Dragons To Face Toughest Playoff Opponent Yet
Dec 07, 2018 12:58PM
● By Skylar Kalb
The Southlake Carroll Dragons (13-0) will face their toughest challenge yet on the road to the state championship and their first undefeated opponent of the season, the Duncanville Panthers (12-0) this Saturday at The Star in Frisco.
After navigating a lengthy weather delay to later roll over Euless Trinity 35-7 in the regional round of playoffs, the Dragons are now headed to the quarterfinals. Last week, the Panthers shut out Lewisville 38-0 to advance to the quarterfinal as well.
Carroll’s offense will likely face one of its toughest challenges yet against the Panthers’ defense, who leads all Class 6A Dallas-area teams when it comes to limiting opponents’ scoring drives. This season, Duncanville has limited their opponents to 116.8 total yards and 4.4 points per game, and have only allowed more than one touchdown twice.
Strength and size are what make the Duncanville defense, with defensive tackle James Mitchell weighing in at 6’2”, 265 pounds and defensive tackle Debraylon Carroll weighing in at 6’0”, 280 pounds.
Carroll quarterback Will Bowers will need to ensure he is getting the ball out of the pocket to one of his receivers or running backs as soon as he can, to avoid the strength and speed of the Duncanville defensive line. This will help the Dragons to avoid sacks and turnovers.
The Dragons’ defense will also have its hands full containing both the Duncanville pass and run offense.
Junior quarterback Ja’quinden Jackson leads the Panthers, running back Trysten Smith as his main handoff. Wide receiver Zeriah Beason makes up another key component of the Duncanville offense, with 20 D1 offers from the likes of LSU, Arkansas, Baylor and many other schools.
The Duncanville offense has strength in numbers with multiple high-caliber starting receivers as well as running backs, and an offensive line with good size.
The Dragon defense will need to keep an eye on Zeriah, covering him out in the corners to prevent him from scoring when and if he receives the ball. Look for Dragons such as RJ Mickens and Brandon Howell to make big plays in the secondary, and to stop the Panthers’ pass offense. Look for the Carroll defensive line to be quick on its feet in order to stop the run game, and prevent running backs from breaking through the line into the backfield.
The Dragons kick off against the Panthers Saturday at 4:30 p.m. at The Star in Frisco.