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)


Men’s Golf Will Play This Weekend In NAIA Fall Preview

Dalton State men’s golf will have a chance to see many of the top golf teams in the NAIA this weekend. The Sun Conference and the Daytona Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau will host the 2014 NAIA Golf Fall Preview at LPGA International Course from Friday through Sunday. This weekend’s competition will feature 19 teams from 18 different schools. The 54-hole tournament ... (click for more)

PHOTOS: Baylor, GPS Play To 0-0 Tie

Linear Park Planned As Extension Of Walnut Street Bridge In Front Of Planned Boutique Hotel

A linear park that will be an extension of the Walnut Street Bridge public space is planned in front of a new boutique hotel at Walnut Street and Aquarium Way (Second Street). Mitch Patel of Vision Hospitality on Tuesday night told nearby residents that "the city pushed this idea of a linear park, and we agree that it is a great idea." He said the current situation in which ... (click for more)

Sharply-Divided City Council Approves Office Reorganization; Councilman Freeman Calls Move "Evil, Hellish"

A sharply-divided City Council on Tuesday voted 5-4 to completely reorganize the council office, leaving current staffers without a job down the road but with the option to reapply. Councilman Moses Freeman called the move "evil" and "hellish." He said, "We are punishing somebody on a personal level," though he said the office has been running smoothly. Saying the majority ... (click for more)

How To Reform The City Industrial Development Board - And Response (3)

My aims is to bring to the public’s attention the need for procedural changes that, if implemented, would significantly improve the information available the public, to the City Council and to the City Industrial Development Board about the verifiable benefits and costs of tax incentive financing structures and to make the entire process transparent. The public, the City ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My October Garden

Hark! It is the first day of October and, as I make my monthly stroll through the garden, I find a growing numbers of leaves and acorns. Autumn leaves are beautiful while acorns are nuts, thus you will get the idea as we make our monthly awards: A PRETTY LEAF to Phil Hughes after the Minnesota Twins pitcher came within one inning of earning a $500,000 bonus this season. The deal ... (click for more)