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Southlake Style

Dragons Seek Redemption Over Trojans In Regional Round

Nov 28, 2018 04:25PM ● By Skylar Kalb
The undefeated Southlake Carroll Dragons (12-0) are headed to Denton to face their next challenge on the road to the state championship, the Euless Trinity Trojans (10-1) and are seeking redemption after a late interception hurt Carroll in a 21-20 loss to the Trojans a year ago.

Prior to the district realignment, both Carroll and Euless shared spots in District 5-6A as regular-season opponents. Last season, an interception late in the game denied the Dragons a win over the Trojans and fell 21-20. This season, the Dragons are back and ready to even the score. 

RJ Mickens (10) runs down Trinity running back Courage Keihn for one of his team high 13 tackles versus the Euless Trinity Trojans. The Dragons would fall to the Trojans 21-20 at Pennington Field. Photo by S. Johnson/SnappedDragons.com

Last week, Carroll heftily defeated the DeSoto Eagles 41-20 despite windy conditions in Mansfield, while the Trojans took care of Franklin 44-28 - both teams receiving the area-round title and advancing to the regional round. 

The Trojans represent both a challenging defense and offense, which will force the Dragons to remain on their toes the entire match.

The Trojans, ranked No. 24 in the state according to MaxPreps, are led by senior quarterback Laki Elli, who has thrown for 1,272 yards and nine touchdowns this season with a 64.7 percent completion rate. Look for members of the Carroll secondary like RJ Mickens and Brandon Howell to make big turnover plays against the Trojans, as Elli has already thrown five interceptions this season. Last season, Mickens notched a total of 13 tackles against the Trojans - look for him to have yet another stand out match.

Senior running back Brandon Theus leads the team in rushing yards with 1,050 and 13 touchdowns. Junior running backs Malcom Washington and AJ Barnett follow closely behind with seven rushing touchdowns for Washington and five for Barnett. This season, the Trojans have racked up a total of 32 rushing touchdowns.

In the passing game, senior Lloyd Hill has just over 600 receiving yards and three touchdowns, while senior Colby Parton has three receiving touchdowns as well. 

In order to contain Euless' offense, the Dragon defense will need to first take control  of the run game, stopping Theus and company before the goal line. The defensive line will also need to move quickly to pressure Elli in the pocket in order to constrict the passing game. Expect key members of the defensive line like Hunter Colton and Alex Kingston to break through Euless' offensive line to stop Elli.

On the defensive side of the ball, Zion Fonua leads the Trojans with 40 total tackles. The Trojan defense has also recorded nine sacks this season, meaning Will Bowers will need to be quick on his feet and get the ball out of the pocket quickly.

The Dragons and Trojans kick off 7 p.m. on Friday at the University of North Texas' Apogee Stadium in Denton. For ticket info and directions click here.