After neither team could do much with the ball in the opening half, Willie Roberts changed all that for the Martin Warriors in the final two quarters, coming away with a 27-16 victory against Bowie in a District 4-6A game at Wilemon Field.
Roberts, who had not played much quarterback before Thursday because of an injury early in the season, finished the evening with 150 yards on 11 carries.
In the first half the Warriors had rushed for just 18 yards on 15 carries.
With the victory, the Warriors (5-5 overall) finished third in district with a 5-2 record. The Volunteers (6-4 overall) finished fourth at 4-3.
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Both teams had secured postseason berths prior to Thursday. For the Warriors, this will be a 13th consecutive trip to the playoffs, while the Volunteers are going for the 12th time in 13 years, having had a streak of 11 in a row ended last season.
On the ensuing Bowie possession following Roberts’ go-ahead score, Martin’s Avery Taylor intercepted a pass to set the Warriors up at the Bowie 28. Roberts capped the drive with his second touchdown from a yard out and Martin was up 20-8.
Bowie scored on a 60-yard run by Marsaillus Sims to close to within 20-16. However, Roberts led the Warriors on an 89-yard drive that consumed over five minutes before Alonzo Banks scored on a 1-yard run, and the lead was back to double digits, 27-16.
After Martin got back-to-back field goals of 32 and 38 yards from Nick Rodriguez in the first quarter, Bowie took an 8-6 halftime lead when Malcolm Mays scored from 3 yards out. It was set up when Ty DeArman returned an interception 27 yards to the Martin 26.
Earlier, Bowie drove to the Martin 2, but a fumble gave the ball back to the Warriors at the Martin 5 late in the first quarter.
The Warriors also had a clutch defensive stand after a fake punt netted just 2 yards and gave the Volunteers the ball at the Martin 17. On the next four plays, Bowie went back 16 yards, giving Martin the ball back at its own 33 with 2:42 left in the third.
Martin leads the all-time series against Bowie 18-9. This was also the Warriors’ seventh win in the last nine meetings, including four of the past five at Wilemon.
Game was over when: After Bowie scored on a 60-yard run by Marsaillus Sims late in the third quarter to close within 20-16, Martin countered with a drive that lasted more than five minutes, capped by a 1-yard touchdown by Alonzo Banks to go up 27-16 with 7:09 to play.
Play of the game: Martin’s Willie Roberts came in at quarterback to start the second half, and on the first play he broke free for a 75-yard touchdown run.
Offensive player of the game: Roberts finished the game with 150 yards on 11 carries and the pair of touchdowns. He also completed the only pass he attempted for 8 yards. On defense he had a key interception late in the game.
Defensive player of the game: Avery Taylor’s interception set the Warriors up at the Bowie 28, leading to Roberts’ second TD, a 1-yard score to give Martin a 20-8 advantage.
Unsung hero of the game: Martin’s Alonzo Banks carried eight times for 38 yards, and his lone touchdown, a 1-yard run with 7:09 left in the game, virtually sealed the victory.
What’s next: Martin vs. Euless Trinity or San Angelo Central in bi-district, TBA. Bowie vs. Haltom in bi-district, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 16 at Birdville FA/AC.