Written by Matt Wixon
Wixon: Senior QB throws for 4 TDs as Skyline routs Arlington Bowie, 52-28
Stingy defense, potent offense help Raiders avenge last year’s loss to Arlington Bowie
The first time Arlington Bowie quarterback Tony James tried to run the ball Friday night, a trio of Skyline defenders took him down in the backfield. It was the kind of Skyline defensive swarm few players have been able to escape from in recent years.
James escaped from it many times a year ago. But not on Friday, when Skyline’s defense had few holes — and its offense punched a bunch of them in Bowie’s defense — during a 52-28 rout at Forester Stadium.
Skyline senior quarterback Sederian Copeland had a fantastic game, throwing for 235 yards and four touchdowns — two each to the potent receiver combo of Carlos Strickland and Savon Rollinson. Copeland also ran for two touchdowns as Skyline’s offense, with a balance of short passes and physical running, rolled up 484 yards.
But for Skyline (2-1), No. 8 in the Class 5A area rankings, defense was most responsible for reversing the outcome of last year’s 38-36 loss to Bowie. James, a lightning-quick junior who rushed for 184 yards against Skyline last season, managed only 36 yards on 13 carries.
“Did you see what he did to us the last time?” Skyline coach Reginald Samples said of James. “We were going to let somebody else beat us this time.”
By the time No. 3 Bowie (2-1) got a first down, the game was a 38-0 smackdown. Skyline scored touchdowns on its first five possessions, while Bowie’s first five possessions ended with four punts, a lost fumble and a total of 9 yards of offense.
On its sixth possession, Bowie went 70 yards in a little more than a minute, capped by James’ 20-yard touchdown pass to Jamal Brown. After Skyline turned over the ball on downs with 31 seconds left in the half, Bowie drove 68 yards in just three plays, helped by a personal foul on Skyline. James’ 21-yard pass to Anthony Hawkins gave Bowie its second touchdown in the last two minutes.
Bowie drove for a touchdown on its first possession of the third quarter, cutting the lead to 38-21. But Skyline followed with a touchdown drive that was probably its most impressive, and certainly most important, of the night.
With Bowie’s three straight touchdowns putting some pressure on Skyline, the Raiders drove 69 yards for a touchdown. The drive included a conversion on fourth-and-8, when Copeland connected with Strickland across the middle for a 19-yard gain that set up a first-and-goal. Two plays later, Copeland spun away from a sack attempt, scrambled to his right and scored on a 7-yard run that pushed the lead back to 24.
Skyline’s defense then came up with one more big play to push the game farther out of reach. With four minutes left in the third quarter, defensive lineman Mychealon Thomas recovered Trent Shumate’s fumble to give Skyline the ball at the Bowie 26. Anthony Baker ran for a touchdown from there, giving Skyline a 52-21 lead.
“They’re a great team, and when you play a great team, they’re going to respond,” Samples said. “I’m just happy with the way we responded after that.”
Follow Matt Wixon on Twitter at @mattwixon.
Get the latest Dallas sports news at SportsDayDFW.com