Bandys gains all of its 423 yards on ground, hands Maiden first loss
By CHRIS HOBBS
CATAWBA – Bandys High’s Trojans had no interest in experiencing anything close to a déjà vu moment on Friday night.
A week after an empty third quarter played a key role in their first loss of the football season at Hickory, the Trojans scored twice in 53 seconds to start the second half en route to a 37-28 victory over archrival Maiden.
Down by three points at the half, Bandys got a 58-yard scoring run by Ethan Howard with 11 minutes, 37 seconds left in the third quarter to go up 20-16 after a PAT by Ben Joseph.
Howard scored on a 4-yard run with 10:44 left in the quarter after an interception by Joshua Williams at the Maiden 36 gave the Trojans the ball back. Hunter Jones broke a run for 42 yards to the Maiden 4 two plays into that drive, and Howard — who rushed 25 times for 227 yards — scored on the next play. When Joseph added another PAT, Bandys led 27-16.
The Trojans had a 27-16 lead at the half the week before at Hickory and had the ball all but 82 seconds of the quarter before missing a field goal, and the Red Tornadoes then rallied to win 28-27.
Facing Maiden (4-1, 0-1 South Fork 2A) for the 66th time and intent on denying the Blue Devils their 50th series win, the Trojans (4-1, 1-0) answered the bell this time.
“I was really worried coming into this after the Hickory game,” Bandys head coach Tom Eanes said postgame on Friday after his team won before a near-capacity crowd at Butler Stadium. “We try and keep the psyche on an even keel.
“But you never know after your first loss. To lose to Hickory in the manner we lost in the last little bit, that was tough. These kids came back and they worked real hard…”
Joseph kicked a 22-yard field goal with 10:28 to play to open Bandys’ lead to 30-16, and it was a one possession game just eight seconds later when Maiden quarterback Bain Sipe, who threw for 272 yards, hit Dylan Abernathy for a 50-yard TD.
About seven minutes later, Howard scored on a 7-yard run after the Bandys defense forced Maiden to punt from its 8. Jacob Ellis’ 29-yard return – to the Maiden 15 – set up a five-play drive that Howard ended on a first-and-goal from the 7 with 3:06 to play.
The Blue Devils scored with 1:27 to on a 30-yard pass from Sipe to Brennen James, who out-jumped two defenders in the end zone who sandwiched him, but a conversion pass failed.
Maiden tried an onside kick, fielded cleanly by Dylan Jones at the Bandys 13, and quarterback Lake Hojnacki took a knee three straight times to kill the clock.
Bandys won without completing a pass (it threw five), rushing 62 times for 423 yards and overcoming 336 yards by the Blue Devils (just 64 rushing on 19 carries).
Howard said the Trojans simply reacted – all night long — to a question the coaching staff asked all week.
“The coaches preached about it,” he said. “What are you going to do?… What are you going to do?
“We came into the third quarter down three (points) and we came out and we popped them in the mouth.
“It (rebounding from the HHS loss) shows our ability to fix our mistakes. It’s so much fun seeing what our team can do.
“We’re all committed and we worked hard to see what would work. Eventually, we fixed it… we get it right and it starts to work for us.”
Howard had the first big defensive play of the night for Bandys, blocking a punt by Caleb McDaniel that ended up at the Maiden 14. On the next play, Hojnacki ran a keeper left and scored.
Sipe found Abernathy wide open with 9:06 left in the opening half for a 49-yard score and McDaniel’s two-point run gave Maiden an 8-7 lead.
Ellis broke a run for 9 yards on second-and-goal in the final minute of the first half, giving Bandys a 13-8 lead.
With Sipe completing two passes for 27 yards to get to the Bandys 17, the Blue Devils took the lead when Montrell Stinson grabbed a 16-yard TD pass from Sipe with 8.8 seconds left in the half. Abernathy caught a two-point conversion pass from McDaniel and Maiden led 16-13 at the half.
But Howard — whose 227-yard game was the best for Bandys against Maiden since Chris Douglas ran for 215 in 1998 – quickly energized the crowd with a TD run. He knocked a few defenders off him, got to the right sideline, and outran the defense for 58 yards and a score.
The interception by Williams then came on a tipped pass and an unsportsmanlike penalty against Bandys pushed the Trojans back to the Maiden 36. Howard scored again, less than a minute later, and Bandys led by 11.
Howard had 11 yards rushing in the first quarter, 35 in the second quarter, 118 in the third quarter and 63 in the final quarter as the Trojans’ offensive line – tackles Aaron Johnson and Nash Shook, guards Nate Mirman and Anthony Biscula and center Kaleb Nicholson – helped Bandys snap a three-game losing streak in the series.
“They (the Trojans) are real good about bringing their lunch pail and going to work,” Eanes said in describing his players’ work ethic. “They came to work (Friday night). Sometimes, it’s not the most pretty practicing but they did it when it counted.”
At 1-0 in the South Fork 2A, Bandys shares the early lead with East Lincoln, Newton-Conover and North Lincoln as it heads to Newton-Conover for a Friday 7:30 p.m. game. Bandys has lost three straight in the series and last won at Gurley Stadium in 2014.
Maiden will be at home for a conference game on Friday at 7:30 p.m., going for its 21st straight win over the Rebels.
Maiden had won seven of eight and eight of 10 coming in and still leads the series 49-14-4…Maiden had won three straight against Bandys by margins of 14, 16 and 41 points … Bandys’ last win in the series before Friday was 29-21 at Maiden in 2014 when Devin Cox threw for 196 yards and two TDs… The last Trojans home win had been in 2009, 41-6 when Trent Millsaps ran 30 times for 134 yards and three TDs… Unofficially, Howard’s career rushing total is up to 2,881 yards with 29 rushing TDs and 15 games of 100 yards or more (his previous high was 205 last season against North Lincoln) …Sipe will unofficially need 74 passing yards against West Lincoln to throw for 1,000 this season… Abernathy has eight catches for 192 yards in his last two games … In the 39 games in the series since 1980, the team that had the most rushing yards has won 29 times… The lowest rushing totals in the series since 1980 came in 1997 for Maiden (32 carries, minus 12 yards) and in 1983 for Bandys (minus 23).
BANDYS 37, MAIDEN 28
Maiden 0 16 0 12—28
Bandys 7 6 14 10—37
B—Lake Hojnacki 14 run (Ben Joseph kick) 0.0
M—Dylan Abernathy 49 pass from Bain Sipe (Caleb McDaniel run), 9:06
B—Jacob Ellis 9 run (run failed), 54.4
M—Montrell Stinson 16 pass from Sipe (Abernathy pass from McDaniel), 8.8
B—Ethan Howard 58 run (Joseph kick), 11:37
B—Ethan Howard 4 run (Joseph kick), 10:44
B—FG Joseph 22, 10:28
M—Abernathy 50 pass from Sipe (kick failed), 10:08
B—Howard 7 run (Joseph kick), 3:06
M—Brennen James 30 pass from Sipe (pass failed), 1:27
First downs 16 20
Rush-yards 19-64 60-423
Passing yards 272 0
Passing 15-29-1 0-5-1
Total offense 336 423
Fumbles-lost 0-0 0-0
Penalty-yards 9-72 10-100
Maiden: Sipe 6-9, Lee Turner 5-33, Malik Kennedy 2-3, McDaniel 3-8, D.J. Murph 3-11.
Bandys: Hojnacki 10-55, Elijah Clark 5-21, Joshua Williams 9-44, Hunter Jones 2-43, Howard 25-227, Ellis 5-40, Jackson Spicer 3-4, Team 3-minus 3.
Maiden: Sipe 15-28-1 272, Team 0-1-0 0.
Bandys: Hojnacki 0-4-1 0, Team 0-1-0 0.
Maiden: Stinson 3-39, McDaniel 5-57, Abernathy 5-134, James 2-42.