Bowsher defensive back Kolton Davis provided the lift the defending City League football champions desperately needed on Thursday night while facing crosstown league rival Scott.
With the score tied in the third quarter, Davis hauled in a punt and made a couple of quick jukes before getting outside of coverage and racing down the Rebels sideline en route to a 70-yard punt return for a touchdown.
It proved to be the single-most significant play of the contest as Bowsher went on to blank Scott in the second half to post a 28-8 victory on the Rebels home field.
PHOTO GALLERY: Bowsher vs. Scott
Davis also intercepted a pass in the second half that halted a Bulldogs drive in Rebels territory.
“The punt return by Kolton Davis was huge,” Bowsher coach Craig Lubinski said. “That opened the game back up for us.”
The special teams score for the Rebels was followed shortly by Bowsher running backs Khane Collins and Mark Washington becoming more effective ballcarriers in the second half. Collins went on to finish the game with 109 yards on 19 carries, including a 3-yard touchdown run after Davis’ score. Washington rushed for most of his 58 yards on eight carries in the second half, including a 12-yard touchdown run.
Bowsher (5-2, 2-0 CL) was caught off guard by Scott (1-6, 0-2 CL) keeping pace during the first half.
“Scott played well. We made a lot of mistakes, but I’m not taking anything away from them. They played extremely well. We made some adjustments at halftime and it showed," Lubinski said.
“Coach told us to straighten up because they’re not going to roll over,” said Collins, who had a 39-yard touchdown run taken away from after a holding penalty was called.
“No team is going to roll over for us. He told us to straighten up and start executing. We’d gotten in the red zone maybe three times and didn’t execute.”
Scott rode an unwanted four-game losing streak into Thursday’s contest with Bowsher, but the Bulldogs didn’t look the part of a team in the first half with only one win in six weeks of action.
They played sound football and the first half. Both teams came through with a scoring drive in the second quarter after neither side could find a way to get into the end zone in the first quarter.
Bowsher broke through when it marched 78 yards on nine plays with Chris Suddeth, playing in place of injured Mac Jewell (knee), found Isaiah Walker on a crossing route for an 11-yard touchdown with 4:47 remaining in the first half. Washington plowed his way into the end zone for the two-point conversion.
The Rebels didn’t own the lead for long.
Scott took the next possession and used only four plays to tie the score. The Bulldogs went 70 yards — running back Kevin Banks accounting for 50 yards with one carry — in just over two minutes to make it clear to the Rebels that they would be in for an unexpected fight.
Tre Brown capped the drive by connecting with Travion Harris for a 7-yard touchdown pass with 2:45 remaining before halftime. Like Bowsher, Scott attempted a two-point conversion and was successful when Day’ vonta Russell scored on a run.
Bowsher missed out on an opportunity to take a lead into halftime when Braiden Greisiger’s attempted 30-yard field goal try was blocked with seven seconds left in the first half. Bowsher was in position to score late in the half after Scott fumbled inside its 20 with less than 20 seconds to play in the second quarter.