Written by Tommy Cummings
Arlington Bowie loses starting QB for 3rd straight season in 57-22 win over Mesquite; backup scores 4 TDs
ARLINGTON — Arlington Bowie junior Tony James, not smiling, paused to gather his words Friday night when asked his reaction to starting quarterback Keaton Perry’s knee injury.
“I was hoping … hoping it wasn’t the same thing that happened last year,” James said. “We were praying … praying for the best. I knew if he went down, I was going to have to lead my team.”
Arlington Bowie, No. 3 in SportsDayHS area rankings, defeated No. 18 Mesquite 57-22 at Wilemon Field, but the victory was tempered by the loss of Perry for the third consecutive season.
Perry injured his right knee late in the first quarter as he rolled left to avoid the Mesquite rush. He said he believed the injury was another ACL tear, his third.
“I heard it pop, same as last time,” Perry said.
James, a 5-8, 150-pound junior, moved from wide receiver to quarterback and sparked Arlington Bowie with 150 yards rushing and four touchdowns. His breakaway speed at quarterback broke the game open as he sprinted for second-quarter touchdown runs of 40 and 80 yards.
Last season, James stepped in for Perry in a similar situation. James finished with 998 rushing yards and 1,750 passing yards.
“Tony has got to take over and do what he did last year,” said first-year coach Danny DeArman. “It’s a sad situation.”
The first quarter was a bit wild with Arlington Bowie’s Brican Crossley and Mesquite’s Charles Grant II returning back-to-back kickoffs for touchdowns. After Grant’s touchdown, Arlington Bowie’s Alundis Jones returned a blocked extra-point kick 95 yards.
Perry left the game late in the first quarter. James took over and ran for his 40-yard touchdown on the next play to give Arlington Bowie a 15-9 lead.
Mesquite tied the game at 15-15 on Horace LeBlanc III’s 31-yard touchdown pass to Robert Blyte.
On the next play, Trent Shumate, a converted defensive back now playing running back, scored on a 44-yard run with 8:58 showing in the second quarter, giving Arlington Bowie the lead for good.
James scored on a 27-yard keeper on Arlington Bowie’s next possession. James’ most sensational play was an 80-yard run in which he ran left, reversed field and sprinted through Mesquite defenders as if they were standing still.
Blythe was Mesquite’s biggest threat, catching four passes for 80 yards and rushing for 50 more. Arlington Bowie rushed for 420 yards.
The Arlington Bowie defense held Mesquite to 229 yards total offense, but DeArman wasn’t impressed and wasn’t smiling afterward
“It’s just a sad situation,” he said. “[Perry] is down and we’ve got to rebound.”
Keaton Perry out with injury.
Follow Tommy Cummings on Twitter at @tommycummings.
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