The Bandera varsity football team got off to a fast start in Friday night’s season-opener against Poteet, forcing the Aggies to punt after just three plays on the opening possession of the game.
The Bulldogs offense built on the three-and-out, methodically marching the ball down inside the 10-yard line on a 12-play drive that resulted in a 25-yard field goal from senior Tyler Moore to give Bandera an early 3-0 lead. Poteet’s potent offense took control from there, though, as the Aggies capitalized on a handful of untimely Bulldog mistakes en route to a 39-15 win.
“We did a lot of good things on both sides of the ball, but we have to take the next step in eliminating a few costly mistakes here and there that end up making a big difference in the game,” Bandera athletic director and head football coach Joel Fontenot-Amedee said. “We talk a lot about fighting through adversity, and our guys took a huge step forward in the second half with the fight they showed through the final two quarters. That’s the type of energy and effort we have to carry into Monday’s practice.”
The Aggies took a 26-3 lead into the halftime break before Bandera’s defense got a pair of key stops early in the third that started to shift the momentum and led to a 30-yard touchdown pass from Moore to senior fullback Luke Barnett. Poteet returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown, but the Bulldogs’ refused to lay down as Moore added a 44-yard touchdown run to bring Bandera back within striking distance.
The Bulldogs were unable to further cut into the deficit in the fourth quarter, though, as the Aggies began to control the clock on their way to a season-opening win.
Bandera finished the game with 308 yards of offense, including 187 on the ground and 121 through the air. Moore led the way while going 10-of-18 for 121 yards and a touchdown, and the senior dual-threat quarterback added 126 yards rushing yards and a touchdown.
Senior Brandon Miller was the team’s leading receiver, hauling in five receptions for 62 yards. Sophomore Alex Dirck had two catches for 36 yards, and Barnett had one catch for 30 yards and a touchdown.
Sophomore Jesse Cardenas added 41 yards rushing, while Barnett chipped in seven yards on the ground and senior Ethan Rutherford added 13 yards rushing.
The Bulldogs’ defense was led by senior Liam De-Marchi, who had two solo tackles, four assists, four tackles for loss and two sacks. Cardenas had five solo tackles and six assists (three TFLs), senior Matthew Staton had four solo tackles, two assists, three TFLs and a sack, and sophomore Jorge Cabasos had three tackles, three assists, a sack and a fumble recovery.
Bandera will return to the field next Friday night for the team’s first home game of the season against Cotulla, with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m. The team’s new scoreboard, provided by a pair of donations from Warrior’s Heart and Hondo National Bank, is expected to be installed and active for the home opener against the Cowboys.
“We allowed two special teams touchdowns and didn’t do a good job of taking care of the football,” Amedee said. “Those are fixable issues we will get corrected in practice, and we will be ready to roll in front of a big crowd at Bulldog Stadium next week.”
Brady Keane in the BISD Head Boys Basketball Coach.