BANGS – Facing their first deficit of the season, the Bangs Dragons tallied the final 40 points of the game – aided by four takeaways that all turned into touchdown drives – en route to a 47-15 homecoming victory over the Ingram Moore Warriors in District 2-3A Division II action Friday night.
With their sixth straight win to open the season, the undefeated Dragons (6-0, 2-0) remained atop the district standings along with Sonora (3-4, 2-0) and Ballinger (7-1, 2-0) – the next two foes on Bangs’ schedule.
“Being 2-0 in district gets us on the (playoff) dance floor I think, and it gets tougher from here on out,” said Bangs third-year head coach Kyle Maxfield. “But I’m really proud of us overcoming some adversity. It was the first time we were behind all year and we just kept fighting and just clawed our way back.”
Behind the offensive line of Logan Bishop, Warren Theriaque, Samuel Packer, Trey Ivey and Charlie Smith, the Dragons finished with 349 yards of total offense, including 243 rushing, as Ethan Sanchez led the charge with 166 yards and four touchdowns. Quarterback Ethan Cortez chipped in 51 yards and two scores on the ground, while passing for 106 yards and a touchdown. Brayton Wedeman led all Dragons with five grabs for 86 yards with a trip to the end zone.
Defensively, Bangs yielded 256 yards – 180 on the ground and 76 through the air – to Ingram Moore (5-2, 0-2), but Wyatt Lykins recovered a fumble and picked off a pass, Logan Massey pounced on a loose ball, and Wedeman snagged an interception.
Trailing 15-7 with 9:32 left in the first half, the Dragons scored the final two touchdowns to regain the lead, 19-15, prior to halftime.
The Dragons closed the gap to 15-13 at the 8:01 mark as a 51-yard scoring toss from Cortez to Wedeman capped a three-play, 63-yard drive. Bangs attempted to tie the game, but the two-point run failed.
Ingram Moore advanced to the Bangs 24 on the next drive, where Massey recovered a fumble by Warrior running back Nick Spittler at the 4:16 mark of the quarter.
Bangs then traveled 76 yards in eight plays, with Sanchez finishing the drive with an 11-yard touchdown carry that pushed the Dragons back in front for good, 19-15, with 90 seconds left in the first half.
Turnovers continued to be the theme of the night in the second half as Ingram Moore’s first play of the second half was a fumble recovered by Lykins at the Warrior 24. Four plays later, Cortez scored on a 9-yard carry to boost the advantage to 26-15 following a Braxton Melling extra point just 2:23 into the third period.
The ensuing possession for the Warriors lasted just four plays as Lykins picked off a pass attempt and returned the ball to the Ingram Moore 20. Sanchez then capped a short scoring drive with a 5-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-goal that padded the cushion to 33-15 with 4:02 left in the third period.
“The defense creating those turnovers was a big momentum changer tonight,” Maxfield said “The defense has been doing that all year, but they were really big tonight.”
The Dragons tacked on two more touchdowns in the fourth period – a 57-yard run by Sanchez that was set up when Wedeman picked off an Ingram Moore pass in the red zone, and a 14-yard scamper by Cortez following a 25-yard Warrior punt.
“We moved the ball,” Maxfield said. “We were the ones that stopped ourselves. We just kept on and in the second half I thought we really played well.”
Bangs jumped out to 7-0 lead just 2:28 into the contest as a 14-yard scoring sprint from Sanchez capped a six-play, 63-yard trek.
Ingram Moore answered with an 11-play, 60-yard march that culminated with a 5-yard touchdown run by quarterback Timothy Leatherman – who led the Warriors with 88 yards rushing.
On the Dragons’ ensuing drive, Bangs was stuffed on a fourth-and-3 at the Warrior 30, and Ingram Moore again journeyed the length of the field with Leatherman connecting with Kam Carrington on a 36-yard scoring toss. A two-point run by Nick Spittler gave Ingram Moore a 15-7 lead with 9:32 to go in the first half.
“That fourth down when they stopped us kind of gave them the momentum for a while,” Maxfield said. “Give Ingram Moore credit, they came to play. Maybe we were in a little bit of a fog for whatever reason, but that’s the first time we’ve been challenged and tested and that was good for us. We had to dig down a little bit deeper so hopefully we grow from that and learn to get it on from the first whistle.”
The Dragons visit Sonora – a 44-13 winner over Brady – at 7 p.m. Friday
Bangs 47, Ingram Moore 15
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Ingram Moore 7 8 0 0 – 15
Bangs 7 12 14 14 – 47
B: Ethan Sanchez 14 run (Braxton Melling kick), 9:32, 1st
I: Timothy Leatherman 5 run (Kam Carrington kick), 3:53, 1st
I: Carrington 36 pass from Leatherman (Nick Spittler run), 9:32, 2nd
B: Brayton Wedeman 51 pass from Ethan Cortez (run failed), 8:01, 2nd
B: Sanchez 11 run (pass failed), 1:30, 2nd
B: Cortez 9 run (Melling kick), 9:37, 3rd
B: Sanchez 5 run (Melling kick), 4:02, 3rd
B: Sanchez 57 run (Melling kick), 10:19, 4th
B: Cortez 14 run (Melling kick), 2:48, 4th
Ingram Moore Bangs
First Downs 15 18
Total Offense 256 349
Rushes-Yards 36-180 26-243
Passing Yards 76 106
Comp-Att-Int 5-9-2 7-10-0
Punts 2-23.5 0-0
Fumbles Lost 2 1
RUSHING: Ingram Moore – Timothy Leatherman 14-88; Andrew Burroughs 15-66; Nick Spittler 4-19. Bangs – Ethan Sanchez 18-166, 4 TDs; Ethan Cortez 9-51, 2 TDs; Guy Powell 3-18; Damion Santillanes 2-8; Trevor Bowers 1-5; Team 2-(-13).
PASSING: Ingram Moore – Leatherman 5-7-1-76; Kam Carrington 0-2-1-0. Bangs – Cortez 7-10-0-106, TD
RECEIVING: Ingram Moore – Carrington 4-70; Preston Burroughs 1-6. Bangs – Brayton Wedeman 5-86, TD; Logan Massey 1-16; Bowers 1-4.