Dragons Rewarded With Home Playoff Game vs Cedar Hill
Nov 12, 2015 03:15PM ● Published by Mike
by EJ Holland
Black pants. Blonde hair.
Southlake Carroll might be a team of habit but even head coach Hal Wasson admits that things feel a little different in the Dragons’ locker room this week. After outscoring their last two opponents 115-7, Southlake Carroll is well rested and ready for yet another playoff run.
“There is no doubt it feels different,” Wasson said. “It’s a special time of year. Every rep is magnified during practice. You have to pay attention to every little detail. If you’re not at you’re best, you’re going to get knocked out of the tournament.”
Despite a nail-biting loss to Euless Trinity Southlake Carroll was able to earn the top seed out of 7-6A in Division II. Unfortunately for the Dragons, they drew arguably the best district runner up in the state in back-to-back state champion Cedar Hill.
The Longhorns (9-1) suffered a 46-43 upset loss to Mansfield a couple of weeks ago — their only setback of the season — but still appear poised to make another run at a state title.
After all, Cedar Hill, which knocked Southlake Carroll outof last year’s state playoffs (62-42) boasts one of the most explosive offenses in the state. The Longhorns average close to 40 points per game behind dual-threat quarterback Avery Davis.
The star junior, who holds offers from Colorado, Notre Dame, Texas Tech and others, has racked up 2,771 yards of offense and 34 total touchdowns. And Davis has a number of talented weapons at his disposal, including running back Kaegun Williams and wide receivers Charleston Rambo, Camron Buckley and Jaylon Jackson — all of whom hold multiple FBS offers.
“This is going to be a tough task,” Wasson said. “Cedar Hill is big, strong and athletic. Everything goes through their quarterback. He’s electric. We witnessed it first hand last year. He’s a gifted player, but they also have weapons everywhere and a big, strong line. We’ve got our hands full defensively.”
Southlake Carroll sticks to its game plan of having a balanced offensive attack. But the Dragons might feed the ball to Lil’ Jordan Humprey and Shemar Coleman more often than usual.
Mansfield proved that the key to beating Cedar Hill, which gives up just 17 points per game, is to effectively run the football. The Tigers gained 251 yards on the ground in their upset bid.
“Defensively, they try to bring a lot of pressure,” Wasson said. “They really swarm the football. We have to be at our best running and passing the football. It’s going to be an incredible challenge for our offense.”
While Friday’s contest should prove to be an instant classic, the Dragons do have one factor working in their favor — home field advantage. The UIL rewarded top seeds in 6A with home games in the first round of the postseason this year.
“It’s a great reward for our team, our school and our community,” Wasson said. “If I could pick one place in America to play Cedar Hill, it would be Dragon Stadium.”