The Bandera Bulldogs first football game of the regular 2019 season was at home on Friday, Aug. 30, before a cheering crowd that was rewarded with a non-stop drama.
The hometown team pulled out a 20-13 win against San Antonio Memorial, which scored late in the second quarter for a 7-0 halftime lead.
The first half of the game was filled with turnovers for both teams and a lot of flying yellow flags.
But the second half was different.
The third quarter was pure gold for the Bulldogs, with all three Bandera touchdowns happening so fast it seemed to stun the Minuteman defense.
The first two Bulldog TDs were about four minutes apart.
The first touchdown was on a gutsy fourth-and-goal play at the Memorial 1-yard line.
Running back Gunnar Brown used a critical block by offensive lineman Logan Williams to make his way into the end zone. A kick by Blaise Salazar made the score 7-7, but not for long.
A Memorial turnover after a long Bandera kickoff went deep into Minuteman territory offered another chance for the Bulldogs.
Bandera converted when running back Tommy Cardenas rushed five yards for TD number two. Salazar’s foot made it 14-7 Bandera.
A short time later running back Brock Johnson followed good Bulldog blocking for a 10-yard scoring run, which pushed Bandera’s lead to 20-7.
Memorial blocked the PAT.
The Minutemen scored their second touchdown in the fourth quarter and threatened a third time, but Bandera put a stop to that threat and held on for the win.
Bandera had 288 total rushing yards to 260 for Memorial. The Bulldogs also had 16 first downs to 15 for the Minutemen.
Bandera’s first-year Head Football Coach Joel Fontenot-Amedee said the win was a great start to the season.
“We are very excited about this game, which the community helped us win,” the coach said. “I looked up into the stands at one point, and they were packed with our supporters and that is a big plus for a team.”
Amedee also said he was proud of the comeback the team mounted in the second half Friday.
Bandera hosts San Antonio Christian this Friday, Sept. 6, in the second game of the season.