Dragons Must Carry On Without Star Robert Barnes
Oct 26, 2016 03:09PM ● Published by Mike
Southlake Carroll made a statement on Friday.
The Dragons not only knocked off a red-hot Byron Nelson team but also flat out dominated the game from start to finish. With just two games remaining, Southlake Carroll is the clear front-runner to capture the district title.
“Our kids came out and played well,” said Southlake Carroll head coach Hal Wasson. “We played more physical. The more we work, the better we’re getting. It was just a dominant win. We continued to gain momentum.”
But the win over Byron Nelson came at a cost.
The Dragons lost captain and U.S. Army All-American Robert Barnes for this week’s game against L.D. Bell and beyond with a broken fibula. Barnes was the heart and soul of the defense and a reliable playmaker on offense.
“You just hate it for Robert,” Wasson said. “It’s his senior year, and we know how hard he’s worked. On the same token, you’re happy for him because the injury can heal and he has an opportunity to continue playing at Oklahoma. He will continue to be valuable to us with his leadership and enthusiastic personality.”
Barnes will especially be missed on the offensive side of the ball this week. LD Bell has continued to improve on defense throughout the season and is coming off a dominant performance against Lewisville.
The Raiders kept Alabama commit Tyrell Shavers in check and came away with an important 38-7 victory over Lewisville. L.D. Bell now sits at 3-5 overall and has momentum on its side.
“It seems like we always catch a team after a big win,” Wasson said with a chuckle. “But yes, they have improved. They have good safety play. Their linebackers move well. We’re missing Robert, but our team has to step up collectively. Each person has to improve their level of play.”
On the flip side of the ball, L.D. Bell has struggled to find much success. The Raiders average fewer than 20 points per game and have been held to less than 10 points in three of their last four contests.
Still, L.D. Bell has a strong rushing attack led by Ivan Traylor and Terry Pace. The two running backs have combined for more than 1,000 yards and 13 touchdowns on the year.
“They feature two really good backs,” Wasson said. “I’ve been really impressed with them. They like to go vertical. They take deep shots. But we have to keep the focus on ourselves. We know we are going to get L.D. Bell’s best.”