Written by Corbett Smith
Arlington Martin turns wild week from forfeits to share of district title
ARLINGTON — Three days ago, Arlington Martin was fighting for its playoff life. What a difference a few days makes.
On Thursday, Martin clinched a share of the District 3-5A title and the top spot in the Class 5A Division I playoffs, running away from a depleted Arlington Bowie with a 47-18 win at Cravens Field.
Nic Smith rushed for 191 yards on 21 carries, and Eric Walker passed for two scores, as Martin avoided Southlake Carroll in the opening round, instead facing Keller Central next week in the bi-district round.
The tumultuous week took a positive turn for Martin (8-2, 6-1) on Tuesday, when the UIL state executive committee overturned a District 3-5A ruling calling for three district forfeits for the use of an ineligible player.
Instead of having its playoff hopes at risk, Martin had a shot to win at least a share of the district title with Arlington Lamar — and took immediate advantage.
Martin capped a 14-play drive with a 28-yard pass from Eric Walker to Michael Wilson, jumping out to a 17-0 lead with 6:54 left in the second quarter.
Twice in the first quarter, Bowie took drives inside Martin’s six-yard line, only to fumble to end both drives.
It didn’t help matters that Bowie (7-3, 6-2) started the game with its third-string quarterback.
Electric junior receiver and quarterback Tony James sat out, after suffering a concussion against Arlington, and Keaton Perry — playing on a torn ACL since the second game of the season — almost didn’t suit up, re-aggravating his knee in the Arlington loss.
Perry entered the game on the Bowie’s third drive and completed 12 of 17 passes for 153 yards and one interception.
Bowie will face Southlake Carroll next week.
Follow Corbett Smith on Twitter at @corbettsmithDMN.