A controversial call and two turnovers turned a competitive game into a route and put a damper on Senior Night at West Lincoln.
Bandys scored 21 points in the decisive second quarter on its way to a 38-7 victory over the Rebels Friday night at Douglas C. Leonhardt Stadium.
Senior tailback Chris Spade rushed for 226 yards and four touchdowns as the Trojans ended a two-game skid in the Midwestern 2A Conference and improved their record to 6-3 overall, 3-2 in the league. West Lincoln suffered its fifth straight loss to fall to 4-5 overall, 0-5.
The Rebels were in the game early in the second quarter, trailing only 3-0, when things started to unravel.
Bandysâ€™ quarterback Tyler Rowe was hit behind the line of scrimmage by Antonio Rojo and appeared to fumble at his own 40-yard line. However, an official ruled that Rowe was in the act of throwing when Rojo made the hit. Instead of a turnover that would have given West excellent field position, the play went down as a harmless pass incompletion.
Later in the same period, Spade scored on a 10-yard run to give Bandys a 9-0 lead.
The Rebels tried to answer on their next series, but Matt Oaks picked off a Taylor Woodie pass and returned it 47 yards. The Trojans cashed in on a three-yard touchdown run by Spade, capping a drive of only 13 yards.
Another Bandys interception, this one by Cody Blanton, set up the Trojans at the West Lincoln 27. Spade scored two plays later on a 20-yard fake reverse with 25 seconds left in the half, sending Bandys into the dressing room ahead 24-0.
Spade, who rushed for 142 yards in the first half, padded his statistics the first time Bandys touched the ball in the second half. In a run that highlighted his cutback ability and acceleration in the open field, Spade turned what looked like a modest gain into a 78-yard touchdown run. He started to his right, reversed field, eluded a tackler and turned on the speed down the middle of the field.
After the long run that extended the Bandys lead to 31-0 at the 5:31 mark of the third quarter, Spade got a much-deserved breather and had only two more carries the rest of the game.
West Lincoln averted a shutout on Senior Night when senior tailback Will Tallent ran 33 yards around left end for a touchdown with 3:52 left in the contest. In his final game before the home crowd, Tallent bowed out with 106 yards rushing on 16 carries.
The Rebels` longest offensive drive came on the opening series of the second half. Tallent broke loose for a 56-yard run, and Woodie completed a 14-yard pass to Dustin Hester to set up first and goal at the Bandys 10. However, the drive stalled at the six-yard line when Woodie`s fourth down pass was broken up in the end zone.
Spade reeled off his 78-yard run on the next series to remove all doubt.
The West Lincoln defense played well early before the turnovers by the offense took their toll. The Rebels forced a 42-yard field goal by Andrew Fearheiley on Bandys` first possession, then got an interception by Jon Thomas and a fumble recovery by Johnny Walker the next two times the Trojans had the ball.
The Rebels were forced to play without leading rusher and starting linebacker Paul Chambers, who watched the game in street clothes due to a bruised knee. Chambers` status for this week`s game at East Rutherford is uncertain, coach Butch Parker said.
by Mike Powell