Bulletin Staff Report

BANGS — Bangs capitalized on four Bulldog turnovers while using a sudden-strike offense and special teams play to defeat Hamilton 32-6 at Memorial Stadium Friday night.

The Dragons delighted the homecoming crowd by pitching a shutout while putting up 24 points in the first half. Though the Dragons missed their first chance to get points from short range, it only delayed the inevitable.

“We had a pretty good offensive effort,” Coach Chuck Lipsey said after the game. “It was a good game for not playing last week.”

Bangs, now 2-0 for the season, will not make up the game against Llano after it was canceled last week due to lightning.

Dragon quarterback Tyler Fuqua passed for two touchdowns and ran for another, completing 10 of 18 passes for 85 yards. His scoring strikes to Jorden Mason went 7 yards with 14 seconds left in the first half, and to Jacob Hughes for 8 yards with 8:22 left in the game.

Fuqua also ran 2 yards for a touchdown with 7:50 left in the first quarter.

“Tyler did a good job,” Lipsey said. “He was able to find the receivers and spread it around.”

Hamilton did manage to get its first touchdown of the season with 3:19 left in the in the third quarter on a Payden Nolen run. But the Bangs defense has still only allowed 19 points in its two completed games.

“We were able to substitute guys in and out,” Lipsey said. “After being off a week, you never know about conditioning.”

While conceding that the Dragons failed to take advantage of early chances to score, Lipsey said the team still appeared ready to play.

“I’m proud of them,” he said.

Clinton Almgren scooped up a fumbled Bulldog pitch on Hamilton’s first possession and appeared to score from 20 yards out, but the referees ruled him out of bounds on the return. The opportunity to get points evaporated, though, when a 29-yard Marcus Berniard field goal failed.

A Hamilton field goal attempt then fell short, and the Dragons’ Quenton Sprowls caught the ball in the end zone and returned it 87 yards — setting the offense up on the Bulldog 16. After a pass interference call gave Bangs the ball on the 2, Berniard took it across for the touchdown with 3:32 left in the first quarter. Brandon Breedlove’s kick failed.

“Marcus is a bruising runner, and he’s hard to bring down,” Lipsey said. “We like to run him between the tackles. Corey (Sanchez) and Devin (Rowland) are our speed runners, and we’ll keep working them outside.”

Grant Bear recovered another Hamilton fumble in the second quarter and returned it 38 yards to the Bulldog 13. After a 12-yard Berniard run to the 2, Fuqua took it the rest of the way with 7:50 left in the half. A 2-point pass conversion attempt failed.

Later in the first half, Bear picked up the ball on a Hamilton lateral — a play that Bulldog players apparently thought was an incomplete forward pass — and raced 50 yards for a touchdown. The PAT was no good.

The Dragons’ final score of the first half was set up by another Hamilton fumble on Bangs’ 45. From there, Fuqua milked the clock — engineering a six-play scoring drive with little more than a minute left before the bands took the field. Mason scored on a 7-yard Fuqua pass with 14 seconds left in the half. The drive was highlighted by a pass reception by Marcus Smith and a 20-yard Fuqua run. Two 2-point conversion was unsuccessful.

The second half didn’t feature as much scoring, as each team only had one touchdown. But it did offer some drama, even if the game’s outcome was all but decided.

The Hamilton defense came out stronger after intermission, holding Bangs on fourth down at the Bulldog 30. Berniard chased a long snap back to the 5 and avoided would-be tacklers to get the kick away.

After Hamilton notched its only score, Berniard uncorked a 42-yard run, which was followed by an 18-yard jaunt by Fuqua, putting the Dragons on the Bulldog 19. But Bangs turned the ball over on downs at the 10 with 11:08 left in the game.

Perhaps the strangest play came with 8:45 left after the Dragons held Hamilton deep in its own territory. Punting on fourth and 15 from their 5, the Bulldogs managed to get a kick away to the 30, which rolled for a few yards as players on both teams watched to see which team would benefit from the roll. It was never downed, so Sprowls picked it up and raced into the end zone for a Bangs touchdown that would not stand.

After the officials discussed the call for several minutes among themselves and with both sets of coaches, the decision was made to replay the down because of a whistle players had heard on the field — either an inadvertent one from a referee or one from the stands.

The re-kick gave Bangs the ball on the Bulldog 28, setting up the game’s final score three plays later.

Mason gained 13 yards on a nifty catch and run, Isaac Brown caught a pass for 8 yards, and the pass to Hughes from the 8 capped the scoring.

Bangs will play its first road game next Friday at Cisco.

“Our focus will be on Cisco this week, that’s all,” Lipsey said. “It helps to play well against a good team. Then we’ll focus on Early and the district race.”

Bangs will host Early in the opening game of District 8-2A on Sept. 25.

Hamilton did manage to get its first touchdown of the season with 3:19 left in the in the third quarter on a Payden Nolen run. But the Bangs defense has still only allowed 19 points in its two completed games.

“We were able to substitute guys in and out,” Lipsey said. “After being off a week, you never know about conditioning.”

While conceding that the Dragons failed to take advantage of early chances to score, Lipsey said the team still appeared ready to play.

“I’m proud of them,” he said.

Clinton Almgren scooped up a fumbled Bulldog pitch on Hamilton’s first possession and appeared to score from 20 yards out, but the referees ruled him out of bounds on the return. The opportunity to get points evaporated, though, when a 29-yard Marcus Berniard field goal failed.

A Hamilton field goal attempt then fell short, and the Dragons’ Quenton Sprowls caught the ball 8 yards deep and returned it 87 yards — setting the offense up on the Bulldog 16. After a pass interference call gave Bangs the ball on the 2, Berniard took it across for the touchdown with 3:32 left in the first quarter. Brandon Breedlove’s kick failed.

“Marcus is a bruising runner, and he’s hard to bring down,” Lipsey said. “We like to run him between the tackles. Corey (Sanchez) and Devin (Rowland) are our speed runners, and we’ll keep working them outside.”

Grant Bear recovered another Hamilton fumble in the second quarter and returned it 38 yards to the Bulldog 13. After a 12-yard Berniard run to the 2, Fuqua took it the rest of the way with 7:50 left in the half. A 2-point pass conversion attempt failed.

Later in the first half, Bear picked up the ball on a Hamilton lateral — a play that Bulldog players apparently thought was an incomplete forward pass — and raced 50 yards for a touchdown. The PAT was no good.

The Dragons’ final score of the first half was set up by another Hamilton fumble on Bangs’ 45. From there, Fuqua milked the clock — engineering a six-play scoring drive with little more than a minute left before the bands took the field. Mason scored on a 7-yard Fuqua pass with 14 seconds left in the half. The drive was highlighted by a pass reception by Marcus Smith and a 20-yard Fuqua run. Two 2-point conversion was unsuccessful.

The second half didn’t feature as much scoring, as each team only had one touchdown. But it did offer some drama, even if the game’s outcome was all but decided.

The Hamilton defense came out stronger after intermission, holding Bangs on fourth down at the Bulldog 30. Berniard chased a long snap back to the 5 and avoided would-be tacklers to get the kick away.

After Hamilton notched its only score, Berniard uncorked a 42-yard run, which was followed by an 18-yard jaunt by Fuqua, putting the Dragons on the Bulldog 19. But Bangs turned the ball over on downs at the 10 with 11:08 left in the game.

Perhaps the strangest play came with 8:45 left after the Dragons held Hamilton deep in its own territory. Punting on fourth and 15 from their 5, the Bulldogs managed to get a kick away to the 30, which rolled for a few yards as players on both teams watched to see which team would benefit from the roll. It was never downed, so Sprowls picked it up and raced for the end zone for a Bangs downtown that would not hold up.

After the officials discussed the call for several minutes among themselves and with both sets of coaches, the decision was made to replay the down because of a whistle players had heard on the field — either an inadvertent one from a referee or one from the stands.

The re-kick gave Bangs the ball on the Bulldog 28, setting up the game’s final score three plays later.

Mason gained 13 yards on a nifty catch and run, Isaac Brown caught a pass fore 8 yards, and the pass to Hughes from the 8 capped the scoring.

Bangs will play its first road game next Friday at Cisco.

“Our focus will be on Cisco this week, that’s all,” Lipsey said. “It helps to play well against a good team. Then we’ll focus on Early and the district race.”

Bangs will host Early in the opening game of District 8-2A on Sept. 25.