Defense is about attitude.
For Carroll football, the Dragons showed a pretty snarly attitude in shutting down Richland last Friday, 38-0. Not only did the Dragons pitch the shutout, they held the Rebels to 57 total yards.
And that’s going to mean something for the District 7-6A game of the year when the Dragons (6-0, 2-0) meet Euless Trinity (7-0, 3-0) at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Dragon Stadium (KWRD 100.7 FM; pregame at 6:30 p.m.) This is the first time both teams will meet as district opponents.
Carroll and Trinity were ranked Nos. 3 and 4 respectively in the State AP poll and were likely going to hold those positions. No. 1 Allen and No. 2 DeSoto each won.
“We were physical and played the entire game that way,” coach Hal Wasson said. “I thought we tackled pretty well. You just need to be sound with what you’re doing when you’re playing really good people like Trinity.”
Of course, the Trinity and Carroll connections are well-documented. Trinity coach Steve Lineweaver was the offensive coordinator for those Carroll Class 3A state championship teams in 1988, 1992 and 1993.
Then there were the epic playoff games in 2005 and last year. Each side pulled out heart-stopping wins.
As for the 2014 meeting, Trinity has punished the district opposition. The Trojans shut out Colleyville Heritage (14-0) and Haltom (41-0) and held Hurst L.D. Bell to a field goal (48-3). Carroll needed a last-second touchdown to beat Coppell, 28-24 before the Richland game.
“We really make a big deal of this game because it’s the next game and that’s it,” Wasson said. “There have been some really great battles with Trinity. You can’t put your head in the sand over that.
“Our coaches and players have respect for them. We know we have our hands full. They’re well coached and physical. But this is why you practice and you train. This is what all competitors look forward to.”
There’s nothing really different about the Trojans after all these years. They play physical on defense, own a big bruising offensive line and will run the football constantly.
They have rushed for 2,551 yards through the first seven games (364.4 per game). Junior Ja’Ron Wilson has rushed for 841 yards and nine scores. Quarterback Tyler Natee has rushed for 608 yards and six scores and thrown for 455 yards and five scores.
Carroll has had its issues with the opposition’s running game. Coppell’s Charles West rushed for 236 yards. Against Abilene on Sept. 26, the Eagles Abram Smith rushed for 139 yards. On Sept. 5, Tulsa Union’s Tyler Adkins rushed for 192 yards.
“Defensively, you have to get leverage and be very sound with your tackling,” Wasson said. “You just cannot give up big plays.”
As for Carroll
The Dragons are going to have be equally imposing with their running game between quarterback Ryan Agnew (332 rushing yards, 1,207 passing) and junior running back Lil’Jordan Humphrey (848, 15 TDs).
“Offensively, you have to protect the football and do your best to move the chains,” Wasson said. “A first down is a mini-victory. We just have to have enough little victories.”
Wide receiver Zach Farrar (22-373 2 TD) is out indefinitely with an undisclosed injury, Wasson said. It’s unclear if or when he will return.