Banks Leads Notre Dame Past Boyd-Buchanan 26-0

Junior Running Back Nets 306 Yards As Irish Dominate Buccaneers

Thursday, September 12, 2013 - by John Hunt
- photo by Greg Davick

Auston Banks had the game of his life Thursday night at Boyd-Buchanan's David L. Boyd Field.

Rushing for 306 yards on 29 carries, the Fighting Irish junior scored a couple of touchdowns and was more than enough to lead once-beaten Notre Dame past the host Boyd-Buchanan Buccaneers by a 26-0 final.

The Fighting Irish dominated in every aspect of the game.

Clay Heltzel did an outstanding job filling in for starting quarterback Alex Darras, who is still sidelined with a bum knee, but all the stocky senior had to do was give number 6 the ball and Banks did the rest.

Banks piled up 161 yards on just 17 carries in the first half as the Fighting Irish carried a 12-0 lead into the dressing room at the break.

He never got tired in the second half and even appeared to be picking up more steam as the game progressed with 145 additional yards on just a dozen carries.  Two of those attempts were TD runs of 6 and 45 yards.

"I couldn't have done it without my offensive line, but I have to thank the big man upstairs," the 5-8, 175-pound standout said once the game ended.

"I'm a track guy, so I didn't get tired, but I've been working hard to be a more explosive back and I guess it paid off," he added.

"Auston was tremendous as he was a man on a mission.  He was ready for a breakout performance," praised Notre Dame head coach Charles Fant.

"I thought Clay handled himself well at quarterback and the only pass he had intercepted was thrown in the right place, but the receiver ran the wrong route.  He was going to be our starting fullback, but he's come in and done a wonderful job at quarterback.

"The thing I'm most disappointed in is the number of penalties and mistakes we made that killed good drives.  But I'm more than excited about our defense.  That's where we're playing great right now, but we're just trying to evolve with the players we have," Fant added.

Notre Dame's offense was indeed impressive with 488 today yards, including 384 on the ground and another 104 through the air.

While Auston Banks was the leader with 306 yards, younger brother Andrew was also a force as the diminutive freshman picked up 75 yards on just three trips, including a 53-yarder late in the game.

Heltzel completed 11 of 21 passes for 104 yards, including six completions for 60 yards to Kareem Orr and one of 26 yards to Joe Enos.

Defensively for the Irish, Kesley Green and Jared Andrews both had an interception while Brandon Harris, Chris Hornsby, Robert Kidwell and Joe Dossett all had tackles for losses.

Boyd-Buchanan finished with 128 total yards, including 110 through the air and just 18 on the ground.

Quarterback Jim Cardwell completed 14 of 27 passes, including four for 61 yards to Chris Lyon and five for 34 yards to Damaris Macon.

Backup quarterback Cooper Hodge was the leading rusher for the Bucs with 44 yards on six carries late in the game.

Defensive standouts for Boyd-Buchanan included Brogen Baker with an interception and Carter Broome with a pair of fumble recoveries.

Buccaneer head coach Grant Reynolds wasn't in the best of moods when the shutout ended.

"It was a bad night for us as Notre Dame has a good football team," he began inside the Buccaneer dressing room.

"Like I said, they have a good football team," he snapped when asked what went wrong for his team.

Heltzel scored the game's first touchdown on a keeper from the 4 on the second play of the second quarter while a pass from Heltel to Kareem Orr covered 7 yards for the second TD with four minutes to play in the half.

Banks had a 5-yard scamper with 5:28 to play in the third while his 45-yarder with 8:03 left in the game was the final TD of the evening.

Michael Quatrano converted the final two extra-point kicks.

Notre Dame finished with a 21-8 advantage in first downs.

Notre Dame, now 3-1 with three straight wins, will travel to Pikeville next Friday to face the Bledsoe County Warriors while 1-3 Boyd-Buchanan has next week off before a road trip to Donelson Christian on Sept. 27. 

PERHAPS THE HIGHLIGHT of the night for the Buccaneers came before the opening kickoff when members of the 2003 state championship football team were introduced.

Notre Dame  0  12  7  7  --  26

Boyd-Buchanan  0  0  0  0  --  0

ND -- Clay Heltzel 4 run (kick failed), 11:27 left in second;

ND -- Kareem Orr 7 pass from Heltzel (kick blocked), 4:00 left in second;

ND -- Auston Banks 5 run (Michael Quatrano kick), 5:28 left in third;

ND -- Auston Banks 45 run (Quatrano kick), 8:03 left in fourth.

(email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@comcast.net)



PHOTOS: Baylor Sweeps Father Ryan In State Match

Champions Crowned On Day 2 Of 2017 Eastern Elite Qualifier And Regional Open Championships

A total of 35 champions were crowned at the Chattanooga Convention Center during the second day of the 2017 Eastern Elite Qualifier and Regional Open Championships in Chattanooga.  The female divisions, other than the elite females, finished up their run in the tournament taking the title in their respective divisions in the first session of a day. The  noon ... (click for more)

City Council Rejects Share Of Big City Contract Recommended By Berke Administration For Start-Up Staffing Firm

The City Council on Tuesday night rejected awarding a share of a big contract for a start-up staffing firm that had been pushed by the Berke administration. Councilman Chip Henderson made a motion to approve "for the purpose of discussion" on the plan to give Msi Workforce Solutions part of the work along with a North Chattanooga firm that has had the contract for temporary staffing ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Airport To Go "Off The Grid" After Final Phase Of Solar Panel Installations

The Chattanooga Airport is embarking on the third and final phase of its solar farm, which when completed will allow the Airport to "go off the grid." John Naylor, Airport vice president, said, "This will give us all the power we need to run the Airport." He said EPB will assist with installation of a power storage unit and a micro-grid controller to make the change-over possible. ... (click for more)

Vote No On The Rezoning For A New Landfill In Harrison - And Response (3)

County Commissioners, please consider the following facts when voting on the rezoning request for a new privately-owned C&D landfill in Harrison.  Use of this property for a landfill has been rejected by the county three times in the past (1971, 1984 and 2007).  In 1971 and 2007 the County Commissioners unanimously rejected the proposal.  In 1984 the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘Mom Don’t Have…I Do’

It’s hard to know what goes through the mind of a five-year-old, particularly one who watches her mom go in and out of jail due to drug addiction. But little Sunshine Oelfke is obviously being raised right by her grandmother because the other morning, the five-year-old came into the kitchen before leaving for kindergarten with a baggie full of coins from her piggy bank. “I asked ... (click for more)