After struggling early, the Bangs High School football team made fans in attendance more hopeful for the upcoming season with a strong finish to Thursday’s scrimmage.

Facing perennial powerhouse Comanche in their final tune-up before the start of the regular season, the Bangs Dragons showed they have the talent to be a dark-horse favorite for a playoff run.

“We wanted to win this game and that was it. We fought our hearts out,” said Bangs linebacker Riley Taylor, who forced two fumbles for turnovers Thursday. “We did a whole lot better this game (than San Saba). We got a lot more physical this time, but we need to improve on that. Myself, I need to quit biting on the play-action.”

Offensively the Dragons struggled early, but in their struggles may have found a few playmakers hiding deep in their depth chart. Receiver and backup quarterback Seth Anderson showed even powerhouse Comanche could not handle his speed as he caught the edge on a few lengthy runs, including a 55-yard end around for Bangs only touchdown of the day.

“It makes my job so much easier,” Bangs quarterback Justin Wilson said. “… [Anderson] is so fast, if he hits that hole, he’s just gone. If you slip up, he’s gone. If we can catch the ball, we’ll be a much better offense. I feel like we’re a better team (since San Saba). The first scrimmage we had some jitters. We made some mistakes, but tonight we were zeroed in. We were ready.”

After struggling to stop Comanche’s pro-style offense for most of the scrimmage, a fumble on a quarterback pressure put the Indians at the 2-25, the Dragons halted an inside run in its tracks, then defensive end Hayden King picked up a sack to end the day on a high note.

“We took some steps forward and, obviously, we have a ways to go,” Bangs coach Kyle Maxfield said. “Coach Hermesmeyer’s squad is really physical and well respected. They play a tough brand of ball and for us to stay on the field with them in the second scrimmage is very positive for us. [Anderson] is a difference-maker. He’s a playmaker and we have to develop some other players to spread the ball around.”

The Dragons have one more week until they face cross-county rival Early in the season opener. Similar to the Dragons, the Longhorns are also trying to establish themselves this season, which Maxfield believes will make for an interesting matchup.

“They’re getting their program established and we’re still in the beginning stages,” Maxfield said. “We have a huge challenge. It doesn’t matter who we’re playing. There are going to be a lot of emotions, but the one that makes the fewest mistakes is probably going to win the game.”

Kickoff for next Friday is set for 7:30 p.m.