Arlington Martin is adjusting on the fly, even if that means playing four quarterbacks.
Warriors starter Eric Walker has been out for the season after breaking his ankle Oct. 3 in the first quarter against Arlington Sam Houston. Senior Noah Bondurant and sophomore Tre Brown replaced Walker the rest of that game, as Martin won 40-20.
Last week, the Warriors beat Weatherford 30-0. Brown completed 5 of 14 passes for 51 yards. Martin (4-2, 3-0 District 4-6A) plays Arlington Bowie (4-2, 2-1) at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Wilemon Field.
Martin coach Bob Wager said the plan at quarterback, as it has been since Walker’s injury, is to rotate with a committee. Brown was the Warriors’ primary passer against Weatherford, but Bondurant and defensive back Tyler Wilson also could see time against Bowie, Wilson most likely in a Wildcat package. Linebacker Josh Watson has been used in goal-line situations, Wager said.
“We’ve had to scale things back a little bit,” Wager said. “[Walker] kept us out of a lot of trouble, just with his aptitude. We’ve had to scale back and basically start over from scratch.”
Martin’s offense has benefited from already being rooted in a strong run game. Junior Nic Smith has rushed for 627 yards and 14 touchdowns, including 158 yards and three scores last week.
That’s also combined with a defense that has found its rhythm after adjusting from the graduation of defensive ends Myles Garrett and Justin Hollins. Both were Division I signees.
Martin switched to a three-man front, anchored by O’Shea Jackson and nose guard D.D. Fletcher. Jackson has committed to Colorado State.
“At this point in the season, it’s not a situation where we’re going to make any major wholesale changes going into a game like this,” Wager said. “We’ve identified who we are. Experimentation is not really a good option against Bowie.”
Fort Worth schools hot
Fort Worth Arlington Heights, Fort Worth South Hills and Fort Worth Dunbar are all undefeated in district play.
Arlington Heights and South Hills are the only remaining 2-0 teams in 7-5A. Dunbar, which won District 6-4A last year, is 2-0 in 6-5A.
Heights and South Hills play next week, likely determining the district champion. But Heights coach Phil Young said his team isn’t looking ahead, even as South Hills continues to lead the state in scoring.
The Scorpions are averaging 67.3 points a game, led by quarterback Tracin Wallace’s 35 combined touchdowns (24 passing, 11 rushing).
“It’s a challenge as a coach, but it’s a good challenge,” Young said. “It’s a lot harder to keep them motivated and focused when it’s going the other direction. This is just the opposite. We’re just trying to keep our heads out of the clouds a little bit.”
Heights started the 2013 season 0-4 before winning five of its next six games to make the playoffs.
Cleburne’s fortunes turn
After starting the year with a pair of blowout losses, Cleburne’s last four games have been within seven points. And the Yellow Jackets have won three of them, all in District 8-5A play.
A 23-18 win at Granbury on Friday kept Cleburne tied for first place, alongside Aledo. The Jackets have also beaten Crowley and Burleson, two other 8-5A teams that made the playoffs last year.
“I think the main thing is that we’ve limited our turnovers,” coach Jeff Merket said. “I just think our kids believe they’re going to win. We have a motto to just keep playing. That’s kind of been what they’ve bought in to.”
Cleburne (3-3, 3-0) plays at Everman (3-3, 1-2) on Friday before hosting Joshua (1-5, 0-3) on Oct. 24.
Player of the Week
With almost 6,500 votes cast among six nominees, Arlington Sam Houston defensive back Lucas Williams is the dfwVarsity Player of the Week for Oct. 9-11.
Williams received 2,722 votes.
Coaches, send nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org. Check the website Monday for Week 8 picks.