Posted: September 23, 2017
MAIDEN WINS CONFERENCE OPENER AGAINST BANDYS
By: Anthony Perkins
Maiden – The Maiden Blue Devils defeated the visiting Bandys Trojans by a 35-21 final score in the conference opener for both teams on Friday night.
Maiden’s offense came out smoking hot in the first quarter and built a 14-0 lead by scoring on their first two possessions. Fullback Kentrell Williams put the first Blue Devil points on the board with a nine yard run that capped off an eight play, 67 yard drive about midway through the first quarter. Just before the quarter ended they added to their lead when quarterback Keygan Mayfield connected with Dylan Abernathy on a six yard toss and it looked like Maiden was going to run away and hide but their long-time rivals had a lot of fight in them and fortunes changed for both teams in the second quarter.
The Trojan defense buckled down and both teams traded possessions without scoring to open the second quarter. With less than three minutes left in the half, Bandys fullback Ethan Howard put the first Trojan points on the board with a five yard run to pull the visitors to within seven points and then their defense forced a Maiden punt that Coby Morgan returned to midfield for Bandys with just over a minute remaining before the half. It took only three plays and thirty seconds for Bandys to find paydirt with Ethan Howard covering the last eleven yards to tie the score at 14-14.
Maiden came out of the half and immediately reestablished control of the game when Mayfield returned the kickoff 95 yards to the house. The Blue Devils defense held the Trojans on their next possession and forced a punt by Trojan Ben Joseph that pinned Maiden at their own eight yard line. That didn’t seem to matter to the Blue Devils as they would take only five plays to cover the 92 yards they needed for another score with Kentrell Williams (203 yards, 19 carries) sprinting the final 52 yards on a dazzling run down the right side line pushing the Maiden lead to 28-14.
Bandys was able to tighten the game up one more time about midway through the final quarter when JaTay Culliver completed an eleven yard touchdown pass to DaShawn Gibbs but the Blue Devils answered on the second play of their next possession when Mayfield posted his second touchdown on a run from 35 yards out for the 35-21 final score.
After the game Maiden head coach Will Byrne said that he thought his team had went into a lull during the second quarter and he told them, “You have to go out and play the entire second half like you played the first quarter. I’m proud of the way they played that second half and handled the adversity of giving up the lead.”
Maiden finished up with 400 yards on offense; 306 yards rushing and 94 yards passing, 17 first downs and they had no turnovers. Bandys gained 321 yards on offense; 239 rushing and 82 passing, they gained 15 first downs and lost one fumble.
Maiden will travel to West Lincoln next week while Bandys will host Newton-Conover.