Dragons begin title quest facing Bowie

Posted Monday, Nov. 11, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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The Carroll football team begins its search for a ninth state championship in school history on Friday against Arlington Bowie in the Class 5A Region I bi-district round.

Ironically, Carroll (9-1) plays the 7:30 p.m. game at arch rival Coppell’s Cowboy Stadium. The game will be broadcast on KWRD 100.7 FM.

While the Dragons program has long been known for its tradition, volume of quality players and dramatic wins in November and December, coach Hal Wasson will not allow his players to rest on tradition, thinking that’s going to be good enough to make deep runs.

“It’s pretty simple,” Wasson said. “We can’t assume anything. We have to play hard every snap. We’ve got to play tackle well, protect the football and not give up the big play.”

What Wasson is stressing isn’t revolutionary, because that’s what every playoff coach is preaching to his team. This is about not beating yourself because everybody is good and everybody has the athletes to win. They wouldn’t be here otherwise.

But to break it down a little further: If a team has a five-yard out rout, then a Carroll defender better be there to make sure it goes no further than five. If Carroll has a 3rd-and 3, it better convert. Wasson calls those mini-touchdowns because it keeps a team grinding and it also serves as an edge for the mental game.

“We have not played a 48 (minute) complete and consistent game on offense, defense and special teams,” Wasson said. “That’s the good thing because we can be a lot better than where we are right now.

“But we’re in a region where if you don’t bring your ‘A’ game, you’re not going to be around long. We pay attention to detail and are going to prepare the same every week.”

Rugged Region I

Like it has been every year, Division I, Region I arguably has the most depth of any region. Of course, the favorite is No. 1 Allen, which is in Region II.

However, the likes of No. 2 DeSoto (10-0), Coppell (8-1), which was ranked in the Top 10 at one point, Euless Trinity (8-2) and Arlington Martin (9-1) are all battling each other.

Should Carroll advance, the Dragons will get the winner of El Paso El Dorado-Midland Lee in the area round.

Last year, Carroll advanced to the Region I championship before falling to DeSoto, 49-45.

Everybody is available

Carroll’s running game has relied upon A.J. Ezzard (701 yards, 15 TDs) and Lil’Jordan Humphrey (544, 3TDs) behind quarterback Ryan Agnew (994, 17 TDs). But senior Steven Bergmark, who has played running back in his Carroll career, will be available if needed. Carroll hasn’t really needed him much on offense. He’s more valuable at linebacker. Bergmark, though, has been practicing with the offense each week to keep sharp. Bergmark has one carry for 41 yards thus far.

“If we need him, we’ll use him,” Wasson said.

About Arlington Bowie

The Volunteers (7-3) jumped out to a 7-1 start before a tough finish with consecutive losses to Arlington and Arlington Martin. The loss to Martin sent them to the postseason as the District 3-5A Division I runner-up.

Quarterback Keaton Perry, son of former coach Kenny Perry, has thrown for 1,624 yards and 17 touchdowns. Trenton James has rushed for 905 yards on only 100 carries. But Tony James is a rushing and receiving threat with 1,001 total yards. He has 491 rushing yards and averaged 9.0 yards per carry with eight scores and leads all Bowie receivers with 510 yards and five scores. He’s averaging 25.5 yards per catch.

“The team speed is what strikes you,” Wasson said. “They can take any play the distance. We’re going to have to have the right angle to make plays.”

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