AUSTIN — Copperas Cove needed more time Friday night. More time to find its rhythm, more time to make adjustments and more time to keep the plays rolling. The Bulldawgs imposed their will in the second half by shutting down the Austin Bowie offense and scoring 21 unanswered points, but in the end came up short, 42-28, at Burger Stadium.
Coming out of halftime, Cove (0-3) found its groove on both sides of the ball. After a fumble on the first possession, defensive back Jalien Thomas forced a turnover of his own.
Following a slant route completion to freshman wide receiver Trishtin Glass, quarterback Shane Richey began to work with Craig Brown and then gave it to Bra’Dyn Brooks-Smith for a 3-yard carry into the end zone. With 2:54 left in the third quarter, the Bulldogs were back on the board but still trailing 42-14.
On Cove’s next possession, Richey connected with wide receiver Demetrius Pearce, which set up a 17-yard catch and carry from Malcom Roberts to chip further into Bowie’s lead.
Junior defensive back Dayne Holden along with linebacker Caleb Kenney stopped Austin Bowie’s advance downfield securing the defense’s first of three stops on the night.
As the third quarter progressed, Holden and Kenney had help from Terrell Tardy and Aleczander Patterson in shutting down lanes and putting pressure on Bowie quarterback Diego Tello. Senior defensive back Chandler Gastello registered one monster tackle on Noah Camacho to begin the fourth quarter.
With 2:48 left in the game, a Roberts touchdown was called back. On the following play, Richey dropped a dime to freshman wide receiver Glass in the right-hand corner to bring the Bulldogs within 14, 42-28.
But the Cove scoring stopped there.
Bowie’s Bulldogs (3-0) looked confident riding the momentum from last week’s win against Georgetown and scored on all but one possession in the first half of play.
The offensive line tasked with protecting senior quarterback Tello was effective. Tello never felt any real pressure and was able to sit back and work through progressions until he found either his wide receiver Cash Peters or running back Max Burns.
Tello also worked well with star running back Noah Camacho, who laid the groundwork for all of Bowie’s red zone visits. On their fifth possession, Camacho alone had three carries for 50 yards, which set up a 10-yard dart to tight end Grayson Foradory in the end zone. Midway through the second quarter Austin Bowie was up 35-0.
With only 5:48 left in the half, the Bulldogs finally began to show some life. After difficulties connecting with Roberts, Richey leaned on junior Craig Brown for two carries and 12 yards, then found Glass for a 20-yard completion to put the Bulldawgs in Bowie territory.
After some costly penalties against Bowie, Richey kept the ball on third-and-goal and weaved his way into the end zone to finally put the Bulldogs on the scoreboard 35-7.
Bowie’s final possession of the half started with a sack by Cove senior Justin McCarrel and finished with a missed field goal.
Throughout the first two quarters, Richey was forced to deal with high snaps, unrelenting pressure from Bowie linebackers Jack Cole and Tres Danaher and a running game which struggled to build any momentum.
FRIDAY'S AREA SCORES
- Austin Bowie 42, Copperas Cove 28
- Cibolo Steele 21, Ellison 7
- Florence 48, Bruceville-Eddy 18
- Harker Heights 64, Round Rock McNeil 28
- Lake Belton 28, Poteet 20
- Lorena 54, Gatesville 0
- Pflugerville Hendrickson 17, Belton 14
- Shoemaker 52, Kerrville Tivy 21
- Stephenville 48, Salado 21
- Wimberley 45, Lampasas 21