BANGS — The ghost of seasons past showed up to haunt the Bangs Dragons Friday night as the always powerful Wall Hawks handed Bangs a 48-13 loss.
Wall remains undefeated at the top of District 3-3A. Bangs moves to 3-2 in district setting up a season finale showdown next week against Brady, as the playoff picture continues to take shape.
Interceptions and fumbles were the gremlins that taunted the Dragon offense even though the defense played a solid game.
“We talked about that we were going to have to do something different instead of staying in our base defense, “ said Bangs head coach Chuck Lipsey. “We wanted to live on the edge.”
The defensive coaching staff put together some different schemes to try to contain one of the most explosive offenses in the state.
“We came up with an even front and a stacked front,” Lipsey said. “Coach Guy [of Wall} said that it was the best anyone had stopped their veer and their midline all year long, so that makes me feel good.”
Coach Lipsey said that the score doesn’t really tell the story of the improvements in the defense.
“I think we did a good job,” he said. “I feel that by far it was the best defensive game we have played all year against one of the best teams in the state of Texas. That’s big.”
Sparking the defense was Mason Reichenau, who came up with a key interception with 2:54 left in the first quarter.
Wall was driving from their own 33 yard line, when the Hawk receiver tipped the pass to Reichenau. Bangs was not able to capitalize on that turnover and had to punt the ball away.
With the exception of two big scoring drives, the Dragon offense struggled all night to overcome self-inflicted wounds.
“I told them that it should have been a draw at half time had we not had the turnovers,” Lipsey said. “We turn the ball over, but we don’t mean to turn the ball over. (Quarterback) Colton (Brewer) is going to get better. He’s going to grow up and he’s going to learn from his mistakes, but it’s not all on his shoulders.”
Brewer did show what he has learned in the brief time he has been directing the Dragon offense, by finding Dalton Johnson on two scoring plays. Brewer hit Johnson on an 80 yard pass with 4:01 to play in the opening period to move the Dragons within seven of the Hawks. Carlos Mejia’s extra point was good and Bangs trailed, 14-7.
The Dragons would not see the end zone again until late in the fourth quarter when Brewer would once again find Johnson, this time on a 30 yard pass play with 1:10 to play in the game. The PAT was no good, but Bangs would take home more points than many teams have scored against the Hawks this season.
While the Dragons would have loved to upset the Hawks, Coach Lipsey was still proud of the improvement he saw in his squad.
“This is one of the best (feelings) I have felt after playing Wall in the past three or four years because of how hard our kids played,” Lipsey said. “That means a lot to me.”
Bangs travels to Brady next week. The Bulldogs are 4-1 in district play.
Bangs has secured a playoff spot, but beating the Bulldogs could move the Dragons up in the final district standing and improve their playoff seeding.
“If we can keep playing the way we are playing right now, we have a chance to beat Brady and win a playoff game or two,” Lipsey said.
Wall 48, Bangs 13
Wall 14 13 14 7 - 48
Bangs 7 0 0 6 - 13
First Downs 21 12
Total Offense 404 255
Rushes-Yards 54-331 25-27
Passing Yards 73 228
C-A-I 3-8-2 13-31-5
Fumbles Lost 0 4
Penalties 6-55 4-35
Punts 3-33.0 6-24.0