Lincoln, NE - It might have been Josh Banderas' first start as a tailback for Lincoln Southwest, but the senior All-American linebacker didn't show it. Banderas, a Nebraska commitment, rushed for 149 yards on 14 carries, with two scores, to help the lead the Silver Hawks to a 14-9 victory over ranked North Star on Friday night.
On Southwest's first drive, Banderas had runs of 30 and 31 yards to set up a one-yard touchdown dive up the middle.
"Sounds nice," said Banderas when told by Big Red Report of his yardage total on Friday night. "They ranked us No. 10 in the paper, so I went to Coach King and told him I want to make a statement. I want to ram it right down their throats. I think the first drive sort of set the tone for the game."
Banderas who played his normal linebacker spot, had an unofficial nine tackeles – one for a loss.
North Star played without the services of running back Mike Minter Jr., a home run threat when he touches the ball. The Navigators relied heavily upon junior fullback Austin Rose, who had 108 yards on 24 carries.
"Mike is more of that wingback or scatback, where Austin Rose is more that power guy. That guy who's up the middle," said Banderas. "It helped that there wasn't that really good athlete out there, but in the end, would the outcome been any different, who's to say?"
Coming into the contest, Lincoln Southwest was rated No. 7 in the Big Red Report Class A Power Rankings, while North Star was No. 8.
"It's a big relief to get this first one out of the way," said Banderas. "We have been working hard all summer and should see the jitters and the anxiety go away."
Next up for Banderas and the Silver Hawks will be Grand Island next Friday. The senior will also be making an unofficial visit to Nebraska on Saturday as the Huskers take on Southern Miss.