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Carroll Advances to Face Euless Trinity

Nov 27, 2013 09:56AM ● Published by Mike

By Robert Halliman

Before every season, Head Coach Hal Wasson lists two goals for his team: first, win the district title, and second, practice on Thanksgiving.

As the Dragons (11-1) continue their playoff journey through the holiday season — gearing up to take on powerhouse rival Euless Trinity (10-2) this Friday in the 5A regional semifinal round — the feeling of excitement throughout Dragon country is in the air.  

“It feels awesome knowing that we’ve reached one of our big goals we set at the beginning of the year,” said safety Tariq Gordon. “All the pretenders are gone now and the stakes get a bit higher by Thanksgiving.” 

Friday’s game will feature two of the more successful football programs in Texas. Since the start of the new millennium, both teams have a combined total of eight 5A state championships. Even more interestingly, the Dragons have Trinity’s number dating back to an epic 22-21 come-from-behind victory in 2006. The most recent meeting between the two teams came roughly a year ago when Wasson’s club sent Trinity packing after a hard fought 16-7 win. 

The Dragons' defensive unit just came off a solid performance, holding Midland Lee to a mere 20-yards rushing as Carroll claimed a 51-7 cold-weather victory. The brutal weather conditions were no match for Carroll’s impressive offensive. The Dragons compiled an impressive 446 yards of total offense as a result of Dragon quarterback Ryan Agnew’s two-passing touchdowns, coupled with AJ Ezzard’s robust efforts. 

Now more than ever, there is a strong sense of confidence throughout the Dragon locker room.  

“From an offensive standpoint we just have to do what we always do and that’s move the chains, if we stay on schedule then nobody can stop us,” said Agnew.

After defeating Mansfield Timberview 42-21 in the area playoffs round, the Trinity Trojans will enter the game against Carroll with the No. 1 rushing attack in 5A district area football at 361.7 yards per contest.  Running back Isaac Elsworth and sophomore Ja’Ron Wilson are the Trojans' all-stars — both have a combined total of 2,260 yards and 29 touchdowns for the season.

Nonetheless, the Dragons are confident in their abilities to withstand the Trojans' impressive statistics.

“Going in, we know they’re going to try and pound the football and run right at us,” Gordon said. “We’ve made adjustments to get our secondary more involved in the run game. Our defensive line has to plug their gaps and allow the linebackers to make play.”

The Dragons only surrendered 10.5 points per game in the first two rounds of the playoffs. As a result, cornerback Adaryon Jones continues to spot improvements in the team’s camaraderie and is constantly focusing on vital keys to achieve defensive success.  

“Playing physical and fast has brought us great success in the playoffs," Jones said. "We’ve made improvements in our focus, stressing the importance of playing a full 48 minutes and fully trusting one another."

Kickoff against Trinity begins at 4 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 29 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX.

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. 
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