High School Football

Southlake Carroll is state 7-on-7 runner-up; rising sophomore, team happy with effort

Southlake Carroll didn’t reach its end goal of a championship trophy at the state 7-on-7 tournament Saturday at Veterans Park and Athletic Complex, but the Dragons were happy with their performance over the weekend.

The Dragons finished second overall out of 64 Division I teams.

A&M Consolidated defeated Carroll 37-32 in the state championship game.

“Proud of the guys. They played eight games in two days in this heat,” Carroll coach Riley Dodge said. “Happy with the way they competed and stepped up to the challenge. Very excited with the work they put in.”

Carroll was searching for its third title in as many title game appearances while A&M Consolidated was making the trip to the championship game for the second straight season. The Tigers won their first title.

The Tigers scored on the opening drive before Carroll went down and tied the game at 7. Rising sophomore quarterback Quinn Ewers, who has an offer from Ohio State, threw a touchdown pass to 2020 Clemson commit RJ Mickens.

“RJ is awesome to throw to,” Ewers said. “I trust him and he’ll go up and get it whenever I need him to.”

Ewers hit 2020 Texas A&M commit Blake Smith for the extra point, but Mickens left the game with cramps and never returned.

The two teams traded defensive stops and TDs, but Carroll came up short on the try as the Tigers took a 14-13 lead. Carroll scored its second TD when Ewers threw a fade route to Will Hosey with two minutes left in the first half.

But A&M Consolidated drove down the field to take a 21-13 lead at the break.

Ewers and Smith hooked up to open the second half to bring Carroll within 21-20 and the Dragons picked up more momentum when 2020 corner Jonah Doddridge intercepted a pass attempt.

“Brought the guys out here and showed off our talents. It’s a big confidence booster going into the fall,” Smith said.

Brady Boyd caught Ewers’ fourth TD pass to give Carroll its only lead of the game at 26-21. A&M Consolidated intercepted the pass attempt on the extra point and returned it for two points to make it 26-23 Dragons.

The Tigers scored back-to-back TDs to take a 37-26 lead with under five minutes left. Ewers, who played on junior varsity last season, threw his fifth and final TD pass on the ensuing possession.

“We came out here and got better as a whole,” Ewers said. “I got better with my anticipations on routes.”

Mickens and Ewers connected on two game-winning TDs on Saturday. Mickens caught a pass with 20 seconds left as Carroll beat Midland Christian 40-39 in the first round. Mickens did the same with 40 seconds remaining to help the Dragons beat Katy 39-33 in the semifinals.

“Weekend was huge for us. I think we grew a lot as a team. A lot of guys stepped up and we made a nice run,” Mickens added. “Quinn is growing and learning the offense. He’s taking advantage of these defenses and that’s only going to translate to Friday nights.”

Mesquite Horn won the Division I consolation 54-53 over Rockwall. Sunnyvale won the Division II championship and Poth won the Division III title. Arlington and Lamar were other Fort Worth area teams playing in the championship bracket on Saturday and a total of 11 teams were from Dallas Fort-Worth.

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Born and raised in Hawaii, Brian Gosset graduated from Northern Arizona University with a degree in journalism before coming to Texas in 2014. He’s covered high school sports — yes, pretty much every high school sport — for the Star-Telegram ever since.