Dragons Aim to Bounce Back Against Arlington Martin
Sep 01, 2016 09:44AM ● Published by Mike
by EJ Holland
It’s all about the next game.
That’s Southlake Carroll’s mantra following in a disappointing performance in the season opener that saw the Dragons struggle immensely in a 21-10 loss to Oklahoma powerhouse Tulsa Union on Friday.
“We have to be a team of resiliency,” said head coach Hal Wasson. “That’s nothing new. We talked about that all spring and all of fall camp. We have to have a great, positive attitude this week. I am confident our guys will do just that. This week is a new opportunity.”
While Wasson is accurate in his assessment, this week doesn’t necessarily serve as a prime bounce back opportunity.
The Dragons will play host to an electric Arlington Martin team full of talented underclassmen. Arlington Martin is coming off a dominant 55-7 victory over Dallas Skyline and has built up plenty of momentum.
“Martin is a very good football team,” Wasson said. “They have outstanding skill guys that will put a lot of pressure on our defense. They are a physical team. It’s going to be a challenge for us to get better this week.”
Arlington Martin runs a balanced attack on offense out of multiple formations. The main catalyst for the Warriors, however, is running back Juma Otoviano, who rushed for 122 yards last week.
Southlake Carroll must be ready in the trenches after giving up 236 yards on the ground last week.
“It’s going to be a tough challenge defensively,” Wasson said. “We have to be more disciplined. Martin will give you a lot of formations. We have to line up quickly and tackle well. That’s the disciplined part of it.”
On the defensive side of the ball, linebackers Jaran Washington and Montrell Smith lead the way for Arlington Martin. Both played key roles in forcing six turnovers against Dallas Skyline last week.
Southlake Carroll had three turnovers of its own last week and lacked any kind of explosiveness. The Dragons mustered just 178 yards through the air and 52 yards rushing against Tulsa Union.
“We struggled offensively,” Wasson said. “A lot was self inflicted. When you play really good teams, you have to protect the football. That was the downfall. We have to be better this week. We have to correct a lot of stuff this week.”
Southlake Carroll is in serious jeopardy of starting the year 0-2 for the first time in Wasson’s tenure as head coach. The Dragons must get in a groove on offense and find a way to slow down the Warriors in order to avoid just that.