Dragons Fall to Waco in Quarterfinals
Dec 12, 2017 10:10AM ● Published by Mike
Dragon quarterback Will Bowers attempts a downfield pass during a 42-28 loss to Waco Midway. Photo by S.Johnson/SnappedDragons.com
Gallery: Dragons 28 Waco Midway 42 [5 Images] Click any image to expand.
Southlake Carroll’s football team faced its fare share of dual-threat or Division I-caliber quarterbacks this season. On Saturday in Waco, they may have faced the best one yet.
Oklahoma commit Tanner Mordecai played a part in five total touchdowns and helmed a Waco Midway offense that racked up 476 yards at Baylor’s McLane Stadium as the Panthers scored the game’s first 21 points en route to a 42-28 victory in the Class 6A Division II Region I championship game.
Lead by Dragon Pride Player of the Week Will Bowers the Dragons nearly pulled off a thrilling comeback scoring 21 consecutive points of their own to draw even in the third quarter, but Mordecai and the Panthers had the answer to keep their unbeaten season alive and advance to the state the semifinals where they will face Longview at 6 p.m. Saturday at Allen’s Eagle Stadium.
The Dragons were trying to make due without the services of standout junior running back TJ McDaniel and the lack of the halfback’s presence was felt offensively.
Instead of pounding the ball as they have much of the season (McDaniel was among the area’s leaders in carries and yards), Carroll had just 22 rushing attempts and 14 were from quarterback Will Bowers.
The junior quarterback turned those carries into 50 yards and a touchdown, but the 70 rushing yards as a team marked a season-low. Still, the Dragons hung tough. After Mordecai (191 passing yards, 122 rushing yards, five touchdowns) scored a pair of first-quarter touchdown runs and connected with Demarcus Degrate for a 29-yard scoring strike in the second quarter for a 21-0 margin, Bowers brought the Dragons back with a trio of touchdown passes.
The first was a 30-yarder to Cade Bell that gave Carroll momentum heading to the break before consecutive passes to RJ MIckens (14 and 18 yards) knotted the contest at 21-21 with 2:14 remaining in the third quarter.
However, Midway would counter with a pair of rushing touchdowns over the ensuing 1:45 to surge back ahead by two scores.
Carroll would get back within seven on a 5-yard scoring run by Bowers, but Midway ran the remainder of the clock off and capped the game with Mordecai’s fourth touchdown run with 33 seconds remaining for the final margin.
As a result, Carroll’s bid for their first berth in the state semifinals since 2011 came to a close.
Dragon Offensive Leaders
Rushing: Will Bowers 14-50, Tavian Gould 6-15, Jacob Doddridge 2-6.
Passing: Will Bowers 20-29-302-1
Receiving: Cade Bell 8-120, RJ Mickens 4-70, Hudson Shrum 2-43, Eli Furgal 1-26, Darryl Crockett 1-17, Carson White 1-15, Wills Meyer 1-8, Preston Forney 1-2, Jacob Doddridge 1-1.