BANGS — The Bangs Dragons were unable to carry over the momentum from a season-opening victory into their 2019 debut at Memorial Stadium, as the Class 2A Division I No. 8 Hawley Bearcats secured a 36-9 victory Friday night.
“Hats off to Hawley, those guys are big, strong, and physical,” said Bangs second-year head coach Kyle Maxfield.
Hawley (2-0), which was coming off a 39-0 opening win over Roscoe, scored two touchdowns in each of the first two quarters as Bangs (1-1), which defeated Early, 44-7, to start its season, faced a 28-0 halftime deficit.
“We did a poor job of covering on the opening kickoff and they ran it back for a touchdown,”Maxfield said. “We played a little tentative the rest of the first half after that. We really didn't respond great to adversity early. We actually started driving the ball a little bit late in the first half and settled down in the second half and executed the way we thought we could.”
The Dragons scored all nine of their points in the third period, while the Bearcats tacked on their final eight. Ethan Sanchez reached the end zone for Bangs, while Hawley snapped a ball over the punter's head for a safety.
Bangs was limited to 136 yards of total offense — 104 rushing and 32 passing. Sanchez accounted for 107 yards and a touchdown on the ground, while Guy Powell rushed for 7 yards and Damian Santillanes was dropped for a 10-yard loss on his lone carry.
Through the air, Brayton Wedeman completed 3 of 8 passes for 32 yards but was picked off three times. Hayden King caught a 25-yard pass, Wesley Mitchell hauled in an 8-yard reception and Santillanes lost a yard on his lone catch.
“The thing that bothered us the most on offense, or the thing we couldn't overcome was negative plays,” Maxfield said. “We have to keep the chains moving forward and those negative plays put us behind the eight ball.”
Hawley finished with 371 total yards — 251 rushing and 120 passing — as Colton Marshall rumbled for 145 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Quarterback Xavier Rodela added 78 yards rushing and a touchdown, while completing 5 of 11 passes including a scoring toss to Robert Ybarra, who grabbed two receptions for 49 yards.
“Defensively, we had spurts where we did things,” Maxfield said. “We executed well, but we had a hard time tackling No. 44 (Marshall), but a lot of people do. After watching the film, we were a lot closer than what it felt like.”
The Dragons will attempt to rebound next week as the Winters Blizzards visit for homecoming. Winters is off to a 2-0 start, having defeated Goldthwaite (21-0) and Eldorado (26-20).
“It will be assignment football,” Maxfield said. “They do a good job running that flexbone, and that's a challenging offense to defend. We have to get back on track and see how we respond after a game like this against Hawley.”