yard line before Chisom Magee took it in from two yards out for another Bandera touchdown. Salazar again hits on the PAT and the Bulldogs led 31-8 at halftime.
In the second half, the Bulldogs increased their lead to 38-8 on their opening possession when Havely tossed a 30-yard touchdown pass to Robbie Woodie and another Salazar PAT gave the Bulldogs a 30-point lead with still 11:09 left in the third period. The Bulldogs stretched their lead to 45-8 on a Gunnar Brown 1-yard TD run with :45 left in the third quarter. Salazar again booted the extra point. The Pirates managed a late score against the Bulldog second defensive group to bring the final score to Bandera Bulldogs 45, Lytle Pirates 16.
The Bulldog defense also rose to the occasion on opening night, limiting the Pirate offense to 210 total yards that included 161 yards passing and only 49 yards rushing. The Bulldog defense kept the Pirate offense off balance all night with a variety of stunts and blitzes that created havoc for the home team’s offensive efforts.
The Bulldog offense totaled 331 yards for the game that included 197 yards rushing and 134 yards through the air. Senior quarterback Chase Havely completed 6 of 12 passes for 134 yards and a touchdown while Woodie grabbed 3 passes for 46 yards and a score. Bulldog receivers also included Magee (1-21), Jared Barta (1-25) and Ben Shackelford (1-42). Magee also led the Bulldogs in rushing with 59 yards and a touchdown in 10 carries. Smith added 58 yards on just 2 carries. Havely (5-39), Cardenas (2-20-TD), GBrown (6-10-2 TD’s) and Adams (4-11-TD) all contributed to the Bandera rushing attack at Lytle. The Bulldogs also converted on 7 of 9 third down attempts and totaled 17 first downs in the contest, including 9 rushing, 7 passing and 1 by penalty.
Bandera Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Jeff Hamilton had plenty of praise for the Bulldog effort at Lytle beginning with the big dawgs up front on the offensive line. “This is the best our offensive line has played since I’ve been here,” Hamilton said. “They are so much better and they are the biggest difference in our team performance,” Hamilton added.
Next week, on Friday, September 15, the Bulldogs will host the Ingram Tom Moore Warriors in the Bandera Homecoming game with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m. at Bulldog Stadium.