BOWIE – Quarterback Rodney Manning’s stellar performance along with a stout defensive effort enabled the Bowie High School football team to earn a shutout win, 51-0, at home on Sept. 6 over High Point High School to open its season in a dominant fashion.
Manning completed 8 of 10 passes for 167 yards and threw four touchdowns to lead the way for the Bulldogs (1-0). Bowie’s defense was able to force five turnovers to get off to a strong start while applying relentless pressure on High Point’s offense, preventing them from scoring.
Wide receiver Tyrin Woodby also had an impressive evening. He started by scoring the Bulldogs’ first touchdown of the game on a scintillating 74-yard punt return. After his punt return, defensive end James Tyson collected a fumble and returned it for a touchdown.
Manning followed up with an 11-yard pass to senior Devan Parrish as the Bulldogs led 21-0 after the first quarter.
Bowie extended its lead to 44-0 by halftime thanks to two scoring plays between Manning and Woodby (one on a 64-yard pass and the other on a 7-yard pass), a blocked punt that led to a safety and a 16-yard touchdown play from Manning to Vincent Vines.
Bowie Head Coach Augustus Parrish credits much of their success to Manning’s growth into the quarterback role. The 6-foot-1 junior is entering his second year as the starter and has taken “ownership and leadership of the offense and of the overall team,” Parrish said.
“I think we’ll go as far as he takes us,” Parrish said. “Of course you need other guys to step up, but I truly feel like he’s the heartbeat of our team. He’s a character guy, you love to have him on your team, you love to have him as a leader. And he truly embraces that.”
Manning acknowledged his linemen, his receivers and the Bulldog defense for a phenomenal all-around effort to begin the season. Woodby finished with 145 total yards for three scores. Vines, a senior wide receiver, also came up big as he recorded four receptions for 87 yards and two touchdowns in the big win.
“When we started to settle down, things started to click and we executed the plays,” Manning said. “And today, about my role, it really wasn’t about me. I really can’t take any credit, it was the line. The line did a phenomenal job, I didn’t really get touched in general. The receivers made a lot of big plays to open the game.”
On their opening series, the Eagles (0-1) lost Keshaun Griffin, one of their primary contributors on offense and defense, to a high-ankle sprain, according to Head Coach Wilbert Brinson. Losing the junior, who was his team’s leading rusher last season, greatly affected High Point early in the contest and it had a significant impact on the outcome of the game, Brinson added.
“For me, that was the difference because we’re a ball-control team,” Brinson said. “It was obvious when the game started they couldn’t do nothing with us, but again I take my hat off to them. It’s football, it’s a team sport. We’re gonna strap it up and be ready to go next week.”
Griffin, one of High Point’s running backs and cornerbacks, finished with only four carries for 23 yards rushing. The Eagles play a style of offense that relies on the running game, said Brinson, but High Point’s ability to execute on offense just was not the same without Griffin.
“We lost that whole opportunity because that’s going to open up the outside,” Brinson said. “When we lost him (Griffin), we lost our ability to take the edge also and do our play action. So we were never able to get into our game plan.”
The Bulldogs held High Point quarterback Waindim Tufoin to 2 of 11 passing for 24 yards with an interception, a fumble and a mishandled snap.
“The effort was there, we didn’t quit,” Tufoin said. “On offense, it sucks that we failed to get into the end zone but we still got eight more weeks so there’s more to our season.”
On defense, Brinson felt his players could have pressured Manning a little better, and that the special teams could have done better as well.
“Well we didn’t quit, that’s the main thing,” Brinson said. “We lost our starting running back, starting corner (Deshaun Griffin)…but you know, we put forth an effort. They (Bowie) made the big plays, you gotta give them credit, so I’m not disappointed in my guys because they played to the end.”
Bowie will take on Northwestern High School next and High Point will try to recover from the tough loss as it hosts Eleanor Roosevelt High School. Both games are scheduled to take place on Sept. 13 at 7 p.m.