It’s been a rough 24 hours for the Arlington Bowie football team.
On Thursday, starting defensive end, senior Anthony Strather lost his life when he was shot and killed in Arlington. The program canceled its freshman and junior varsity football games.
The varsity team, led by head coach Danny DeArman, played Fort Worth Trimble Tech in a District 4-6A matchup on Friday at Clark Stadium.
But it was much more than a game.
“We are absolutely heartbroken to have lost a best friend, loving brother and loyal teammate in Tony Strather. We are hurting as a Bowie family, and, as we grieve as a team, we will take the field tonight and play in honor of Tony. We appreciate all of the care, concern and prayers shared with our Bowie Vols, and I know we will continue to need that support in the coming weeks. We hope you extend those prayers to Tony’s family,” DeArman said in a statement issued by Arlington ISD.
The school held a balloon launch Friday afternoon. Per Arlington ISD, coaches and players weren’t available after the game, out of respect for their privacy and to allow them to grieve.
“We appreciate all of the care, concern and prayers shared with our Bowie Vols, and I know we will continue to need that support in the coming weeks. We hope you extend those prayers to Tony’s family,” said DeArman in the statement.
To pay tribute to Strather, every player had the No. 46 on the front-right side of their jersey. Cheerleaders painted the No. 46 on the left side of their face and orange balloons were tied all along Bowie’s side, and signs were hung up that said ‘play for 46’ and ‘LLT’ which means Long Live Tony. The Bowie captains held Strather’s jersey during the coin toss and a moment of silence was held before the national anthem.
But there was still a game to be played and the Volunteers, who are ranked No. 9 in the latest Dallas-Fort Worth Class 6A area rankings, beat the Bulldogs 55-3. They led 48-0 at intermission.
Quarterback Drevvon Ponder hit Paul Alexander on a 23-yard touchdown pass to put Bowie on top 7-0 with 8:23 left in the first quarter. D’Aunte Prevost scored on a 1-yard TD run and Renaldo Campbell returned an interception 24 yards for another Bowie score in the opening period.
The Volunteers (6-1, 4-0 District 4-6A) scored 28 more points in the second quarter.
Marsaillus Sims scored on a 9-yard TD run and Tre Martin recorded Bowie’s second pick-six with a 30-yard return and 34-0 lead with 10:41 until the break. Ponder connected with Prevost on a 26-yard pass and Kameron Sanders added an 8-yard TD run to push the lead to 48-0 at halftime.
Zaid Abujarad rushed in a 10-yard TD midway through the third quarter to close out the Bowie scoring.
The Vols outgained the Bulldogs 342-23. Tech was held to negative yardage at half. Sims led all rushers with 66 yards on four carries. Garly Russel added 45 yards on 10 attempts.
Abraham Mariscal hit a 22-yard field for Trimble Tech, which dropped to 2-5 overall and 0-4.
Bowie remains tied for first with Martin in district with their matchup coming on Nov. 7 to close out the regular season. The Warriors beat Arlington on Friday. The Volunteers get FW Paschal on Oct. 25.