Bulletin Staff Report
COMFORT - Bangs overcame eight turnovers Friday night to defeat Comfort 30-19 in a sloppy season opener for both teams.
But it was the Dragons who asserted their dominance in the second half, holding the Bobcats scoreless after intermission while putting up 16 points and running out the clock in the fourth quarter.
It was a welcome victory in Coach Chuck Lipsey’s debut as the head coach of the Dragons, but the game was punctuated by some opening night jitters.
Three of Bangs’ seven fumbles set up Comfort with all three of its touchdowns, which came from close range after it appeared the Dragons would score. Those Comfort scores were from inside the 1-yard line, the 11-yard line and the 12-yard line.
Add a 50-yard run by Bangs quarterback Bradley Lee that was called back by a penalty, and the Dragons can only imagine how lopsided their win might have been without those errors. The defense appeared to be ahead of the offense in jelling, at least in the first half, and managed to hold the Bobcats in check until the offense put together some extended drives after halftime.
Lee, a senior, and junior Tyler Fuqua shared quarterback duties, and Lee produced several big plays that didn’t draw a flag. He raced 59 yards for a touchdown on the Dragons’ first offensive play of the year, just after the Bangs defense forced Comfort to punt after three plays on the opening series. The two-point conversion by sophomore DeShawn Johnson was good.
Lee ran 50 yards for a touchdown with 8:52 left in the second quarter, giving Bangs a 14-13 lead after the two-point try failed.
Comfort quarterback Luke Roberts hit Richter on a screen pass late in the first half to give the Bobcats a 19-14 lead at halftime when Bangs blocked the point-after kick.
But it was all Bangs in the second half, as the Dragons scored twice in the third period and played keep-away from Comfort in the fourth.
Johnson scored on a 16-yard run with 8:27 left in the third, and Lee passed for the two-point conversion.
With 4:40 left in the third, Lee hit junior Devin Rowland with a 53-yard pass, and the two-pointer was good again.
Lee rushed 16 times for 172 yards while completing 5 of 14 passes for 73 yards. Johnson added 98 yards on 21 carries.
Fuqua attempted two passes with no completions, and threw the only interception the Dragons gave up.
Comfort didn’t have to go far to get its points thanks to Dragon errors, and the statistics reflected that. While Bangs rolled up 350 total yards, Comfort only managed 48 - 18 on the ground and 30 through the air. The Dragons had 40 rushes for 277 yards.
The Dragons, who won’t have a home game until Sept. 19, will travel to Llano next Friday.