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Southlake Style

Dragons Week 2 Preview: Arlington Martin

Sep 07, 2017 09:59AM ● By Mike

On the strength of a stingy defense that gave up only 31 yards rushing, the Dragons managed a fourth-quarter comeback Friday to win their opener at Broken Arrow (Oklahoma) 21-14. However, this week the Dragons may face their stiffest test in non-district play (and perhaps the season) Friday when they head to UTA’s Maverick Stadium to take on Arlington Martin.

Senior Audricke Gaines paced a stout Dragon running game with 151 yards and 2 TDs on 22 carries as Carroll defeated Arlington Martin 37-14 at Dragon Stadium. Photo courtesy of S. Johnson

The Warriors posed little challenge to the Dragons lastyear in a 37-14 loss but enter this season’s contest ranked No. 11 in the region (others receiving votes) after displaying their offensive prowess last week in a 57-26 rout of Dallas Skyline.

“We’re moving on to an even bigger challenge,” said Hal Wasson, Carroll head coach. “Against Broken Arrow, we faced a team that was big and physical and really strong on the lines. Martin is a different animal. They’re a fast and athletic team that is going to show us a lot of different formations and sets.”

The Warriors are stocked with big-play ability on offense and it starts under center with dual-threat quarterback Juma Otoviano — who played running back against Carroll in 2016.

Last week, Otoviano threw for 134 yards (10-of-22 passing) while rushing for 96 yards and four touchdowns on 17 carries.

Martin racked up 324 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground as a team (6.6 yards per carry), including two touchdowns from Tre Henderson (eight carries, 54 yards) and another from Kentrell Smith (seven carries, 78 yards).

Brayden Willis led the Martin receiving corps with five receptions for 73 yards.

“They have guys that can make plays all over the offense,” Wasson said.

Defensively, Martin showed well against a potentially explosive Skyline offense led by versatile quarterback Velton Gardner.

And while Gardner posted impressive individual statistics (215 yards passing, 141yards rushing, three total touchdowns), the Martin defense more than made up for its yardage allowed by forcing five turnovers.

Wasson anticipates seeing multiple blitz packages against Martin’s odd-man front, which will be a key test in protection for Carroll’s backfield — an area in which Wasson was already hoping to see improvement from following the Broken Arrow game.