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Southlake Style

Dragons Set to Battle Cedar Hill

Dec 03, 2014 03:02PM ● By Mike

Lil' Jordan Humphrey has vaulted himself into talks as one of the area's top rushers. Photo by K. Campos.

By EJ Holland

The last time Southlake Carroll played at SMU’s Gerald J. Ford Stadium, something magical happened.

With 1:07 left in a state semifinal game against Dallas Skyline in 2011, Kenny Hill dodged an endless number of defenders as he sprinted 35 yards for the game-winning touchdown.  Doesn’t sound too crazy, right? Except for the fact that a fox decided to simultaneously run across the field.

Head coach Hal Wasson adopted the name “Silver Fox” and theDragons used “silver fox swag”to march all the way to AT&T Stadium, where they knocked Fort Bend Hightower in the 2011 state title game.

“Rumor has it the silver fox is still scurrying around out there,” Wasson said with a laugh. “Those are the reports I’m getting, so we’ll see.”

Southlake Carroll may have bounced the Bobcats from the playoffs last week, but they will need to recapture a little bit of that “silver fox swag” when they take on Cedar Hill in the state quarterfinals at SMU’s Gerald J. Ford Stadium this Saturday.

The Longhorns are the reigning 5A — now 6A — Division II state champions and feature one of the most dangerous offenses in the state. And to be the champ, you have to beat the champ.

Led by wide receiver DaMarkus Lodge, considered the top pass catcher in the state, bruising running back Aca’Cedric Ware, a USC commit, and dual-threat quarterback Justin McMillan, an LSU pledge, Cedar Hill averages 47 points per game. The trio has combined for a whopping 6,145 yards of total offense and 89 touchdowns this year.

Southlake Carroll did a nice job of limiting Denton Guyer a few weeks ago and shutting down San Angelo Central in the regional semifinals, but Cedar Hill might be the defense’s toughest test yet, especially for Andy Chelf, Obi Eboh and the rest of the secondary.

“We have to limit their big plays. We know that’s going to be hard against a team like this,” Wasson said. “Lodge is a great player. He deserves all the credit and attention he gets. But if we key on him, they can gut you with Ware. McMillan is an extremely talented player, too, so they can hurt you in a lot of ways.”

The good news for the Dragons is Cedar Hill does give up a ton of points. While the defense features individual stars like linebacker Richard Moore, a Texas A&M pledge, and cornerback Darrell Miller, a Tennessee commit, the unit as a whole surrenders 32 points per contest.

Southlake Carroll should be able to take advantage. Over the last few weeks, quarterback Ryan Agnew has really found his groove while Lil’ Jordan Humphrey has emerged as one of the top running backs in the metroplex.

“Lil’ Jordan and Ryan’s productivity means the offensive line is getting better. They are getting better in their downfield blocking and getting better overall,” Wasson said. “We have to keep getting better or we go home. Fortunately, we’ve been getting better. We’re just going to have to be really consistent this game.

“When you’re playing against the athletes they have, you just have to keep on schedule offensively and weather the storm. We have to play fast. We won’t stick around much longer if we don’t play fast.”