Dragons get wake-up call in Fossil Ridge game

Posted Monday, Nov. 04, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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As far as scares go, this past Thursday was as good as it got without Carroll stumbling. The Dragons won their previous seven games by an average of 46 points prior to Thursday’s meeting with Keller Fossil Ridge.

What happens? Panther quarterback Jacob Gnacinski throws for 368 yards and two touchdowns for the game. Fossil Ridge has 366 yards of total offense in the first half and leads, 27-17, at the break. Carroll doesn’t take the lead until inside the final minute of the third quarter and then makes a stand at its 33-yard line with less than four minutes to play to hang on, 31-27, and claim the District 4-5A championship. It’s the fifth district title in Wasson’s seven seasons. Carroll will also be the district’s No. 1 seed in the Class 5A Division I bracket.

“We needed this,” Carroll coach Hal Wasson said. “We weren’t playing an average team. They were fast, athletic and fearless and played really hard. But I also saw no panic with the players and coaches.

“Our coaches had told them that this day was coming. We didn’t know when but here it was. And now it was time to go out and respond. Our players did.”

Indeed, Carroll ran off its 20th consecutive district win going back to 2011 by holding Fossil Ridge to 80 yards in the second half and forcing three turnovers.

Wasson said the major problem in the first half was the defense had some alignment issues that were correctable – Wasson said this team missed 23 tackles – and were corrected. Thus, the Dragons delivered the second half shutdown.

“We played hard, were in better position and did a great job,” Wasson said. “This was the second fastest team we’ve faced this year after Allen. I’d rather learn my lesson after a win than a loss.”

Carroll’s bi-district opponent is?

By the time you read this, the UIL Executive Committee will have ruled on the status of Arlington Martin. Last week, the District 3-5A executive committee ruled that Martin had to forfeit three wins after using an ineligible player. That dropped Martin to 1-4 – now 2-4 after a win over Sam Houston.

If the UIL reversed the original decision, 3-5A’s playoff situation is set and Arlington Martin and Arlington Bowie will play Friday to determine who earns the top Division I seed. If Martin was denied, only Bowie was assured of playing in the Division I bracket. There could be a potential three-way tie between Martin, Sam Houston and Fort Worth Paschal involving the district’s 21-point tiebreaker.

Then Carroll could either face Arlington Lamar Sam Houston or Martin.

Got it?

Notables

The Dragon football program says good-bye on Friday to 38 seniors from the 2013 team ... Linebacker J.B. Copeland had successful surgery on his torn ACL last week. He’s expected to make a full recovery … Friday’s opponent Haltom (3-6, 1-5) comes into the finale on a five-game losing streak. The Buffalos are heavy running football with virtually no credible passing game to speak of … Carroll quarterback Ryan Agnew has only seven incompletions in his last three games…Cowboys Stadium will not be available for the bi-district playoff round. Coaches and administrators from both 4-5A and 3-5A were expected to meet Monday to determine playoff plans … Friday’s game can be heard on KWRD 100.7 FM with the pregame show starting at 6:30 p.m.

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