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Southlake Style

Dragons Make the Most of the Bye Week

Sep 23, 2015 11:39AM ● By Mike

Lil' Jordan Humphrey leads the offense to the field against Midland Lee on 9/11/15. The Dragons took down the Rebels 52-14. Photo by Stewart Johnson.

By EJ Holland

Sometimes teams use a bye week as time for a little rest and relaxation.

But not Southlake Carroll. After a blowout win over Midland Lee, the Dragons continued to practice hard, made some improvements in key areas and prepared for West Texas power Abilene.

Southlake Carroll (3-1) will hit the road this week  to face the Eagles (4-0), who are averaging more than 40 points per game. In fact, Abilene has already knocked off two District 7-6A teams — Colleyville Heritage (2-2) and L.D. Bell (0-4).

“We’ve got another tough test this week,” Wasson said. “We used the bye week to improve ourselves and get to where we need to be. I think we used it to our advantage. We know we’re going to have to play well against Abilene.”

Abilene is a run heavy team. The Eagles keep it on the ground on 65 percent of their plays out of their primary single back formation. Junior running back Abram Smith, who has rushed for 512 yards this season, is Abilene’s bell cow.

Smith missed most of his sophomore year after tearing his ACL but is fully healthy and better than ever. As a team, the Eagles average 245 yards rushing per game.

“We have to be very disciplined defensively,” Wasson said. “They have a good running back and a goof line. One of the things we focused on this week was our front playing with a better punch and being more gap contentious.”

On the other side of the ball, Abilene has an experienced defense that specializes in stopping the run. With senior linebackers Ronnell Wilson and Hill Holloway leading the way, Abilene is giving up just a little more than 100 yards per game.

The good news for Southlake Carroll is Lil’ Jordan Humphrey is one of the best running backs in the state, and the Dragons passing game is improving with the emergence of junior signal-caller Mason Holmes.

“Abilene has a very proud defense,” Wasson said. “They run an odd 3-4 that stops the run. But we present a different challenge because we’re very balanced. We just have to go out there and be us and protect the football.”

Southlake Carroll currently sits at 2-1. This will be the Dragons’ last non-district game of the season.