JOSHUA - James Bailey ran for 208 yards and three touchdowns and chipped in one receiving touchdown as the Everman Bulldogs (8-2, 7-0) cruised to a 43-20 win over the Joshua Owls (0-10, 0-7) at Owl Stadium. Bailey scored on a six yard in the first half and on Everman's first offensive play of the second half scored from 44 yards out to end any hopes of Joshua pulling off the major upset.
Bailey has been pressed into the starting role in the backfield due to injuries to Everman's top two backs Cory Franklin and Terrence Cook, however the offense hasn't missed a step as Bailey has run for over 200 yards in back to back games. Everman's defense took a hit this week with the loss of DE Lincoln Richard to an ankle injury.
Joshua was able to keep things interesting for the majority of the first half as trailing just 15-0, after runs by Bailey and Pat Small the Owls would get back in it as Jacob Mears picked off an Everman pass and raced 70 yards for the score to cut the lead to 15-6. Bailey would strike right before the half hauling in a 62 yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Devynn Birdow to extend the lead to 22-6 at halftime.
Bailey after scoring to start the second half would add a 63 yard run later to help Everman build up a 43-6 advantage. Joshua senior RB Dylan Byrd would score on a 55 yard catch and run to make it 43-13 Everman.
The game ended in heart warming fashion as with Everman ahead 43-13 Joshua inserted senior manager Jeremiah Robles into the game. Robles, a special needs student at Joshua who has been a major part of the program for all four years of his time in high school scored on a 24 yard run for the final margin of 43-20.
"Jeremiah has been a major part of our program, he's involved in everything we do, every practice, every meeting and every film session," said Joshua assistant coach Reagan Ratcliff. "There were not many dry eyes on our sideline when that happened, it's real special for everyone. He's got the biggest heart on the team and he bleeds blue and white. I'm just so happy he got that chance to shine, this puts everything in perspective for all of us."
Everman will open the Class 4A Division II Bi-District playoffs next Friday night at Waco ISD Stadium against Waco High.
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