The Bangs Dragons suffered their second loss of the season at the hands of the Hawley Bearcats by a score of 33-6 Friday night. Over the course of a brisk four quarters, the Dragons were unable to keep the game close as the Bearcats’ size became too much of a variable.
The score is an unfair judge of the Dragons’ athletic prowess. Although the Dragons only score came in the second quarter, the entire game was a testament of their will to compete. Bangs was able to produce offensively but only one drive bared fruitful. Their lone touchdown was a gritty goal line run by Seth Anderson. Quarterback Colton Brewer also had a strong showing and was able to connect with multiple receivers and grind out short yardage with his legs when necessary.
The Bearcats scored the only touchdown of the first quarter but the Dragons were able to counter early in the second quarter. Soon Hawley answered with two additional touchdowns before the half ended and Bangs found it difficult to keep up.
Although the Dragons only had one fruitful drive, an exciting surge in their passing game was a surprising window into what the future for the 2017 football season holds. Anderson, although smaller than most backs on the field was able to use his hands and speed as a weapon that resulted in multiple yards after contact was initiated. Justin Wilson was also able to take advantage of the Bearcat secondary and showed that the Dragons have a deadly option when they decide to attack by air.
The Dragons were tested by a Bearcat defensive line that stood out physically. Defensive end Case Ketterhagen showed a lot of heart by continually banging with Hawley’s offensive line. Multiple times Ketterhagen found himself in the backfield causing havoc and making tackles forcing the Bearcats to find another route to the end zone.
When asked what he thought were highlights of the game Bangs head coach Jim Bird responded, “Our boys played incredibly hard and went toe to toe with them. We were able to stand in the gap and made some great strides this week. If we continue to make strides like we did this week we have a good chance to win next week and make a run at a playoff spot, “ he added. “We’ve got some good kids and are taking a good mental approach to the game. Our boys wanted to fight until the bitter end.”
When asked about the success of the passing game in the late second quarter, Bird stated he knew Hawley’s big front seven would not be expecting an air assault. This resulted in Brewer connecting with four different receivers in a matter of minutes creating a silver lining in an otherwise frustrating loss.
Defensively, the Bangs secondary showed that they were able to compete despite a couple broken coverages. Seth Anderson and fellow safety George Nicholas kept tight coverage on Hawley’s receiving corps for four quarters along with the help of linebacker Eli Carbajal.
Ultimately the Bearcats were too big of a team but the Dragons showed that their will to fight and mental fortitude is something to be praised. Next week the Dragons will face the Winters Blizzards (0-2) for homecoming. The Blizzards have also yet to find a win suffering losses to San Saba, 42-7, and De Leon, 53-6.