BILLINGS — Billings West doesn’t make things too complicated on offense. Basically, the Golden Bears find Taco Dowler as often as possible.
“That’s our focus, is to get him the ball," said head coach Rob Stanton.
It’s been working. Dowler has scored four touchdowns this season, already surpassing last year’s total, including a kick return TD on the Bears’ very first play of 2020. But he said there was someone else to thank for that one.
“Caden, my brother, he had a crucial block on that," Dowler said. "I just had to run, it was the easiest job there.”
Caden isn't just Taco's brother. He's his twin brother, who’s fairly new to all this.
“He’s a baseball player that started to like football," Stanton said of Caden, who's about three inches taller and noticeably thicker. "He’s a kid that, his freshman year, he told me he wasn’t going to come out.”
“I didn’t really love football. I didn’t like the contact," Caden admitted.
That all changed when Caden found his new sanctuary: the weight room.
“That’s where I can get away from everything else," he said. "One thing you can control about yourself is how hard you work.”
“I’m his biggest fan in the weight room," Taco said. "It’s ridiculous what got into him. He used to be a little fat kid actually. So he was like, ‘I’m not doing this anymore.’ He stopped eating sugar, stopping drinking pop, stopped everything. He’s a stud in the weight room. I try to keep up with him but I can’t.”
Caden said it’s because Taco hasn’t developed a love of protein shakes yet.
“He seems to not really want to drink them, because he wants to stay fast is what I think," Caden said with a laugh.
“I feel like I eat as much as him, that’s the thing," Taco said of the pair's calorie intake. "He claims he eats more than me, but I don’t think that. It looks like he does, but I must have a fast metabolism or something.”
The sibling competition started early. Taco remembers a day when they were just 2 years old, sitting down for breakfast, when they came up with nicknames.
“My dad said, ‘What do you want for breakfast, McLean?’ That's my real name," Taco recalled. "And I said, ‘My name’s Taco.’ And Caden said, ‘My name’s Burrito.’ So Caden was Burrito for like six months and I was Taco."
Only one of them stuck, because of Taco's insistence.
“I got so mad at people that called me McLean, I don’t even know why," Taco said.
To this day, he said most people who see him every day at school don't know his birth name.
“Less than five percent, only my close friends, really. It’s Taco, it’s ridiculous," he said.
Does he think it’s going to be Taco forever?
“I hope not. It’s kind of weird to me. I can’t imagine going into a job interview saying, ‘I’m Taco,’” he admitted.
For now, though, it’s not Taco Tuesday. Friday night is Taco night when West takes the field.