In the last few years, the Bandera football season didn’t start out as well as fans would have hoped.
Not this year!
The Bulldogs have shown the tenacity of their namesake against two teams and outmuscled their opponents for wins.
It is the first time in a while that the team has been 2-0 to start the season, officials said.
The 42-28 win over San Antonio Christian on Friday, Sept. 6, wasn’t always pretty, but the team showed heart, and fans in the stadium weren’t shy about expressing their support.
The six Bulldog touchdowns, five on offense and one on defense, was testimony to Bandera’s arsenal of talent on both sides of the ball.
Bulldog quarterback Solomon MacNeil was 5 for 11 passing and gained 135 yards rushing on 16 attempts.
Running back Tommy Cardenas added 57 yards rushing and 71 yards receiving to help lead the Bulldog effort.
The Bandera defense held the Lions to 34 yards rushing and 189 yards passing.
Bulldog coaches were happy to report the defense had four pass breakups, five sacks, seven quarterback pressures and one interception for a touchdown.
Colton Perkins and Emmitt Evans were the Defensive Players of the Week for the Bulldogs.
Coaches were also pleased that special teams had a good night, as Blaise Salazar went six-for-six on extra point attempts.
Cardenas scored in the first quarter on 6-yard run, and Salazar added the PAT to put the Bulldogs up 7-6.
In the second quarter, MacNeil connected with Cardenas on a 71-yard TD pass, and the PAT made it 14-6.
Later in the quarter, Cardenas added a rushing TD from 17 yards out, and with the PAT, the score went to 21-6.
After the Lions scored two field goals, Bandera came back when linebacker Gage Brown got an interception and returned it 28 yards for a score in one of the most exciting plays of the night.
Salazar added the PAT to give Bandera a 28-12 lead going into halftime.
In the third quarter, Bandera’s Gunnar Brown scored on a 34-yard scamper, and Salazar converted successfully before the Lions scored again and tacked on a 2-point conversion.
Bandera’s final score came on a bootleg pass from MacNeil to Mason Phair and was followed by a successful point after from Salazar.
The Lions also scored one final touchdown in the fourth quarter and added a 2-point conversion, but the Bulldog offense asserted itself after that and ran out the clock for the 42-28 victory.
The Bulldog offensive had a good night, with 292 yards rushing and 441 yards of total offense.
Bandera travels to Incarnate Word University in San Antonio this Friday, Sept. 13, to play St. Anthony.