ARLINGTON -- Southlake Carroll completed a perfect 16-0 season to claim its record-tying eighth state championship and first title since 2006.
Quarterback Kenny Hill passed for two touchdowns and ran for two more to lead the Dragons to a 36-29 victory over Fort Bend Hightower on Saturday in the Class 5A Division I championship at Cowboys Stadium. Hill finished with 229 yards passing and 117 rushing en route to claiming offensive MVP honors.
"It's an amazing feeling," Hill said. "I don't think I could ever compare to some of the quarterbacks who have come through here, but I'm just trying to be the best I can be, and I guess I was pretty good this year."
Hill's favorite target was Baylor commitment Sabian Holmes, who caught a game-high 11 passes for 138 yards and a TD.
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The Dragons found themselves in familiar territory by trailing Hightower in the second half. The deficit marked the fifth time in six playoff games that Carroll trailed at some point yet prevailed.
"Nothing has come easy for these players," Carroll coach Hal Wasson said. "At the end of the day, their resiliency has taught me a lot of life lessons. The purpose and relentlessness that the kids have come to work with every day has taught me life lessons, and I'll be indebted to them for a lifetime."
The Dragons took their first lead of the second half at 28-23 with 2:49 left in the third quarter on a 25-yard TD pass from Hill to Corey Kemp but didn't hold the lead long. On the Hurricanes' ensuing possession, quarterback Bralon Addison scored on an 80-yard sprint.
The Texas A&M commitment rushed for a game-high 214 yards and two TDs and added another 63 yards and a score through the air.
"He is definitely one of the best players in the state of Texas," Carroll linebacker Will Davis said. "He's quick and very explosive; obviously you saw that he could take it to the house at any moment."
Carroll rose to the occasion as it has all postseason, shutting out Hightower in the fourth quarter. Davis, the defensive MVP, had eight tackles, 1.5 sacks, and forced and recovered a fumble to help hold the Hurricanes to just 19 yards on 10 plays in the final stanza.
"It's just part of being a Carroll Dragon defender," Davis said, "and I think our defense did a great job this whole season."
Hill scored his second rushing TD from 6 yards out and added a 2-point conversion run as Carroll reclaimed the lead for good with 9:18 remaining.
Carroll, with its fifth 5A crown, tied Celina's Texas UIL record with eight state titles total.