— Weatherford at Arlington Bowie
Time: 7 p.m., Thursday (Note: New time)
Site: Wilemon Field
2000 Sam Houston Drive, Arlington
Type: District 3-5A opener
Last year: Bowie 55, Weatherford 3
Bowie Volunteers (2-1)
Last season: 11-2 overall, 7-0 in District 3-5A
Class 5A, DI regional semi-finalist
Last week: Idle
Players to watch: LB Edwin Freeman (6-2, 215, 4.6); QB Tony James (5.9, 160, 4.5); OL Kristopher Thigpen (6-3, 260, 5-3); OL Madison Akamnonu (6-6. 260, 5.0); DE Stody Bradley (6-2, 240, 5.0); WR Anthony Hawkins (5-10, 185, 4.6); RB Trenton Shumate.
Last season: 3-7 overall, 2-5 in District 3-5A
Last week: Idle
Players to watch: OL Jace Ford (6-2, 310, 5.6), OL Keegan Dement (6-4, 265, 5.1), QB Grant Werts (6-2, 205, 4.6) SR Chris Whitling (5-9, 165, 4.6), SR Fred Brownlee (5-8, 165, 4.4), DL James Robinson (6-4, 260, 5.3), RB Jeuqwan Brownlee (5.9, 185, 4.5).
Game notes: Weatherford head coach Weldon Nelms feels like the Kangaroos made good use of their bye week.
“We still have some battles with injury and sickness, but that’s typical season adversity,” the coach said. “I believe we improved during this open week, and I look for us to improve Thursday night against Bowie.
“[Bowie] is fast and very aggressive, and we need to have a strong game against them.”
The Roo offense has displayed moments of brilliance in its three outings, and will look to continue the trend to find more consistency in its ground game to compliment the potential of amassing chunks of real estate through the air.
As always, the push up front provided by WHS’ O-line is a crucial key to offensive success. Nelms is encouraged by the progress he has seen in the unit.
“Our offensive lineman have really improved each week,” Nelms said. “They are growing into a good group.”
Against the (mostly) fleet-footed Arlington schools ahead on the District 3-5A schedule, the Roo defense will aspire to disrupt the run game and take advantage of the angles to stem the big plays, which have plagued the defense thus far. Forcing long drives improves the odds for offensive mistakes. Weatherford’s chances significantly improve if they can win the turnover battle.
For a third-consecutive season, the quarterback situation at Arlington Bowie is much different than the Volunteers had intended going into their 2013 campaign. Senior Keaton Perry suffered a season-ending knee injury in the Vols’ second game of the year.
While Bowie went on to win the game handily over Mesquite, partly on the quick feet of backup signal caller Tony James, the Vols were not so fortunate at Dallas Skyline in the week before their bye week, allowing nearly 500 yards of offense and 52 points in the loss to the Raiders.
But even without a pigskin-slinging quarterback, Bowie still has a very potent offense, a fact not lost on the Roo coaching staff.