By TOM RONCO
Special to this Newspaper
11:32 PM AKST, January 4, 2013
Brawley native Donald Wharton Jr. watched from the sidelines of the Armed Forces Bowl as Rice University’s freshman quarterback Driphus Jackson threw for 264 yards including two touchdowns as the Owls beat Wharton’s Air Force Academy Falcons, 33-14, on Dec. 29.
A sophomore defensive back, Wharton enjoyed his second bowl experience as Air Force was playing in its sixth consecutive bowl game.
“The experience was what I expected. … I had a great time with my teammates being in a new city,” Wharton said.
Wharton did not make an appearance on the field, and as expected Air Force played mainly upperclassmen in the game.
“Just being part of the team was a great experience and I was not surprised they played the older guys,” Wharton said. “Actually I was happy for them with it being their last game for a lot of them.”
Wharton can afford to be philosophical about playing-time in the Air Bowl as the coaching staff has indicated they are looking for him to step up the next two years on defense and special teams.
“They’ve told me they think I can really help out the team,” Wharton said. “I just have to work hard in the weight room and at practice.”
Copyright © 2013, Imperial Valley Press