Bulletin Staff Report

BRECKENRIDGE — After both teams combined to put almost 80 points on the scoreboard here Friday night, the verdict in this non-district football game was ultimately decided on big defensive plays in the final seconds of the game.

Bangs came up with the first one when the Breckenridge Buckaroos, leading 40-37, were threatening to put the game away with a first down on the Bangs 2. That turned out to be the final score, but the clock didn’t expire before each team had its chance to score from short range, and each team’s defense rose to the challenge.

Determined to give its offense another chance — if not its team the win — the Dragons forced the Bucks into a fourth and 7. Then a hurried pass was intercepted by Cody Cross and he returned the ball 80 yards, only a few steps shy of the goal line.

But Bangs had new life with a first and goal from the 8 with 1:03 left in the game.

But that’s when the Breckenridge defense came alive, and Bangs (1-1) was handed its first loss of the year.

The lead seesawed throughout the night, with Bangs taking a 23-13 lead in the second quarter and a 29-20 lead in the third after Breckenridge opened the scoring with only seconds left in the first quarter. Quarterback Travis Wallis threw a 15-yard touchdown pass with 15 second left, and the kick was good. But Breckenridge went ahead to stay, 34-29, in the third period when Wallis connected on a 30-yard scoring play with 3:45 remaining.

Wallis carried the final yard with 7:38 left in the game to extend the Breckenridge lead to 40-29, but Bangs quarterback Justin Greenhaw hit Joey Brooke with an 16-yard touchdown pass with 5:13 left, and Bradley Lee passed to Adrian Brown for the 2-point conversion. The Dragons had narrowed the advantage to 3 points, 40-37.

But things looked dim for the Dragons as Breckenridge marched down the field and took precious minutes off the clock. In the shadow of its own goal, the Bangs defense flexed its muscle.

Bangs took the lead in the second quarter, 8-7, when Greenhaw passed 9 yards to Brown with 8:06 left, and Bradley Lee ran for the 2-pointer. Breckenridge answered with a touchdown with 6:00 remaining, but Bangs scored twice before the half ended.

Greenhaw hit Lee on a 66-yard scoring play with 2:28 left, and Brooke took a reverse in for the 2-point conversion. After Joey Lewis returned an interception 40 yards for a touchdown with 1:49 left, and Greenhaw’s kick was good, Bangs had a 23-13 lead.

But Breckenridge closed the gap to 23-20 with a touchdown pass with 30 seconds left, and the Dragons’ attempt to get one more score before intermission ended with an interception.

Bangs will have its home opener against Clyde next Friday — a homecoming date for the Dragons.