In two months, 2019 will fade into history, but it will have a special meaning for Bandera High School as the year the Bulldogs made it back to the playoffs for the first time in a decade.
It has been an exciting season so far for the ‘Dogs, who have fought their way to a 7-1 record, including a 28-21 win over Llano on Friday, Oct. 25, at home.
Bandera heads to the state capital on Thursday, Oct. 31, for a Halloween game with Austin Eastside Memorial.
“A win this week (against Eastside Memorial) would solidify a top-three finish,” Head Football Coach Joel Fontenot-Amedee said.
He noted that the spirit and support shown by Bulldog Nation have been big factors in the team’s success.
“I have been very impressed with the overall support from our community this year. It makes a huge difference entering the fourth quarter and seeing all those fans holding their “4s” (a finger for each quarter) up. Our student section last week was phenomenal,” Amedee said.
The Bulldogs needed all the physical and emotional energy they could muster to get the come-from-behind win over the Yellowjackets.
Llano scored first with a 39-yard touchdown pass and a successful point after to go up 7-0 with 9:26 left in the first period.
Bandera responded two minutes later when running back Tommy Cardenas followed good blocking to race down the right sideline for a 45-yard TD.
Blaise Salazar kicked the first of his four points after touchdown to tie the score 7-7.
Llano scored twice in the second quarter, while the Bulldogs added one touchdown on a Cardenas one-yard run, giving the Yellowjackets a 21-14 halftime lead.
The Bulldogs kept Llano scoreless in the second half while scoring once in the third period and again in the fourth quarter.
The earlier score came when quarterback Gunnar Brown found Cardenas open for a 1-yard scoring pass.
Brown also was responsible for the fourth quarter score. It came on a 1-yard run.
The Bulldog defense had five sacks and four pass deflections.
The Defensive Players of the Week for Bandera were Gage Brown and Trace Decker. Outside linebackers Brian Burns, Will Paul and Brock Johnson also won praise for taking care of the screen passes Llano ran.
Bandera had 320 total yards to 218 for Llano, and the Bulldogs had 77 total plays to 65 for the Yellow-jackets.
Cardenas, who finished the game with 212 total yards, was named Bandera’s Special Teams Player of the Week. Zak Widenor earned the team’s Offensive Linemen of the Week honors.