MIDLAND -- Arlington Bowie wanted to establish its running game to open up the passing game. It seemed like a sound plan, but that never materialized against El Paso Franklin.
There wasn't a reason for the Volunteers to air it out, after all. They gained substantial yardage on every handoff, pounding their way to a 31-14 victory over the Cougars in a Class 5A Division I area-round game Friday afternoon at Grande Communications Stadium.
Bowie (11-1) knocked out Franklin (10-2) for the second consecutive season in the area round, and it will face the Coppell-DeSoto winner.
"It's another week of practice for us and we're going to keep going as far as we can in the playoffs," said sophomore quarterback Tony James, who had 146 of the team's 365 rushing yards.
"Coming into it today, we wanted to pass but the run game was doing so good we kept with it."
It showed from the first play of the game when James sprinted 32 yards into Franklin territory. Three plays later, the Vols had a 7-0 lead when James found the end zone on a 16-yard run.
Franklin went three-and-out on its first possession and a poor punt gave Bowie the ball on its 49-yard line.
James rushed for 35 of the 51 yards in that drive and scored from 1 yard out to give the Vols an early 14-0 lead.
Franklin answered by forcing a fumble and recovering it in Bowie territory. The Cougars scored on the next play, a 35-yard touchdown pass from Cameron Candelaria to Marcos Hernandez.
It didn't take long for the Vols to regain momentum, though. They put together an 11-play, 78-yard scoring drive, with James rushing for his third touchdown of the opening quarter.
That 21-7 lead held until halftime, and Bowie started pulling away in the second half. Senior Don Jerry scored on a 2-yard run early in the third quarter, and the Vols' defense allowed only a touchdown in the second half. Franklin, which entered averaging 42 points a game, had its lowest point total of the season.
"By no means was it our best game, but I'll take a 31-14 victory in the second round," Bowie coach Kenny Perry said. "Our defense is playing lights out. Our special teams were great and that's going to be a plus going into next week. We're a pretty hot team right now."
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