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Southlake Style

Dragons Open Season With Dual QB Threat

Aug 26, 2015 04:37PM ● By Mike

Mason Holmes and Montana Murphy will both see action in week one against Austin Westlake.

By EJ Holland

Perhaps no game in the state has as much buzz as Southlake Carroll vs. Austin Westlake. 

The colossal matchup highlights the first week of the 2015 Texas high school football season and should be nothing short of an instant classic.

Storylines abound with arguably the most enticing being Todd Dodge vs. Hal Wasson.

Prior to taking over at Austin Westlake, Dodge led the Dragons to five 5A state finals and four championships from 2002-2006. During that time, Dodge compiled an eye-popping 79-1 record, with his only loss coming in the state title game in 2003. (see Crossing Patterns for our update last season on Dodge).

Wasson served as an assistant under Dodge during his time with the Dragons and got the best of his former co-worker last season when Southlake Carroll topped AustinWestlake, 17-14, in Dragon Stadium

“I don’t look at it as me going against Todd Dodge,” Wasson said. “He’s a good friend and a good coach. But it’s not me vs. him. This is about Southlake Carroll vs. Austin Westlake. Dragon football vs. Chaparral football.”

Indeed it is.

While the budding coaching rivalry might be interesting, the product on the field should be even better. Both programs reached the playoffs a year ago and have high expectations heading into the 2015 season.

This most glaring question for the Dragons going into the opener is under center. Wasson has yet to name a starter and plans to use a two-quarterback system against an Austin Westlake defense that brings back half a dozen starters, including defensive backs Mack Kelley and Max Mangum — the two combined for more than 150 tackles last year.

Wasson said both senior Montana Murphy and junior Mason Holmes would get reps.

Couple the uncertainty at quarterback with Austin Westlake’s strength in the secondary, and Southlake Carroll might rely on the run game more than usual. The Dragons bring back plenty of beef up front as well as 1,800-yard rusher Lil’ Jordan Humphrey.

“Both (Murphy and Holmes) will get shots to separate themselves,” Wasson said. “Both bring different things to the table. We’re going to continue to do whatever it takes to make us as good as we can be. We always try to play to our strengths. Our line has had a good camp, and we have some good runners.”

Southlake Carroll also has some big question marks on defense. The only returning starter on is senior cornerback Obi Eboh. The young unit will get tested early.

After all, Austin Westlake also brings back six starters on offense and one of the best quarterbacks in the state in Texas commit Sam Ehlinger, who compiled close to 3,000 yards of total offense as a sophomore in Dodge’s high-powered spread offense.

“We have to limit big plays,” Wasson said. “They have an outstanding quarterback and return the nucleus of their offense. If we don’t get to the quarterback and let him get comfortable, it’s going to be a long night for us.”

So what the biggest key for Wasson and Southlake Carroll to knock off Dodge and Austin Westlake for the second consecutive season?

“Score more points,” Wasson said with a laugh. “The team with the most points will win the game.”