BANGS — After the Bangs Dragons finally got untracked, they punched their playoff ticket with a 42-6 win over the Brady Bulldogs.
The Dragons finished as the District 3-2A Division I runner-up behind Wall and will face Breckenridge in the Class 2A Division I bi-district round of the playoffs at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Abilene Wylie.
“This is the fun part of football season,” said Bangs head coach Chuck Lipsey. “The first day of two-a-days was a long time ago. This is where we wanted to be because our goal was to be in the playoffs. Now, you win, or you start another sport. We’re going to keep playing like we have been. We’ve got to keep going. We’ve got to keep getting better.”
Bangs (7-3, 5-1) did not show its offensive fire power in the first half and took only a 7-0 lead into the locker room at halftime.
“I was just frustrated that we weren’t playing the way we were capable of playing,” Lipsey said. “We knew coming in that they [Brady] were going to play hard. We had a couple of turnovers and an interception, then fumbled and had a little let down.”
Aaron Keller scored the Dragons’ only points of the first half when he caught a 23-yard pass with 6:37 to play in the opening period.
The second quarter saw Bangs’ defense on the field for several minutes as Brady threatened by breaking some long runs and passes. But it was also the defense that made the difference by keeping Brady out of scoring position until the Dragons could find their offensive gear.
Lipsey said that he gave his team a serious pep talk at halftime.
“We came in and did our game plan in the second half,” Lipsey said. “We really didn’t do anything different. Our defense played great all night and then the offense got clicking.”
J.T. Newton got the Dragons going on a on a 10-yard run with 10 minutes to play in the third quarter. Logan Dent kicked the extra point and Dragon fans relaxed a little as the score inched up to 14-0.
With 5:30 left in the third quarter. Cameron Deal scampered in from the 2 and Dent added another point as Bangs led 21-0.
As the third period ticked down, Keller caught another 23-yard pass with 1:54 to play for a touchdown. Dent’s kick was good again and after three quarters of play, the Dragons were back in form with a 28-0 lead.
The Bulldogs’ only points came early in the fourth quarter when the Brady defense stood up the Dragon offensive push. The ball popped loose and Slayden Howell scooped it and ran 18 yards for the score. The snap was high on the point after try. Kicker Mason Aguirre picked up the ball and tried to run it in, but the Dragon special team defense did not give up any ground and the score remained 28-6.
It was all Bangs in the final quarter. Josh Beckwith powered up the middle on an 11-yard touchdown run with 9:11 to play. The PAT was good and the Dragons led 35-6.
Trenton Morgan, who missed part of the district season with an injury, scored the last points of the game. With 3:55 to go, Morgan ran in from the Bangs 3. Dent was perfect on the evening as his final kick iced the Dragon win, 42-6.
BANGS 42, BRADY 6
Brady 0 0 0 6 - 6
Bangs 7 0 21 14 - 42
First Downs 9 17
Total Offense 163 411
Rushes-Yards 35-44 30-172
Passing Yards 119 239
C-A-I 10-17-0 13-16-1
Fumbles Lost 3 2
Penalties 9-40 4-20
Punts 5-37.0 1-40.0