Junior running back Lil’Jordan Humphrey rushed for 130 yards and two touchdowns, and the Southlake Carroll defense stopped San Angelo Central at nearly every turn, as Carroll won 35-10 in the Class 6A Division II regional round Saturday at McLane Stadium.
The Dragons (13-0) didn’t give up a touchdown until six seconds were left in the game, and they advance to the state quarterfinals for the first time since 2012.
Carroll lost to Euless Trinity in the third round of the playoffs last year.
“We played with an attitude today,” Dragons coach Hal Wasson said.
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Carroll will play defending state champion Cedar Hill (11-2) in the 6A Division II state quarterfinals at SMU’s Ford Stadium at 2 p.m. Dec. 6 . The Longhorns beat Abilene 36-28 on Saturday.
The Dragons’ offense was more efficient than explosive against Central.
But they could afford to work patiently, as their defense held the Bobcats (11-2) to just two first downs in the first half.
Humphrey scored on a 25-yard run on Carroll’s first possession, a five-play 75-yard drive.
Two drives later, Humphrey sneaked out of the backfield and became wide open to score on a 21-yard pass from receiver Parker Fentriss.
Fentriss caught a lateral from quarterback Ryan Agnew, drawing the Central secondary in before hitting Humphrey. Carroll led 14-0 at that point.
“We knew [the receiver pass] was going to work,” Agnew said. “When you get the ball in the receiver’s hands, they can throw it, too, sometimes.”
Meanwhile, the Dragons’ defense never let Central stay in the game.
The Bobcats punted four times on their first five possessions.
Central’s other first-half drive ended in an interception by Carroll’s Andy Chelf.
After falling behind 21-0, Central showed some life with a drive from its own 25 to the Carroll 12. But Braden Hucks’ pass on third-and-10 fell incomplete, leading to a 29-yard field goal from Gage Bonaventure.
Central was limited to 9 rushing yards in the first half, and Carroll had a 28-3 lead.
Agnew hit Ryan McGiboney for a 7-yard touchdown pass with 2:27 left in the third quarter to make it 35-3.
Central’s lone touchdown was a 1-yard run by Hucks.
“We just play as a family,” Carroll defensive back Robert Barnes said.
“Whenever someone goes down, we have someone step up. And we have great depth in the secondary.”
Humphrey left the game in the third quarter with an apparent lower leg injury.
The 6-foot-5 junior was able to leave the field on his own, though, and returned for a carry later in the game. Wasson said he was “fine.”