Senior Analyst, TheOldCoach.com
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ARLINGTON - In a game billed as a battle for a share of the 3-5A title, the Arlington Martin Warriors (8-2, 6-1) did a fantastic job in turning the battle into a laugher Thursday night at Cravens Field blasting the Arlington Bowie Volunteers (7-3, 5-2) 47-18. It's been a wild week and a half for Martin who saw their playoff hopes nearly get dashed with three forfeits. Earlier in the week, the forfeits were overturned by the UIL SEC and now the Warriors have a share of the 3-5A title. The Martin defense led by Myles Garrett and Justin Hollins harassed Bowie QB Keaton Perry all night and forced four turnovers which proved to be the difference.
The Warriors started the game quickly as on the first play from scrimmage sophomore RB Nic Smith ripped off a 63 yard run to put the Warriors in prime scoring position. Smith would finish the game with 191 yards rushing and a touchdown, but this drive would end with just a field goal as kicker Spencer Evans drilled a 28 yard field goal giving the Warriors a 3-0 lead. After an exchange of punts the Warriors got their first turnover deep in Vols territory as Josh Hall picked off sophomore QB Anthony Hawkins. Four plays later Jalum Bouldin scored from 34 yards out and Martin led 10-0.
After a big kickoff return for Bowie down to the Martin 31, the Vols moved down to the MHS four yard line but a fumble on fourth and goal from the five ended the threat for Bowie. The Warriors would punt and again Bowie would move deep in to MHS territory but a fumble on the Martin eleven yard line ended the Vols chances to get on the board. The Warriors would put together their best drive of the game going 89 yards in fourteen plays capped with a 28 yard pass from QB Eric Walker to Michael Wilson to put Martin up 17-0.
Bowie would finally get on the board late in the first half as Brican Crossley scored on a three yard run cutting the MHS lead to 17-6 with 1:27 left in the first half. That would prove to be too much time as Martin quickly and efficiently moved sixty yards in just five plays scoring on a one yard run by Josh Watson with thirteen seconds left in the first half making it 24-6 Martin.
After a Bowie three and out to open the second half Martin appeared to put the game on ice with Smith scoring on a 19 yard scamper to make the score 31-6. The Vols would dominate the middle of the third quarter and appeared to be on the verge of jumping back in the game. Bowie's first score was on a 93 yard drive as Trenton Shumate scored on a three yard run making the score 31-12 as the PAT was no good. After a quick Martin three and out, Bowie would get a 71 yard run from Shumate to cut the Martin lead to 31-18 with 3:43 left in the third. Disaster struck Bowie as they went for two as Perry's pass into the end zone was picked off by Josh Hall who ran it 102 yards the other way for two Martin points and a 33-18 lead with momentum clearly having been zapped from the Bowie sideline.
Martin would end any hopes of a miracle comeback on the next drive as Walker and Wilson hooked up from 18 yards out and a 40-18 edge for the Warriors. Bowie removed several starters from the game late in the fourth on offense and Martin was able to add one more score for window dressing at 47-18.
Both teams are headed to the playoffs but their seasons are headed in different directions, Arlington Martin will take on Keller Central next Thursday 7:30pm at Newsom Stadium in Mansfield while Arlington Bowie takes on Southlake Carroll in a game likely to be played at Coppell.