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Southlake Style

Dragons Face Coppell First In District Play

Oct 01, 2015 03:32PM ● By Mike

By EJ Holland

Non-district play is over.

As most coaches like to put it, the Texas high school football season has transitioned to its second stage. Southlake Carroll will open up District 7-6A play on Friday night.

The Dragons are currently 3-1 and riding a three-game winning streak after a loss to Austin Westlake in the opener. The offense has found an identity with Mason Holmes at quarterback, and the defense is growing up quickly

“We feel like we’re improving week to week, but now, the stakes are a little higher,” said head coach Hal Wasson. “We’re a team of habit, so our routine won’t change. But we have to go out there and make the most of everything this time of year.”

The first step towards adding another district championship trophy to the display case will be earning a victory on the road against a tough Coppell team.

The Cowboys are 3-2, but both losses came against quality opponents — Oklahoma power Broken Arrow and defending 6A DII state champion Cedar Hill.

Coppell lost all-district running back Charles West and a couple of its mammoth offensive linemen from a year ago, including Connor Williams, who now starts at Texas. But its philosophy hasn’t changed much. Coppell is averaging nearly 200 yards on the ground per game.

Joe Fex is the bell cow for the Cowboys. The junior has rushed for 486 yards and two touchdowns. Sophomore quarterback Brady McBride only averages 169 yards passing per game, but he’s been efficient, throwing 11 touchdowns and no interceptions.

“We have to be good on our run defense,” Wasson said. “They’ve actually thrown a little bit more this year. They do a lot of pass-run option with McBride. They use him on rollouts, and if something isn’t there, he can tuck and run. We have to be ready.”

Coppell will try to establish its ground game, keep the clock moving and play tough defense. Led by linebacker Tyler Bell, the Cowboys are giving up just 21 point per contest. But Southlake Carroll’s offense is only getting better. The Dragons have scored more than 40 points in their last two games.

“We have to go out there, and do a good job of distributing the football,” Wasson said. “When we’re running and throwing successfully, you present defenses with a problem. That’s been a big asset for us.”

Wasson added that his team is ready for the hostile environment and that the key to coming away with the “W” will be to continue being themselves despite the pressure that comes with the second season.