Football: Defense dominates for Bowman, Roosevelt
By Tommy Williams For Sun-Times Media August 16, 2014 11:02PM
Gary Roosevelt's Randell Felix waits to run a play against Bowman during a high school football scrimmage in Gary, IN., on Saturday, August 16, 2014. | John Smierciak/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 18, 2014 6:47AM
GARY — So who had the best performance in Saturday’s Roosevelt-Bowman scrimmage?
The Bowman defense, at least in the first half, would get a few votes, as would the Panthers defense in the second half.
Roosevelt wide receiver Richard Gordon merits mention, fighting an ankle injury to catch a second-half TD pass. The same can be said about Eagle Malcolm Gibbs, who had a strong game on defense, something his coach has grown to expect from him.
“Malcolm is Malcolm. He’s reliable and will make some plays,” Bowman coach David Nelson said.
But MVP mentions should also go out to Funkadelic, Rick James and Marvin Gaye, none of whom are listed on either team’s roster. But all three played a major role in making the event a lot more soulful than the average scrimmage.
Roosevelt played ’80’s R&B music during the scrimmage, which might have made it the only game in the state that you could dance to. But there was a method behind the madness.
“That was for the fan base today,” Roosevelt coach Ronald White said. “Today was a meet-and-greet with the parents today. I wanted to talk to them and let them know what I expect of them this season.”
What Nelson expects from his Eagles is a much better tune than what he heard Saturday.
“I would give us an F,” Nelson said when asked how he would grade his team’s performance. “I’m not happy, I’m not happy at all. We played better during our scrimmages over the summer and we’ve played better with fewer players.”
Gibbs was the exception, though, playing well on defense for the Eagles and picking off a Roosevelt pass.
“If I had 30 Malcolms on this team I would guarantee an undefeated season,” Nelson said.
Bowman might have gotten a better grade from its coach had the Eagles played as well offensively in the second half as they did in the first. The Roosevelt offense woke up in the second half, scoring twice.
“It was our first time having contact and they didn’t know what to expect,” White said. “Once they got into a groove and came together as an offensive unit, we started to execute our plays.”
Gordon’s TD catch and running back Randell Felix scoring on a short run accounted for the Panthers scoring Saturday.
“Everyone was doing their part today,” Gordon said. “The ankle bothered me in the first half and I could barely run, but I got used to it in the second half.”
Both teams begin their seasons on the road Friday, with Roosevelt heading to Michigan City and Bowman taking on Hanover Central in the Wildcats’ first-ever varsity game.