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Southlake Style

Dragons Look to Continue Dominance

Nov 22, 2013 12:16PM ● By tina

Photo courtesy of Rex Teter Photography.

Playoff Preview: Dragons vs. Midland Lee in 2nd Round

By Robert Halliman

As the sense of playoff urgency builds in Dragon Country, Hal Wasson’s ball club looks to continue playing at a higher level as Southlake Carroll (10-1) takes on another familiar opponent, Midland Lee (9-2), in tonight’s 5A area round playoff matchup.

“The whole team knows that during the playoffs, we have to hit another level,” said running back A.J. Ezzard. “We play our best football of the year.”

Beating the Rebels 63-14 in week two of the regular season, the Dragons know they’ll be facing a better Rebel squad from their earlier meeting. “They are a much-improved team, and so are we,” said senior linebacker Steven Bergmark. “We’ve been preparing all week. No matter the circumstances, we will play Dragon Football.”

Although there have been a few growing pains replacing 15 starters from last year’s 12-2 team, Coach Wasson’s ball club hasn’t had too many problems in the leadership department. As many new Dragon starters are gaining valuable on-field experience for the first time this season, leadership from players like Ezzard — a three-year starter and one of the few players on the Dragon roster that remains from Carroll’s 2011 state championship team — has helped the learning curve for newer contributors.

“We have a lot of guys who have been through some tough playoff games before, so we know the intensity we have to play with,” Ezzard said. “As far as leadership, we just try and continue to teach the younger guys that we all have to do whatever we possibly can to help this team be the best it can be.” Powering a Dragon run game that has been dominant recently, averaging 272 yards per contest on the ground in the last four weeks, Ezzard has been the key cog to a relentless rushing attack that has helped keep the Dragon defense off the field. 

Having had Midland Lee’s number in its last two previous matches — holding the Rebel offense to only 8.5 ppg — the Dragons look to continue dominance against an offense led by senior quarterback Caden Coots and junior running back Aron Dobbins that racked up more than 560 total yards in their 47-28 first-round win against El Paso El Dorado. After a strong performance in last week’s blowout playoff win against Arlington Bowie, Carroll looks to continue a physical style of play that has created turnovers and kept opposing offenses in check.

“Each week, we’re looking to be more physical,” Bergmark said. “If we can eliminate their offense’s big plays and come up with our own big plays, we make life easier for our offense.” 

Kickoff for the game begins at 7 p.m.  

Photography courtesy of Rex Teter Photography.

Robert Halliman is a senior journalism major and political science minor at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Penn. A 2010 Carroll Senior High graduate, Robert played defensive tackle for coach Hal Wasson from 2007–2010.  An aspiring sports agent and media personality, Robert is also a member of the Lehigh University Business Careers and Entertainment Club.