Rowlett looks to move beyond the area round

Rowlett has a chance to reach a milestone of sorts with a win over Copperas Cove on Friday.

The Eagles (7-4) have long had trouble getting out of the area round of the playoffs, losing to Mesquite Horn last year and Dallas Skyline in 2007 in their last trips to the second round.

But Copperas Cove (10-1) provides a tough matchup for Rowlett. The Eagles have given up 100 yards rushing to eight different players this season, and the Bulldawgs have three runners capable of eclipsing the century mark in Chans Colbert, Brandon Hamilton and Orlando Thomas.

However, the Eagles may be better equipped to make a run than any year in recent memory. They have a 1,000-yard rusher in Jalen Rhodes, and quarterback Grant Bothun is a three-year starter who doesn’t make big mistakes.

Rowlett crushed Dallas Lake Highlands 53-14 in the bi-district round behind those two players. Rhodes rushed for 116 yards and four touchdowns while Bothun threw two touchdown passes. The Eagles didn’t turn the ball over in the game.

Copperas Cove is coming off an emotional 48-47 win over Mesquite Horn. The Bulldawgs trailed by 21 points in the third quarter and won after a failed two-point conversion attempt by Horn in the final minute of the game.

Rowlett plays Copperas Cove at 9 p.m. Friday at Cowboys Stadium.