Troy Elliot and Brandon Bowling knew this day was coming. And a game that was one just a rivalry between schools had a little extra flavor
Since the two players committed to Arkansas State back in the summer Oct. 30 has been on each other’s mind. Bowling plays receiver for McKinney Boyd and Elliot is a lineman for Flower Mound Marcus.
Marcus sits 6-1 overall and 5-1 in league play while Boyd is 4-3, 3-2 in the conference. The schools are 35 minutes apart and located east of Dallas.
“I can’t see both teams not making the playoffs,’’ said Marcus coach Gerry Stanford. “Both teams are having a good year and we had a great game with them last year. This is such a strong district, probably the toughest in Texas. You don’t know what you are going to get each week because all of the teams are so good.”
Stanford said Elliott was a defensive lineman when he arrived two years ago.
“We moved him over to the offensive line and like with any position, the second year you play a whole lot better,’’ the coach said. “He’s having a good year and has been a leader for us on the offensive line. He is who we depend on when we need yards.”
Even though he is concentrating on his mid-term studies this week, Elliott said he and Bowling have talked briefly via text.
“I’m sure it is going to be a good game,’’ he said. “I don’t know if we are going to be able to talk after the game.”
Arkansas State co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Glen Elarbee is expected to attend the game.
“Brandon is a great player and does a lot of things well for them,’’ said Stanford. “They use him in a lot of different ways and he is a dynamic kickoff returner. They will throw to him a lot and let him run it some. He’s a great player.”
Bowling is coming off a good game in a victory over Plano were he caught 4 for 85 yards and a touchdown. For the season he has rushed for 78 yards and four touchdowns and has caught 29 passes for 450 yards and 4 touchdowns. He also has a kickoff return for a score.
“I'm pretty pleased with my season,’’ he said. “We have won 3 in a row, beat all of the Plano teams, and we are trying to make the playoffs. Our district is pretty good.”
He said he planned on texting Elliott before the game.
“Maybe I will see him after it,’’ he said.
Bowling said he and Rowlett quarterback Logan Bonner are trying to make plans for another visit to Jonesboro. He has been watching the Red Wolves on TV, winning against South Alabama and UL-Lafayette.
“We are trying to get up there for a game. I was hoping to go to Georgia State but my parents are out of town. I think Logan and I are going to come up for Texas State.
Stanford said he still hears from coaches about Elliott, but “he has shut it down. He’s committed to Arkansas State and is not even allowing anyone else in the conversation. He takes no calls.”