Bowie is one of the best teams in Austin, but Lake Travis is one of the best teams in the state. The Cavaliers showed the distinction between the two in a 42-21 route Friday at Burger Stadium in Austin.
The game was more lopsided than the final score would indicate. Lake Travis junior quarterback Hudson Card threw for 336 yards and four touchdowns on 15-of-19 passing and added a 33-yard score on the ground as the Cavaliers built a 42-7 lead before pulling the starters at halftime.
“I’m really happy with how the offense handled against their No. 1 defense in the first half,” said Lake Travis coach Hank Carter. “That was exciting to see. We ran the ball. We completed some big throws. (We) had a couple of procedural penalties, which we got to clean that up. That’s an unforced error. But other than that really proud of who the offense responded. Special teams units were hit or miss. Our coverage units have got to be better. We’re not where we need to be there… But (we’re) 1-0 in district and that was the goal so that was a great job by our kids tonight.”
Superstar senior wide receiver Garrett Wilson got Lake Travis rolling early. He reversed the field on a wide receiver screen for a 32-yard gain on the second play from scrimmage and capped the opening drive with a 25-yard touchdown grab less than two minutes into the game.
He also caught an intermediate pass in the second quarter and cut it up the field of an 87-yard touchdown to finish with five receptions for 172 yards, and threw an 11-yard score on a double-pass.
But he was not the only Lake Travis playmaker who go involved in the action as junior wide receiver Kyle Eaves and junior tight end Grayson Sandling each matched Wilson’s catch total. Eaves caught five balls for 94 yards with a score and Sandlin hauled in five passes for 74 yards and two touchdowns.
“If we’re going to accomplish our goals this year it can’t be about any one or two guys,” Carter said. “It’s got to be a team effort and I was very proud of how Coach Stein and the offensive staff took what the defense gave us tonight. Hudson spread the ball around and did a great job of it. That’s who we’re going to have to play.”
Bowie marched down the field on its opening possession and tied the game at seven with a nine-play, 74-yard drive that ended with a six-yard touchdown run from junior quarterback Trinidad Sanders.
But Lake Travis held the Bulldogs scoreless on their next seven drives, which is a good sign for a defense that struggled to start last season. The Cavs allowed 141 points in their first three games of 2017. After allowing only seven first downs in the opener to an Arlington Martin team that averaged 45 points per game last year, this is more proof the Lake Travis is better on that side of the ball.
“I thought our defense responded after the first drive. (Bowie) put a great drive together, went down and scored, and after that we made some adjustments and our kids just settled down and just played better,” Carter said. “Last year we had a ton of kids that started and were first-time varsity players or first-time players at that possession. So we have a little more experience so that helps and I think this collection of kids has responded. They’ve heard it from me and our staff all offseason and all summer and all fall camp that we have to play better defense. Hopefully, we’ll continue that trend.”
Bowie was playing without highly-coveted senior wide receiver Elijah Higgins for the third straight game because of a hand/wrist injury. The Bulldogs took another big hit on the medical front when Sander hurt his knee in the third quarter. Sanders was key to the team’s 2-0 start and gained 107 total yards (68 passing, 39 rushing) before leaving the game.
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