In a thrilling Friday night match, senior quarterback Jesse Cardenas showcased his prowess on the field, tossing three touchdown passes – two to Jeffry Thomas and one to Benton Cloudt. Cardenas also exhibited his versatility by rushing for another touchdown, propelling the Bulldogs to a dominant 27-9 victory against Poteet.
“It’s the result of a phenomenal off-season,” Bandera athletic director and head football coach Joel Fontenot-Amedee said. “Our guys worked hard to put themselves in position to be well conditioned in game one, and it paid off. We played hard all night and finished plays with great effort.”
Bandera was up 21-0 at half-time.
“The fast start was huge,” Cabasos said. “With the way Poteet has played us in the past, I think there was some outside chatter pre-game saying Poteet might roll us. But we came out fast and put one on them and that showed that we were on them. That was important for the young guys especially, I think, because it showed this is how we’re going to do things and erased all doubts pretty quickly.”
Cardenas finished 7-for-11 passing for 145 yards and three touchdowns while adding 19 carries for 186 yards and a touchdown. Sophomore Juan Cabrera had 16 carries for 100 yards, Thomas had two catches for 80 yards and two touchdowns and senior Corben Gonzales had three catches for 46 yards to pace the Bandera offense. Bandera racked up a total of 431 yards, the team’s most since a Nov. 5, 2021 win over Pearsall (481 yards).
Defensively, Cabasos had a team-high nine tackles (1.5 for loss) while Gherman had seven (1.5 for loss) and senior Eric Straeter finished with six. Sophomore Dane Barnett, junior Dylan Peace and junior Ibraham MacNeil had five tackles apiece, and senior Daniel Freeman had four tackles (1.5 for loss).
This victory marks their first season opener win since 2019, catapulting them to a promising 1-0 start for the year.
Bandera's next game will be at home against the Cotulla Cowboys. Cotulla lost their first game against West Oso of Corpus Christi.
Sophomore Matthew Wilkinson broke through the line and forced a fumble on the Bulldogs’ first defensive snap and freshman quarterback Dalton Parks connected with sophomore Riley Moran on a 38-yard touchdown pass on the first offensive snap, setting the tone for a dominant effort for the Bandera JV football team in a 41-12 season opening win over Poteet Thursday night at Bulldog Stadium.
The early fireworks carried on throughout as the Bulldogs starting offense scored on six consecutive possessions to open the game. Freshman Breydan Gherman broke off a 41-yard touchdown run and a 12-yard touchdown run, Parks had an 18-yard touchdown run and a 48-yard touchdown run behind a big block from Gherman, and freshman Jaymin Klein caught a 28-yard touchdown pass from Parks.
Freshman kicker Miguel Avalos was 5-for-6 on extra point attempts to cap off a big day for the Bandera offense. Parks was a perfect 9-for-9 in the passing game, and the Bulldogs racked up a total of 365 yards on just 28 plays.
The Bulldogs allowed zero defensive points in the first half although Poteet did manage to get on the board with a kickoff return for a touchdown late in the second quarter. Defensive leaders included Riley Moran, Caleb Tippit, Kenneth Seth, Jonah Klein and Jaymin Klein.
The Bulldogs, now 1-0 on the season, will be back in action Thursday on the road at Cotulla.