Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Bowie beats rival Martin to capture district championship, avoids first-round matchup against SL Carroll
ARLINGTON _ With incentives including a district title and a first-round playoff berth avoiding the defending Class 5A state champion, Arlington Bowie doubled down to take both in a 44-26 victory over Arlington Martin at Wilemon Stadium.
Bowie (9-1, 7-0 in District 3-5A) used a variety of speedy options on offense and defense to shut down Martin, which also was without standout running back/quarterback Kyle Hicks in the second half due to an injury. Bowie advances to play Keller Central in the first round of the 5A Division I playoffs at 6 p.m. Thursday at Cowboys Stadium. Martin (7-3, 6-1) faces Southlake Carroll in the first round at 6 p.m. Friday at Cowboys Stadium. Hicks said he expects to play after “tweaking” his knee.
“Bowie was explosive,” Martin coach Bob Wager said. “There’s two ways to look at playing the defending state champ and we’re going to look at it positively and that it’s an opportunity. They have invited us back to the dance and we’re going to dance.”
Bowie, which lost its quarterback to an injury in non-district, utilized the break-away speed of sophomore quarterback Tony James, running backs Don Jerry and Brican Crossley to keep Martin off-balance with mis-directions, reverses and multiple swing and screen passes. Bowie,which had 567 yards totoal offense, led 24-10 at halftime and 37-10 before Martin added a pair of late fourth-quarter scores.
Bowie’s defense held Martin to three first-downs in the first half. Bowie moved highly regarded junior safety Edwin Freeman to linebacker midway through the season and the 6-1, 190-pounder disrupted Martin along with linemen Darryl Calhoun, Steven Frazier and Angel Tovar. Martin had less than 200 yards total offense until late drives. Hicks, went out with a leg injury after getting hit while jumping to catch a pass. He was able to jog on the sideline at halftime with no brace but didn’t return. He had eight yards rushing on nine carries.
“There was nothing that popped,” Hicks said. “We’ll be ready to go against Southlake. Our coaches will have us ready.”
Bowie scored on its first possession as Jerry scored on a 1-yard run. Bowie drove 75-yards into the wind with runs from James and Jerry mixed in with a 17-yard pass to junior Crossley.
The 5-8, 150-pound James moved from receiver to quarterback when junior Keaton Perry went out with a torn ACL. James has led Bowie to an 8-0 record since taking over. James completed 16-of-21 passes for 222 with three touchdowns and no interceptions. Crossley had six carries for 165 yards, including a 51-yard run on a lateral directly from center to Crossley as a slotback. Jerry had 90 yards rushing with one score and a 55-yard touchdown on a mis-direction screen pass from Jones.
Senior receiver Eric Rivers was part of the versatile options. He 2- and 5-yard touchdown runs and caught five passes for 57 yards including a 19-yard scoring pass.
Martin was eliminated by Carroll in the Region I final last year. Martin’s only other losses came to highly regarded playoff qualifiers and district champs DeSoto and Skyline.