Kenny Hill has been relentless during Southlake Carroll's postseason run.
The junior quarterback constantly tests opposing defenses both through the air and on the ground, until finally they capitulate. Add in a defense that's pitched second-half shutouts the past three weeks, and you have a formula that has Carroll (14-0) back in the state semifinals for the first time since 2006.
"Every game I can see some kind of improvement in his game," Carroll coach Hal Wasson said of Hill. "I love his competitive spirit and fire for the game. He likes to take on a leadership role, and he finds a way to will himself and his team to wins."
The key to the Dragons' offense has been its effectiveness both on the ground and through the air, which has kept defenses guessing. Carroll is averaging 163.5 yards rushing and 162.5 yards passing per game in the postseason, with Hill leading the way in both categories.
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Hill has thrown for 650 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 446 yards and six TDs in the playoffs, accounting for 85 percent of Carroll's offensive production.
He's also taking care of the ball. Hill's thrown only two interceptions in 99 attempts and none in the past two games.
"There are some players and quarterbacks who have the 'It' factor," Wasson said. "I've always said that he was one of those guys."
The Dragons are also getting high production from their receiving corps, specifically Peyton Williams and Sabian Holmes.
With size, speed and suction cups for hands, Williams caught 12 passes for 135 yards in Carroll's bi-district victory over Plano East. He followed that with eight catches in a blowout victory over Cedar Hill the next week.
Holmes took his turn as Hill's favorite target in the next two games, catching touchdown passes of 54, 31 and 16 yards.
"I love Sabo [Holmes], we always hang out and we're tight," Hill said. "But it's not just him, we have everybody else who contributes. Peyton, Ben [Sego] and the offensive line are getting it done."
Standing between Carroll and its first state title appearance since '06 is Dallas Skyline, which also features a balanced attack with a dual-threat quarterback in Devante Kincade. The Raiders (14-0) have put up 422.8 yards per game this postseason behind Kincade, who is flanked by talented receivers Thomas Johnson and Rashaad Samples.
"They're 14-0, that stands out," Wasson said. "They're athletic and fast and in the state semifinals. It's going to be a great challenge for us and we're looking forward to it."
Jarret Johnson, 817-390-7760