Quinn Ewers threw for 307 yards and two touchdowns to pace Southlake Carroll past Colleyville Heritage, 50-9, Friday night at Mustang-Panther Stadium.
Ewers, who completed 23 of 39 passes with one interception, and teammate Jack Abram, who took over the running game from Kannon Kadi in the first half, wore down the Heritage defense in a battle of attrition to break open a relatively close halftime game.
The Carroll defense limited Heritage to 164 yards and three first downs; 90 of those yards came on one play. Though it took 14 plays and consumed 5:13, Carroll managed to get on the scoreboard first with a 70-yard game-opening touchdown drive when Kannon Kadi finally got over from the 1.
The drive included a nine-yard completion to Brady Boyd to the Heritage 13 on a curl pattern near the sideline on fourth-and-five.
Things accelerated for the Dragons from that point. A minute later, they got another two points when the hike from center went over the head of quarterback A.J. Smith, who doubles as the punter.
Then just two minutes later, Kadi scored again from seven yards out to complete a six-play, 51-yard drive for a 18-0 Carroll lead still in the first quarter.
The Carroll offense was clicking with a combination of passing routes and timing throws and Ewers’ front line was giving him protection. It looked like an early rout was in the making. However, the Dragons led only 25-9 at intermission.
They would have had more had it not been for a pair of turnovers deep into Heritage territory that killed drives and a blocked field goal near the end of the first half.
The first one came when Dylahn McKinney intercepted a rare overthrown pass by Ewers at about his 5-yard line and returned it to his 10.
The second turnover came when a 30-yard pass completion to Manero was fumbled away at the Heritage 10-yard line as the receiver was being tackled and he struggled for more yardage.
In the ensuing scramble, Luke Lingard came up with the loose pigskin for Heritage.Then with about 12 seconds left in the half, a 32-yard field goal attempt by Joe McFadden was blocked.
Meantime midway in the second quarter, Heritage’s offense needed a big play and finally got one courtesy of speedy receiver Isaac Shabay. Moments earlier, Shabay got his team’s initial first down with a 29-yard reception on the left side to the Heritage 42-yard line. It didn’t result in any points, but on the Panthers’ next possession, Shabay did one better.
Running the same route, he caught the ball at the same spot but this time outraced the secondary to complete a 90-yard touchdown catch-and-run from Smith. It was that score and a curiously similar safety like the one scored by Carroll earlier where the ball sailed over the punter’s head and into the end zone that pulled the Panthers to within nine, 18-9.
But it was all Dragons from there. Probably the biggest “little” play came midway in the third quarter and Carroll leading 28-9. The Dragons were backed up to their 15-yard line facing third-and-10. But Abram bulled up the middle for 11 yards and a first down. It sparked the Carroll offense. Three plays later, the Dragons were in the end zone when Ewens threw 48 yards to Boyd for the score and a 34-9 lead.