BEDFORD — Not much went right for Arlington Bowie's football team Saturday at Pennington Field.
The Volunteers' surprising season ended with a 24-6 loss to unbeaten DeSoto, the state's No. 2-ranked Class 5A team, in a 5A Division I Region I semifinal on a beautiful, warm December afternoon.
Although it held the explosive DeSoto offense (50.6 points a game coming in) to about half of its usual output, Bowie fell behind 10-0 after the Eagles' first two possessions and could manage only a second-quarter touchdown on a 4-yard run by Eric Rivers.
The Volunteers (11-2), who had won 10 in a row since the season's second week, came up empty on trips to the DeSoto 26, 20 and 15.
A 26-yard touchdown run by quarterback Tony James was nullified by a holding penalty; an unsportsmanlike penalty ruined another chance; and a 37-yard field goal hit the left upright and missed at the end of the first half.
In the second half, the Volunteers lost the ball on an interception and a kickoff return when the ball bounced off one of their players.
"We had opportunities, but too many things went against us," Bowie coach Kenny Perry said after addressing his team on the field one last time. "Hat's off to them [DeSoto]. They just wore us down. Lots of good athletes. But it's fun to be in this situation."
The Eagles (13-0) will face another heavyweight bout next Saturday against Southlake Carroll in the Region I final at 2 p.m. at SMU's Ford Stadium.
Dontre Wilson scored all three DeSoto touchdowns, on runs of 6 and 28, sandwiched by a 20-yard reception of a pass thrown by Desmon White. Wilson had 127 rushing yards, 108 in the second half.
White ran for 110 yards, and his scrambles for 37 and 25 yards were keys to the early DeSoto field goal (22 yards by Francisco Obregon, after the Eagles failed to score on two plays inside the 3) and the touchdown.
"We knew he was fast," Perry said of White. "I thought we did a great job taking Wilson out [early]; that was our main goal. We knew we could take one of them out, and [linebacker Edwin] Freeman did.
"We just didn't have enough guys on the field. We needed a 12th guy."
Freeman had an interception that stopped one DeSoto threat after it reached the 1. The Eagles also fell short after getting to the Bowie 20 midway in the third quarter.
What had the makings of a scoring duel -- DeSoto had scored at least 37 points in each of its games; Bowie had less than 30 only once -- instead became a bruising defensive battle.
DeSoto's ground game was the difference after halftime, keying drives of 57 and 69 yards, with Wilson barrelling behind a powerful offensive line.
White (11 of 22, 114 yards) threw only three passes on those drives -- one a key 15-yarder to Chris Lacy on third-and-10, the other the TD to Wilson, who slipped up the middle with single coverage by a linebacker. That made it 17-6 with 33 seconds left in the third quarter.
James, a junior who took over at QB when junior starter Keaton Perry injured a knee in Week 2 and accounted for 35 touchdowns this season, ran for 110 yards on 16 carries, but his only escape to the end zone was wiped out.
Perry protested that call, but wasn't lamenting it afterward.
"I didn't see it," Perry said. "I was just arguing for our kids. Regardless, you know what, they called it, and that's just part of the game. They had penalties, too. I thought the officials was good. I didn't have a problem with that."
Nor did he have a problem with his team's effort.
"Nothing to hang your heads about," he told the Volunteers. "You gave it all you had, you came a lot further than people thought. We've got a lot of guys coming back [next season], and we'll get after it.
"We had a tough year this year, but they fought through it, and did a great job," Perry said.
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