ARLINGTON -- When Keller Central played keep-away and held powerhouse Arlington Bowie to only 14 points in the first half, it only served to awake the sleeping giant.
Bowie ripped off 35 second-half points, including 28 in the first six minutes of the third quarter, and steamrolled Central 49-3 in a Class 5A Division I bi-district playoff game Thursday at Cowboys Stadium.
The Vols (10-1) advanced past the first round for the fifth time in the past seven years and will meet the winner of El Paso Franklin/San Angelo Central in the area round next Friday at 2 p.m. at a site to be determined.
Bowie rolled up 261 of its 481 yards of offense in the third quarter as sophomore quarterback Tony James and his offense took off.
The Vols turned a tight 14-3 halftime lead into a rout with scores on four consecutive possessions to open the third quarter.
"The first half, we had to contend with [Central] controlling the ball and it still seemed like it got to us," Bowie coach Kenny Perry said. "But in the second half, everyone settled down and we started executing."
James, who couldn't find his passing rhythm early, hit 6 of 7 for 91 yards and three touchdowns in the third period.
"I think Tony was nervous," Perry said. "He's played in some big games before, but he is a sophomore and this was Cowboys Stadium."
As impressive as the offense was, it was the Vols' defense that set the tone, especially in the second half, giving up only seven yards and one first down.
"Our defense has been playing lights-out for several weeks now. They really stepped up," Perry said.
Central kept Bowie off the field for much of the first half, but the Chargers' only score came on a 28-yard field goal by Hunter Morrow.
Bowie used two 67-yard drives to take a 14-3 lead.
Don Jerry led Bowie with 206 yards rushing and a touchdown. Eric Rivers caught five passes for 91 yards and two scores. He also scored on a 2-yard run.
Brican Crossley had a combined 106 yards and a pair of TDs.
We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse, images, internet links or any device to draw undue attention. Comments deemed inappropriate will be removed and repeated abusers will be banned. NOTE: If you log in using your Twitter account, your comments will be signed using the name on your Twitter profile, NOT your Twitter user name. Read our full comment policy.