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While the Trojansâ€™ offense stumbled out of the blocks in their contest at St. Stephens, the teamâ€™s defense kept the visitors in the game the first two quarters.
â€śWe played good all night long defensively. We were just killing ourselves when we kept giving it to them in the red zone,â€ť said Bandys coach Randy Lowman. â€śWe had two interceptions, a fumble and a blocked punt.â€ť
In spite of those turnovers deep in their own territory, Bandysâ€™ defense allowed St. Stephens to score just 13 points. Meanwhile, in the first-half Trojan penalties erased 14 points from the scoreboard â€” including a 98-yard kick-off return and a 7-yard touchdown pass.
The second half was a different story, as the Bandys defense kept up a solid performance and the Trojansâ€™ offense amassed 19 unanswered points to collect a 26-13 win over the Indians.
â€śWe were so soft to start the game. Our offensive lineman were getting shoved back in (Bandys quarterback David Barrowâ€™s) face, and on the two interceptions, both got tipped,â€ť Lowman said. â€śThey got better as the game went on and that is what we have got to do week to week.â€ť
Thanks to great field position provided by a Trojan fumble recovered by St. Stephensâ€™ Franklin Jefferies and interceptions collected by Dale Huffman and Dillion Spencer, the Indians built an early 13-0 lead. St. Stephensâ€™ Cody Solesbee booted two 25-yard field goals, and quarterback Dylan Beiland connected with Jeff Ellis for a 10 -yard touchdown pass â€” all in the first quarter.
â€śIn the first half, the intensity was there. We had a great intensity level,â€ť said Indians head coach Fred Whalen.
Bandys bounced back when they capped a four-play, 77-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run by Dominique Young.
The Trojans threatened again before half-time. A seven-yard touchdown pass was negated by a holding penalty, and St. Stephens held on to keep Bandys out of the end zone as time expired in the first half.
â€śWe got a stop right there as the first half ended, and I thought that would give us some momentum in the second half,â€ť Whalen said. â€śThen we just came out flat. We never seemed to pick it up in the second half.â€ť
In fact, the Indians went three and out on their opening possession of the third quarter. Bandys Jesse Goodwin then returned the ensuing punt 27 yards and got extra help from a 15-yard face masking penalty.
Good field position set up a 15-yard pass from Barrow to Jackson Gilliam and gave Bandys the first lead of the night.
â€śDavid has played good for us,â€ť Lowman said. â€śHe is doing what we need him to do.â€ť
In fact, to open the second half, Barrow went 8-10 and a touchdown completion.
â€śHe has gotten some playing time, and tonight he showed he can do it,â€ť said Bandys Dylan King. â€śWe expect a lot out of him from here on.â€ť
On the Indians next possession Bandys Ryan Ripper intercepted a pass from Beiland. That set up Gilliamâ€™s second touchdown, this time on a nine-yard run. After a blocked PAT, Bandys took a 20-13 lead and momentum was on the Trojans side of the field.
Gilliams scored once more in the game - on another nine-yard run in the fourth quarter â€” and Goodwin collected an interception of his own to help seal the game.
â€śI think our line blocked great, and the holes kept coming open as we set up the trap,â€ť Gilliam said. â€śWe had a play that was working for us, and it worked all night.â€ť
Bandys improves to 2-0 and hosts its home opener against Mooresville next week. The Indians fall to 0-2 and travels to Bunker Hill (2-0) next week.View more articles in: