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Southlake Style

Dragons To Face Eagles For Second Time In Two Years

Nov 23, 2018 11:59AM ● By Skylar Kalb
The Southlake Carroll Dragons (11-0) will face their second challenge of the 2018 Texas Football State Playoffs, the DeSoto Eagles (9-2) this Saturday in Mansfield.

Last week, the Dragons cruised through the first round, dominating Coppell (7-4) 54-10, and ending the Cowboys' hopes of making it to the state championship. While the Eagles narrowly defeated the Skyline Raiders 55-53 to move on to the second round.

When comparing both the Dragons and the Eagles— the numbers are similar. Following the 2018 regular season and first round of playoffs, both teams have shown to have potent offensive weapons with the Dragons scoring 475 points to the Eagles' 400 points. The two defenses are also in line, with Carroll only allowing 191 points to DeSoto's 275 points.

The Eagles are led by senior quarterback Shundarion Ward, who has thrown for 2,435 and 25 touchdowns this season, with a 62 percent completion rate. Ward is known for being quick and accurate when under pressure in the pocket. He may be a first-year starter, but his stats and performance say otherwise.

Both the DeSoto pass and run game have been combined into a well rounded attack, with 29 rushing touchdowns and 24 receiving touchdowns on the season.

The Eagles' passing game has been the talk of the season, with all four senior receivers holding Division I offers. Lawrence Arnold leads in touchdowns with nine, and just over 450 yards on the season. La'vontae Shenault is next on the list with five touchdowns and 837 yards. Bryon Hanspard rounds out the top three leading receivers with four touchdowns and just under 500 yards. In comparison, Southlake's leading receiver is Glenn Mitchell with seven touchdowns and 432 yards receiving.

In the run game, senior Tyson Alexander leads the team in yards with just over 650 and seven touchdowns. Ward, showing his versatility, follows closely behind with over 550 yards and nine touchdowns. Roston White can also be considered a threat with 473 yards and seven touchdowns himself. 

The Dragon defensive line will need to work to penetrate apply pressure on Ward, as he has shown to be turnover prone with four interceptions. Look for key defensive Dragons like RJ Mickens and Brandon Howell to add to their tally of interceptions should they get the chance to pressure Ward or one of his many receivers.

The Eagles' defense is also something to talk about, with depth and experience heading their defensive line. Senior defensive end Devere Levelston lives up to his name "level," weighing in at 6'4", 255 pounds and leading the defense with 75 tackles. Senior defensive tackle Viramontes Pippens brings a wealth of experience to the line as a four-year starter, with 64 total tackles. 

Will Bowers and the Dragon offense will need to be light and quick on their feet to beat both the DeSoto defensive line and their strength and size in their concerns.

The Dragons and Eagles kick off on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. in the Vernon Newsom Stadium in Mansfield. Tickets can be purchased through Etix.