There are so many ways one can look at Carroll’s season.
Are the Dragons resilient? Are they lucky? Do they know how to finish better than any other team in the state of Texas?
The debates are countless. Results are all that matter. Carroll is 11-0 and is still playing football this season. The latest magic act occurred last Friday in the Class 6A Region I Division I bi-district playoff against Mansfield at Arlington’s AT&T Stadium.
Down 24-7 late in the third quarter, the Dragons stormed back and pulled out the miracle finish with a 38-31 victory. Ryan Agnew’s 31-yard touchdown pass to Tariq Gordon with 13 seconds to play capped a 24-point fourth quarter.
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“We just had to stay tracking,” Carroll coach Hal Wasson said. “You just try to keep your head up and keep working. I don’t think there was any panic in our team. We got ourselves into a hole, and we had to find a way to climb out of it.”
But it doesn’t get any easier as they face Denton Guyer (10-1) in the area round at 8 p.m. Saturday at AT&T Stadium (KWRD 100.7 FM).
Carroll has won five games that have been decided by one score. Each time, the game hung in the balance in the final two minutes. So let’s review the other four:
Aug. 30, Carroll 17, Austin Westlake 14: Westlake closed to 17-14 with 1:59 to play and covered the ensuing onside kick. However, the Chaparrals could get no closer than the Carroll 48 before turning it over on downs. Carroll QB Ryan Agnew took a knee to end the game.
Sept. 5, Carroll 42, Tulsa Union 41 (OT): Carroll scored the game-tying TD with 1:21 to play in regulation to force overtime. Union scored first. The Dragons answered. But instead of going for the PAT, Parker Fentriss found Agnew on a pass for the game-winning two-point play.
Oct. 3, Carroll 28, Coppell 24: Agnew drove the Dragons 77 yards in 2:33 and running back Lil’Jordan Humphrey scored from the one-yard line with 24 seconds to play. Coppell had just taken the lead on a 29-yard field goal with 2:57 remaining.
Oct. 17, Carroll 10, Euless Trinity 6: Trailing throughout the game, Humphrey scored on a one-yard plunge to give the Dragons their first lead. The Trojans drove all the way down to the Carroll 9-yard line but time expired. Trinity had exhausted all of its timeouts.
The scramble & TD
Facing a third and 11 at its 24, Carroll trailed Mansfield, 31-24, but needed a first down or else risked letting the season end.
A pass play for Humphrey was set up where he would shoot through the middle of the field. The Tigers defense had apparently left that play open throughout the game. However, it got off to a ragged start. A Tigers defender held up Humphrey at the line of scrimmage.
The play then deteriorated to where Agnew had to run for his life and was chased near his goal line. He eluded the sack. Agnew bought some time and found a wide-open Humphrey. Humphrey did the rest, sidestepping a couple of other tackles to tie the game, 31-31.
“The glue that holds a team together is trust,” Wasson said. “If there is trust between the players and coaches, then you can accomplish anything you want. It didn’t work the way we wanted it to. But credit Ryan and Jordan for making a big play.”
About Denton Guyer
Carroll and Guyer meet for the first time since 2011, when they then shared the same district. Carroll won that last meeting, 42-29, and went on to win the state championship. Guyer dropped down to then-Class 4A and won Division I state championships in 2012 and 2013.
Now back in 6A, the Wildcats have another potent team led by sophomore quarterback Shawn Robinson. He has thrown for 2,395 yards and 28 TDs and rushed for another 1,315 yards and 16 TDs.
Guyer’s only loss was in the season opener, a 55-41 loss to No. 1 Allen. The Widcats pounded Plano in the bi-district round, 59-28.
“Robinson makes plays with his feet and arms,” Wasson said. “You’re not going to stop him. But we just have to be good at what we do.”