Bowden, Wells help Harding run past East
||All-American Conference Gold Tier
||All-American Conference Red Tier
By JAKE DUNGAN
The run game for Warren Harding was out in full force from the first snap of the game as junior quarterback Lynn Bowden raced 65 yards for a touchdown to set the tone Friday night at Rayen Stadium.
Bowden added a 5-yard touchdown run and threw a 13-yard scoring pass to Marlin Richardson later in the opening quarter and the Raiders went on to beat East, 45-13.
Junior running back Isaiah Wells also contributed to Harding’s ground game with 149 yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries.
“I’m very proud of him,” Raiders coach Steve Arnold said. “Isaiah’s a heck of a runner. People have just not had an opportunity to see a lot of him because we have a pretty good tailback in front of him in [Keemari Murry], who has a knee injury. The offensive line did a good job tonight of creating holes for Isaiah as well.”
Wells echoed that sentiment.
“The line was doing really good,” he said. “They did a good job in their preparation this week and were able to get the job done. The receivers did well down the field blocking. All I did was just fill in the blanks and get the ball in the end zone.”
The Raiders (6-3) led 35-0 before the Panthers (2-7) got on the board in the second quarter when Imoni Donadelle sprinted 38 for East’s first score.
East coach P.J. Mays was pleased with his team’s efforts to battle back in the second quarter, but gave a lot of credit to the Raiders on their performance.
“It’s a small consolation in a game like this,” Mays said. “They have the best player in the area and we have some really good guys, but their overall team is a complete group and we’re still trying to build that. What everyone around this area wants to become is who they are.”
Things quieted down significantly in the second half as a 25-yard field goal by Raiders senior kicker Nate Marcheck accounted for the only scoring on either side for the remainder of the contest, but the damage was already done as Harding finished the night with 253 rushing yards on 35 carries with five of its six touchdowns coming on the ground.
The Raiders were coming off a 27-19 loss to Cardinal Mooney last week.
“We were able to get off to a good start and the momentum kind of propelled us to continue to play well throughout the course of the game,” Arnold said. “I’m proud of the guys. We knew we just had to come here and take care of business.”
Bowden was pulled for precautionary reasons to avoid injury after Harding had padded their lead to a significant margin, according to Arnold.
“We thought we had a comfortable lead,” he said, “And there was no need to leave him in the game with a big game next week for us. You just don’t want to risk injury.”
The Panthers didn’t help their cause much incurring seven penalties and turning the ball over six times.
“What we’re trying to do is do the best we can with our guys and try to make sure that they understand the game of football and play it to a higher level,” Mays said. “We’re just trying to get these guys some wins and some success. Our program needs some success.”
Both teams will conclude their regular season campaigns next week as Warren Harding heads to Howland to take on the Tigers while the Panthers will host Hubbard.