The anticipated Southlake Carroll-Cedar Hill playoff reunion will happen, but three weeks earlier in the football postseason than many likely had hoped. But the Dragons won’t have to leave Dragon Stadium to play it.
Because of their 46-43 loss to Mansfield, the Longhorns dropped to the No. 2 Division II seed in District 8-6A. The University Interscholastic League’s new pilot program is designed give the top Division I and II seeds in Class 6A the option of playing a home game in the bi-district playoff round.
Therefore, Carroll (7-2, 4-1), the top Division II seed in 7-6A, gets another chance at the Longhorns. Cedar Hill won the 2014 Region I championship game, 62-42, at SMU. Carroll coach Hal Wasson and Cedar Hill coach Joey McGuire are expected to talk to this week to finalize details. But expect the game to be played either Nov. 13 or 14. Expect the 7,000-seat Dragon Stadium to be filled way beyond capacity.
“We’re not going to give that away,” Wasson said of playing the home game. “It’s a no-brainer. It’s like anything. When you know up front what it’s going to be, then you do it. I don’t know what’s going to happen [with the pilot program] but we’ll deal with it as it comes.”
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Before the Dragons can really focus on the Longhorns, they have to finish the regular season with some momentum. They play host to Hurst L.D. Bell (1-8, 1-4) at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Dragon Stadium (KWRD 100.7 FM) on senior night.
The Dragons are likely hoping that format will repeat itself against the Blue Raiders like it did in last week’s 59-0 victory over Haltom. The starters were out of the game by the middle of the second quarter. All of the reserves saw plenty of snaps. Carroll totaled nearly 600 yards and led 45-0 at halftime.
“We always want our guys to do well,” Wasson said. “Regardless of their role, everybody works equally hard. To see those guys get significant playing time and play and have fun was good to see.
“We try to keep it simple. The perspective is on us. All we ask them is if this is where they want to be. This is a unique place because the players always keep that focus. If you’re not climbing, you’re falling.”
As for Carroll injuries, Wasson isn’t sure about the availability for linebackers IV Seacat, Grant Phelps and John Miscoll.
Carroll now even
Thanks to a surge in the last two games against Colleyville Heritage and Haltom, the Dragons finally equaled their turnover margin to zero. They collected six to give them 10 takeaways. They have also turned it over 10 times.
However, the surge represents how far Carroll had to go. Prior to Colleyville Heritage, Carroll was a minus-5. The Dragons had collected only four through the first seven games.
“It’s glaring for me,” Wasson said. “When you’re creating turnovers, it means you’re playing faster and confident. That’s been a real positive lately. To create those really helps your team in so many ways.”
Same ol’ kicking game
Rarely will you find Carroll’s kicking game running into consistency issues. The Dragons have had strong seasons from punter Jake Oldroyd and place-kicker Kole Ramage. Oldroyd has averaged 42 yards in 25 efforts and placed 10 inside the opponent’s 20-yard line. Of his 51 kickoffs, 16 have been for touchbacks. Ramage hasn’t missed an extra point (45-45) or a field goal (4-4). His longest field goal is 32, but it was clutch. It tied the game against Coppell and sent it into overtime. Carroll won in double overtime, 38-37.