In a game that the East Dubuque Warriors needed to win Friday night, senior quarterback Sam Bowman delivered.

The Telegraph Herald Athlete of the Week completed 12 of 20 passes for 171 yards and four touchdowns as the Warriors defeated Eastland/Pearl City, 50-15.

“Sam really found his groove Friday night,” East Dubuque coach Joe Edler said. “He’s got a natural arm and is a top-tier quarterback in our conference.”

So far this season, Bowman has completed 81 of 154 passes for 905 yards and 12 touchdowns.

“Friday was a big game for us, and my teammates were looking to me to step up and lead the charge,” Bowman said. “Our offensive line really did a great job of controlling the line and giving me time to throw, and our receivers made some great catches in the rain. It was a team effort.”

Edler said that Bowman’s leadership skills have been top-notch, both on and off the field.

“Sam just continues to improve and has become more of a vocal leader this season,” Edler said. “The guys trust him and look to him for guidance. He’s also a great kid off the field who goes out of his way to help others.”

The road hasn’t been an easy one for Bowman, who missed out on a fall football season his junior year due to the pandemic. When it was announced that the Warriors would get a shortened spring season, he went straight from basketball to the gridiron.

“We didn’t get much time to prepare, but we were thankful for the opportunity to play,” Bowman said.

Then, four games into the spring season, Bowman suffered a broken fibula, ending his football season. The injury also cost him all of his junior baseball season.

“It sucked,” Bowman said. “To finally get a chance to play football again and then to have it end like that was hard for me. Once I got the OK to start jogging in July, I had a new mentality.

“This football season has turned into a revenge season for me. The injury gave me a ton of motivation to train harder and get back out there to make the most of my senior season.”

Bowman has plans of continuing his football career next fall at the collegiate level.

“I’ve loved football for as long as I can remember, and I’m excited for the chance to continue playing next year,” he said. “I have some schools that I am interested in, but I have not committed to anyone yet.”

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