Southlake Carroll touchdown pass to RJ Mickens
Only a two-hour delay slowed down Southlake Carroll on Friday night, but the Dragons already had a comfortable lead against Euless Trinity at Apogee Stadium.
No. 6 Carroll led 21-7 at halftime and added two more scores to beat Trinity, 35-7, in the Class 6A Division I regional round. The Dragons (13-0) advance to the state quarterfinals to play the winner between Arlington Lamar and Duncanville, which was in a prolonged weather delay at the time of print.
The first time Trinity and Carroll met came in a memorable playoff matchup in 2006. Some say over 60,000 people made it out to Texas Stadium to watch the Dragons win 22-21.
Their eighth meeting wasn’t quite as close.
Carroll couldn’t cleanly field the opening kickoff and began at the 4, but the Dragons answered the bell with a 96-yard drive capped off by Will Bowers’ 26-yard touchdown pass to top 2020 prospect RJ Mickens. The drive lasted 12 plays and over four minutes.
Trinity matched Carroll with a 10-play and 61-yard drive as Brandon Theus rumbled in for a 1-yard TD with 3:01 left in the first quarter.
Carroll didn’t stop as the Dragons took a 14-7 lead late in the opening period when Bowers’ recorded his second 26-yard TD pass to a wide-open John Manero.
The Trojans (10-2) drove the ball down to the SLC 22 on the ensuing drive, but after a false start on fourth-and-1, quarterback Laki Ellis was hurried on a pass attempt to turn the ball over on downs.
Carroll capitalized on the opportunity with a 9-yard TD run by SMU commit TJ McDaniel, his 32nd of the season, for a 21-7 lead with 3:13 in the half.
Leading by 14 at the break, the game went into a weather delay midway through half and didn’t resume until two hours later.
Trinity did drive down field with 14-plays that lasted nearly seven minutes, but the Trojans sputtered. After getting a first-and-goal at the 5, they picked up three penalties to force a fourth-and-goal at the 23 and turned the ball over on downs.
The Dragons finally broke the scoreless streak in the second half with a 17-yard TD run by Bowers to push Carroll in front 28-7 with 6:06 left.
After another turn over on downs by Trinity, Carroll scored three plays later with a 1-yard run by McDaniel, who finished with 116 yards and two TDs on 21 carries.
Bowers threw 17 of 22 for 237 yards and two TDs. Mickens had seven catches for 99 yards and a TD and Manero added 83 yards and a TD on six catches — both players reaching those marks in the first half.
Theus led Trinity with 23 carries for 96 yards and a TD. Ellis threw for 169 yards and BYU commit Keanu Hill had 78 yards on seven catches.