Call it the luck of the draw for the Southlake Carroll football team.
When district coaches meet shortly after realignment, they draw numbers that set the district schedule. So Team A will play Team B on Week X, because that’s the way it works.
When Carroll coach Hal Wasson and Lewisville Hebron coach Brian Brazil drew their numbers, they knew they would play each other in the regular-season finale.
Both teams know they are going to the playoffs when they kick off at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Dragon Stadium. But this is for the District 5-6A championship. No. 9 Carroll (8-1, 6-0) already has a share and doesn’t believe in sharing. Hebron (7-2, 5-1) believes in community property.
“Winning an outright title is very significant to us,” Wasson said. “It’s a big deal. Secondly, I like playing this game in Week 11. Third, Hebron is a very good team. They’ve been good for a long time.”
Both teams are going in different postseason directions. Hebron will be playing in Division I. Carroll is going into Division II. Because of the policy where the higher seed in Class 6A can host the bi-district playoff, the Dragons are set to meet Wylie at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 11 at Dragon Stadium.
While Carroll’s 2016 passing game isn’t what it was from the 2015 season, because of a rash of injuries including the season-ending broken leg to Robert Barnes, a physical and consistent offensive line has kept things efficient. Carroll’s running game has options.
Carroll has scored 46 offensive touchdowns in 2016. Rushers have accounted for 30 of them. Against Hurst L.D. Bell in Friday’s 45-7 victory, the Dragons rushed for 262 yards and averaged nearly six yards per carry. Wasson called it the most consistent performance to date. Carroll is averaging 242 yards per game.
“We planned on [the running game being a big part of the offense] all year,” Wasson said. “Our running backs are getting better. We’re scoring about the same this year like we have in past years. But we’re getting this done with a good and solid offensive line.”
Carroll’s running attack has four different options. Senior transfer Audricke Gaines has rushed for 887 yards and 13 scores. Tre Sledge, who rushed for a career-high 109 yards against the Blue Raiders, has emerged as a solid second option with 409 yards and four touchdowns. Jack Johansson has 249 yards and five TDs. Mix in fourth option Tavian Gould with 120 yards, and you can see why Wasson is bullish. And it doesn’t hurt that quarterback Mason Holmes has added 258.
“Our coaches have done a masterful job of getting guys ready to play and getting the most out of them,” Wasson said. “This team just wants to win. It’s doing the things you have to do to win games. That’s what it’s about.”
Notable: Carroll place-kicker Kole Ramage’s 47-yard field goal Friday was his second longest of the season. He drilled a 55-yard attempt in the season opener Aug. 26 against Tulsa Union … Hebron quarterback Clayton Tune has thrown for 1,970 yards and has a two electric receivers in Jeran Mitchell and Trejan Bridges. They are averaging 16 and 19 yards per catch … Carroll’s game against Hebron can be heard on KWRD 100.7 FM. The pregame show begins at 6:30 p.m … This playoff season also marks the last time for 6A where the higher seed will host the bi-district round. Beginning in 2017, hosting the bi-district round will be reserved for the district champion.
Read more coverage at southlakejournal.com.