After playing to a 0-0 halftime tie, Bandys turned to a “fireplug” to fuel their offensive attack.
On the heels of a three-touchdown night by junior tailback Devan Davis, the Trojans scored four second half-touchdowns to secure a 28-7 win over St. Stephens.
“He’s a great runner,” Bandys coach Randy Lowman said of Davis. “We have three great tailbacks. Young started the game, but he plays defense for us full-time. So we have Tewon Smith, and Davis is the little fireplug in the bunch that goes north and south, which is what you want when you go under center.”
Under center, however, is not where Lowman and the Trojans imagined they would be Friday night or much during the season at all. A first-half injury to the throwing thumb of senior quarterback David Barrow forced the Trojans to change their game plan.
“We worked six months on the stuff we started the game with ... and then we lost our quarterback,” Lowman said, adding that he feared a broken thumb would end Barrow’s season. “So we had to go to our back-up quarterback.”
That back-up quarterback, Bandys junior Anthony Toscano, led the JV team last year, when Lowman said the power offensive attack started under center.
“So we had about a two-minute briefing down there on what we would try to do,” Lowman said of a half-time strategy session, “and it worked out pretty good.”
It worked out pretty good for the “fireplug,” too.
“Our line run-blocked good, and I just ran the ball very effectively, like we were supposed to and like we were coached,” he said.
For the night, Davis effective running produced scoring runs of 4-yards, 3-yards and 7-yards. He also helped set up the first Bandys score when he returned a kick off 50 yards to answer a 93-yard return by St. Stephens’ Jon Sweet that opened the second half. Nine plays after Davis’ own long kick-off return, he darted four yards into the end zone to tie the game, 7-7.
“He gave us a spark,” Lowman said, “gave us a lift and got things going in the right direction.”
From there, miscues by St. Stephens gave the Trojans great field position.
Moments after Bandys evened the score, the Trojan defense held the Indians on three straight downs. Then a high snap sailed over the head of St. Stephens punter Zach Bryant, before he could recover it at the Indians’ 2-yard line.
A play later, Davis scored his second touchdown.
On the ensuing kick off, another miscue derailed the Indians’ comeback hope. Bandys forced a fumble that Hunter Lackey caught mid-air and delivered 23 yards to score.
A second high snap on a St. Stephens punt attempt mid-way through the fourth quarter allowed the Trojans — and Davis to strike again. This time his score came on a five-play, 20-yard scoring drive.
“We just killed ourselves with turnovers. It seems kind of like a re-run of last year,” said St. Stephens head coach Fred Whalen. “Obviously Bandys is a good football team, but this was definitely a tough game.”
In the game’s opening half, the fortunes were opposite. The Indians seemed to shine, while the Trojans appeared tarnished.
On the Trojans first drive, a fourth-down snap sailed over the punter’s head, and the Indians started work at the Bandys 25-yard line. The Indians’ Sweet rushed the ball down to the 2-yard line before losing a fumble out of bounds and giving the Trojans possession back.
That setback didn’t deter the Indians defense. Zach Fincannon intercepted a pass from Barrow. Zach Bumgarner also recovered a fumble from the Trojans’ starting quarterback on a play that seemed to end Barrow’s night and possible his season.
“Defensively, I thought we played pretty good in the first half,” Whalen said.
However, the Indians could never convert, and the Bandys defense, too. played solid. n the first half, Bandys’ Keaton Allen blocked a Zach Bryant punt and Lackey intercepted a pass from St. Stephens Ky’Rawn Whitfield to add to a first-half defensive struggle for both teams.
Next the Indians host Bunker Hill which defeated Cherryville 28-20 on Friday. Bandys hosts Fred T. Foard, which is coming off its first win since 2009.