The threat of Noah Camacho breaking out a long run for Bowie had loomed throughout the Bulldogs’ 42-0 win over Akins Friday at Burger Stadium. For his first half touchdown, he’d dragged two defenders into the end zone with him. The Akins linebackers and secondary struggled to bring him down alone. Camacho averaged 6.5 yards per carry in the first 24 minutes, but his longest run was 15 yards.
With just under four minutes left in the third quarter and Ables preparing to sub on his backups, it happened. Camacho ran down the middle as he had numerous times before, but this time the defense was late swarming him. He snaked left, then right, and outran the Akins secondary to the endzone.
"I just saw the defender in the corner of my eye, so I just made one move and then I was off," Camacho said. "Shoutout to my linemen though, they made a great pull."
Nowhere was the gulf between Akins (1-5, 0-4 District 26-6A) and Bowie (2-2, 2-1) so clear. En route to thrashing Akins on homecoming night, the Bulldogs racked up 231 rushing yards. The Eagles finished with nine on 19 attempts. Two Akins players finished the night with negative rushing yardage.
"Our offensive line came out great, and we really punched it in with the running game," Camacho said. "And then, it took us a while to get the passing game started, but once that started, we could open up run and pass. It was really great."
Coming off an unexpected bye week because Westlake was forced to postpone last Friday’s game after positive coronavirus tests, Bowie had its best "practice week," Camacho said.
It showed immediately. It took fewer than four minutes for Bowie to get on the board. Camacho did the bulk of the work before quarterback Diego Tello found Jason Gaines on the right sideline at the one-yard line. On the next play, Tello kept the ball himself and finished the drive.
Akins earned a pair of first downs on its first drive. Then TJ Jarrett received a pitch and tried splitting the middle as he’d watched Camacho do to start the game. He earned the yardage for a first down, but as Bowie defenders converged on him, the ball slipped out. The Bulldogs were first to the ball, and it wouldn’t take long for them to extend their advantage.
Bowie marched down the field again with Camacho picking up 21 yards on the drive. Then the Bulldogs turned to Gaines to run the ball in from the 1-yard line. Taking a direct snap, Gaines ran for the right edge of the defense and his dive and extension was enough for the touchdown before he landed out of bounds.
"Our offense played really well," Bowie head coach Jeff Ables said. "They were just clicking, moving the ball, scoring points. They looked really good. They were focused. They were ready to play."
Akins’ miscues continued. Josh McCormick fumbled before he could punt, and after picking up the ball, he ran backwards, trying to create enough room to throw the ball away. He couldn’t, and Bowie gained back possession on downs on the Akins 17. Bowie didn’t waste time utilizing the field position.
On the first play of the second quarter, Tello found Anthony Simmons in the right corner of the end zone. Four minutes later, Camacho got his first touchdown. From the 8-yard line, he broke through and carried two defenders with him for the score.
"I'm really pleased with the progress that our guys are making week-to-week, so very proud of them," Ables said. "They've always given us a good effort, so that hasn't been an issue. So learning and getting better, they're doing that every week."
Bowie nearly added another touchdown late in the first half. Gaines used his speed down the right sideline to create separation, and Tello’s pass hit Gaines in stride. He ran away to the end zone, but the referees had gathered at midfield. A lengthy discussion prompted a man in the press box to ask, "Got that Jeopardy song?" When they exited the huddle, it was ruled Gaines had stepped out of bounds and not reestablished position, so the pass was incomplete.
Tello would throw his second touchdown pass later in the game. With plenty of time in the pocket, he picked out Adrian Rodriguez in the back of the end zone. Then Camacho unleashed his 47-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter before Ables sent out the second unit.
The Akins offensive line struggled heavily throughout the game. They were unable to create consistent openings for the running game. Quarterback Quincy Welch was nearly always on the move, flushed out of the pocket. Akins remains the last winless team in District 26-6A and has scored just 29 points through four district games.
A second consecutive district win for Bowie moves them to fourth in the same district. The Bulldogs face the toughest part of their schedule next with games against No. 7 Lake Travis and No. 4 Westlake in back-to-back weeks.
"We just got to have another good practice week," Camacho said. "That's what makes good games, and I think with this win, we can get enough momentum to carry it on to the next game."