Don’t be surprised if Carroll’s regular season finale against Hurst L.D. Bell at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Pennington Field looks a lot like last Friday’s game against Haltom.
The Dragons (9-0, 5-0 in District 7-6A) should be in position to run the table in the regular season. L.D. Bell’s only win came against Haltom.
In the 62-0 victory over Haltom, Carroll’s starters played into the middle of the second quarter before head coach Hal Wasson started substituting. The Dragons, ranked No. 2 in the state Class 6A poll, held the Buffalos to only 56 yards as they played their final regular season game at Dragon Stadium.
But the playing time wasn’t just for fun. It was important for every member of the roster to get reps just in case there is a need when the playoffs begin. Wasson took the thinking a step further.
“These guys have put in the same amount of time as the starters,” Wasson said. “With those seniors, they deserved to get a lot of snaps. This was more about them getting to play and enjoying their last game in their stadium. That’s important for them to have that moment.”
Should the L.D. Bell game (KWRD 100.7 FM; 6:30 p.m. pregame) resemble Haltom, that means backup quarterback Montana Murphy will see about one half of the game.
Carroll’s passing game has had its inconsistencies. A new wide receiver corps has endured its share of drops. Quarterback Ryan Agnew has thrown only eight touchdowns against seven interceptions. He enjoyed one of his better nights of the season going 15-of-19 against Haltom.
“Really, Ryan has thrown the ball pretty well all year,” Wasson said. “We’ve had some protection issues with a new offensive line and when you’re running a bunch of new receivers out there, it takes time. It’s a process. But I think the confidence is coming with this group.”
The only thing that is a given is that Carroll is playing as the Division II top seed. Who it faces in the bi-district round as the second seed in District 8-6A is unknown.
When Mansfield knocked off Cedar Hill last week, 49-34, it brought urgency to the final week of the season for those two teams. Cedar Hill needs to beat South Grand Prairie or have Mansfield lost to Midlothian in order to get the top seed. Carroll would then face Mansfield.
If Cedar Hill loses and Mansfield wins, then the Tigers earn the top seed and Carroll meets Cedar Hill. All bi-district playoff games will played at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. Playoff slots and times for games between Districts 5-6A, 6-6A, 7-6A and 8-6A could be known by the middle of this week.
Making it outright
Carroll’s philosophy is two do two things: win a district championship and practice on Thanksgiving. If the Dragons are doing that, then they’re enjoying a great season.
They are close to completing the first goal. Although they have the tie-breaker with Euless Trinity, they have only clinched a tie for the district championship. But should they take care of L.D. Bell, the Dragons will have the outright title.
“Absolutely, an outright title is important,” Wasson said. “Our first goal every year is for that. It’s extremely difficult to go 10-0 against the kind of schedule we played. That’s very hard to do.”
Zach Farrar, who has been out with an undisclosed injury for the past three weeks, was expected to return to practice this week. However, Wasson said the junior (22-395, 2 TD) will not play until the bi-district playoff round.