Northeast Tarrant

Dragons keep pulling out dramatic wins, prep for Rebels

The Carroll football team’s penchant for drama is the only way it appears to want to do business in 2014. While there have been blowouts over Midland Lee and Abilene, the Dragons have waited until the very end to close out their other three.

Just as a refresher:

“That’s not how we planned it, but we knew Coppell game was going to be a 48-minute game,” coach Hal Wasson said. “When we held them to a field goal [to put Coppell ahead, 24-21, with 2:57 to play], we felt really confident in Ryan Agnew leading the offense.”

Wasson and every Carroll follower should. On the game-winning drive, Agnew went 5-for-5 for 62 yards.

Breaking down Agnew

Agnew’s precision on the game-winning drive is something that Carroll (5-0, 1-0 in District 7-6A) expects but really hasn’t seen until this past Friday. Carroll had not needed him to do that.

In 2013, Carroll was involved in only two games decided by five points or less, a 31-27 victory at Keller Fossil Ridge and a 42-38 Class 5A Division I semifinal loss to Euless Trinity. In the win over the Panthers, Carroll scored the go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter and then had to hold on for the fourth quarter. In the loss to Trinity, the Dragons were turned away with a lost fumble in the middle of the fourth quarter. Carroll did have the ball in the closing seconds, but the Dragons really didn’t have enough time to mount a drive and would have needed a miracle to pull off the victory.

That said, game-winning drives define leaders. Agnew delivered against the Cowboys. There could be more to come.

“He’s a big-time playmaker and he makes big-time plays,” Wasson said. “It’s really simple. When it matters the most, you’re at your best. Ryan was.”

Fentriss at 100 percent

Fentriss came up to Wasson the week of Abilene game and said he was finally 100-percent healthy. Fentriss missed the last several games of 2013 with a torn ACL. Of course, he’s played in the first five games this year (27-410 2TD).

“He’s worked real hard to get back in shape,” Wasson said. “He just told me before Abilene that he felt like his old self. We needed that, because this group is looking to him for his leadership.”

About Richland

After a slow start, the Rebels (3-3, 2-0 in 7-6A) are on a three-game winning streak with impressive wins over Grand Prairie (38-22), Haltom (51-15) and Hurst L.D. Bell (35-8). The Dragons meet them at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Birdville Fine Arts and Athletic Complex in North Richland Hills (KWRD 100.7 FM; pregame at 6:30 p.m.).

Senior quarterback Eddie Thomas IV has thrown for 771 yards and seven touchdowns and rushed for another 443 yards and seven touchdowns. Running back C.J. Hicks is on his way to a 1,000-yard season with 757 yards and seven touchdowns. Carroll’s rushing defense will face another test much like it did last week against Coppell.

Offensive lineman Drew Jakala (undisclosed) is expected to return for this game.