JACKSBORO—The kid can do it all, and on Thursday night, he proved it.
Shane Bowman, the eighth-grade quarterback for the Jacksboro Eagles, propelled the team to a 14-10 victory over the Oneida Indians.
Bowman came around the right edge, crossing the goal line with 19.6 seconds remaining in the contest. The score was enough to give Oneida its first loss in five years.
“I was just thinking, ‘If I let him tackle me, I will never forget this for the rest of my life,’” Bowman said. “I’m glad I got in.”
Although Bowman won’t remember the bad, he said he’d definitely remember the good in the night.
On both touchdowns Bowman scored, from 1 yard and 5 yards out, he was looking for an open man. When nothing was available, he opted to take it himself.
“They’re an outstanding team, for sure,” the eighth grader said. “They had our receivers across the board, pretty well. Our linemen stepped up at the beginning of the game, telling me, ‘We’ve got you. Don’t be nervous. I’ve got you. If you need to take it, just take it.’ That’s what I did.”
The eighth grader finished the game with 13-of-20 passing, while his receivers dropped four passes, for 93 yards. Bowman also ran for 13 yards and two touchdowns on three carries, while finding three tackles and a forced fumble. He also averaged 28.75 yards per kickoff, while his longest went for 38 yards.
For head coach Mike Miller, the feeling was indescribable after Jacksboro ended Oneida’s reign.
Last season, the Indians defeated the Eagles by a score of 34-6 in the regular season, before knocking Jacksboro from a championship with a 28-18 final score.
“You’re quarterback’s got to be that leader, just like you’re middle linebacker,” Miller said. “He’s done a really good job this year.
“I can’t describe it. [Onieda] is a class act. They’re so fundamental and so physical, it’s just hard to put in words how they play.”
However, it was Jacksboro’s lines that stepped up the game.
Last season, the Indians averaged 9.2 yards per carry. The team rushed for 400 total yards, while implementing 10 different rushers in the Wing-T set.
This season, however, the Indians were held to 5.9 yards per carry, while gaining 225 yards on 38 carries.
“We thought this line was going to be special, because we’ve never had a line of this size before,” Miller said. “We’ve never had this size, going into a season. We were really excited about it.”
Seth Cross led Oneida with 139 yards on 24 carries (5.8 yards per carry).
“It’s awesome,” lineman Patrick Seiber said. “I can’t even explain how happy I am right now. I think it gives us momentum for the rest of the season. It’s one of the hardest linemen, I think, we’ll play all year.”
The game was the second one in two weeks where the Eagles fought back in the fourth quarter. Last week, the team defeated Grace Christian in overtime before taking down the Indians last Thursday.
According to Miller, the two teams were going to be Jacksboro’s biggest games, forcing his squad to grow up fast.
“They’ve responded in both fourth quarter situations,” Miller said. “Last week, they put it overtime and won it. This week, we won it with 19.6 seconds left. We’re pretty happy right now.”
Oneida got things started with 2:09 left in the first quarter. After its offense stalled on the 1-yard line, Jacksboro found itself deep in its own territory. Austin West broke through the line, stopping Jordan Bolton in the end zone for a safety. Oneida led 2-0, as the lead held until halftime.
On the Indians first drive of the second half, it put together an eight-play, 65-yard drive. Cross led the way, going 27 yards on five plays. Toby Hatmaker finished the drive, going 36 yards behind Logan Stephens. Cross finished the two-point conversion to make the score 10-0 with 4:47 left in the third quarter.
Jacksboro put together a drive that chewed away 3:55 of the clock. Bolton carried most of the load, in the 10-play, 38-yard drive. Bowman finished the drive with a 1-yard score. Bolton took the two-point conversion in for a 10-8 score, as Oneida led with 42 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
The Eagle’s next drive was it’s longest. Jacksboro used an 11-play, 38-yard drive that ate 6:06 of the eight-minute fourth quarter. Bowman completed all four of his passes in the drive, before he took the option to run. The 5-yard score came after Bowman broke two scores to defeat the Indians.