Dragons head into bye week making steady progress

Posted Monday, Sep. 16, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Carroll has completed its non-district season with the same 2-1 record heading into the District 4-5A season they had in 2012. In fact, the non-district seasons in each of the past two years mirror each other.

Carroll had a rough time with Allen before producing dominating wins in the following two weeks. Following this week’s bye, the Dragons begin District 4-5A play Sept. 27 against Keller Central.

So through the first three games, let’s take a step back and analyze what we know:

The good: The transition from Kenny Hill Jr. to Ryan Agnew at quarterback has been about what Carroll coaches expected. Agnew suffered through some painful lessons in the first game against Allen, throwing a pair of interceptions.

His completion percentage is still not where it needs to be at around 59 percent. The standard is 65 percent. But he’s the dual threat everybody talked about, rushing for 338 yards and seven touchdowns.

•  Defensively, the front seven has been as advertised. Carroll opponents are averaging only 3.2 yards per carry. And that number came down drastically following Allen’s 199-yard performance. While Temple rushed for a solid 171 yards, it took the Wildcats 51 attempts to get there. Midland Lee and Temple combined to only score 21 points in the last two weeks.

•  The bye week comes at a good time for injured players. Running back A.J. Ezzard has been dealing with an ankle injury, as had Parker Fentriss. And while Ezzard’s 11 carries and Fentriss’ two receptions against Temple were good signs, getting two weeks before district play will be important. Also, maybe there’s a chance wide receiver Ryan Weigel (undisclosed injury) could be back for early October. To be honest, the Dragons probably don’t need him until the middle of October, so he can get into game shape as the playoffs approach.

The concerns: The first two games of the season sent off some alarms as Carroll committed six turnovers and were minus-two in the ratio. In Friday’s victory against Temple, the Dragons created four and didn’t have any, flipping the ratio to plus-two. That’s encouraging, but ball security still has to be a point of emphasis. One game doesn’t mean your problems are solved.

•  Carroll’s secondary – mainly its safeties in Tariq Gordon and Andy Chelf – went through some difficulty against Allen but need to keep making steady improvement like they did against Midland Lee and Temple. There’s a ways to go. They likely won’t the face the caliber of quarterback in district play that they did in non-district – Northwest’s Jesse Drummer may be the best of the seven in 4-5A – but that doesn’t mean they can take anything lightly.

•  This offensive line still has a ways to go. Wasson has liked what he has seen. However, this group still needs to do a better job on overall assignments.

•  If these injuries between Fentriss, Ezzard and Weigel persist and become nagging, that could impact the playmakers the Dragons need for the postseason.

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