After a rather windy day the weather calmed down just in time for the Southlake Carroll Dragons to take on the Arlington Martin Warriors. Both teams came into this match-up undefeated since losing their season openers, and both were looking to advance to the quarterfinals. Quinn Ewers would make his return to the field in over a month due to an undisclosed injury. The Warriors just finished a 68-0 beat down over Lewisville High School. Everything pointed towards another great Texas high school football showdown.
Ewers would get himself going rather quickly connecting with his No. 1 receiver, and future Golden Gopher, Brady Boyd three times. The Dragons offensive line gave their five-star QB all the time in the world on their first drive. This helped set up a beautiful over the shoulder throw to Landon Samson for the first score of the game. The reception would go for 28-yards, and would make for Quinn Ewers 16th touchdown on the season.
Zach Mundell would give it his best shot to retaliate with points of his own, but the Warriors offense was out of sync from the jump. The Dragons forced a punt, and would take over at their own 23-yard line. Luckily for the Warriors future Texas Longhorn Morice Blackwell helped Martin force a punt of their own.
Javien Toviano would make himself known on the Warriors next drive, breaking off back to back big runs for Arlington Martin. The Warriors would stall before even reaching their redzone though, and settle for a field goal.
Carroll would get the ball back with 4:28 left in the 1st quarter. The Ewers to Boyd connect was still going strong as they hooked up two more times on the drive. Brady Boyd would come down with his first touchdown of the day on a 7-yard pass from Ewers.
The first quarter would end with the Dragons forcing Arlington Martin to punt the ball. They wouldn’t be able to put any points onto their lead though. The Warriors would force Southlake to attempt a field goal, which they would miss, keeping the game 14-3 early in the 2nd.
Arlington Martin would take over at their own 21-yard line, and Mundell would begin to get loose. Cal Robinson would come up with two big catches to move the ball down the field, on top of the Dragons shooting themselves in the foot with penalties. Javien Toviano would line up as wildcat QB, and cap off a great drive for the Warriors with a hard run into the end zone. After completing the two-point conversion, suddenly we had a ball game.
With 3:07 left in the first half, the Dragons carried a 14-11 lead as the offense came back onto the field. Allen would receive a majority of the touches on the drive and also receive a handful of big hits along the way. Carroll head coach Riley Dodge would call a timeout with one second remaining in the first half. McFadden would knock down a 48-yard field goal to give the Dragons a 17-11 lead at the half.
The Warriors would get to start the second half with the ball, and began to make things interesting. They’d march all the way down the field and Zach Mundell would scramble his way into the endzone. After making the extra point Arlington Martin would take the lead for the first time in the game.
This would be the first time in a long time that Carroll High School would be playing from behind in a game. During this drive Ewers would take a blindside, and rather questionable hit, knocking him to the ground. How would he respond? With a pin point accurate throw to the Dragons leading receiver, Landon Samson.
An all out blitz from the Warriors would force the Dragons to kick a field goal however. Future UCONN Husky Joe McFadden would knock down a 31-yard field to retake the lead for Carroll. Then things really started to heat up.
With the score now 20-18, the Dragons would kick off to Lenard Lemons who would take it 102-yards to the house. The Warriors would go for two, and convert, giving them a 26-20 lead over the Dragons. On the very next play the Warriors would mess up an onside kick attempt, giving Ewers a dreaded short field.
The very next play after that? A 45-yard bomb to Landon Samson, his second touchdown of the afternoon. Joe McFadden would give Southlake Carroll the lead once again, 27-26, with 2:14 in the 3rd quarter.
On the very first play of the fourth quarter Mundell forced a pass into the end zone and threw his second interception on the season. Arlington Martin would be able to hold back the Carroll offense, and force a field goal. Unfortunately for the Warriors, they weren’t the only defense to show up when it matters most.
Marquette Seaton would come up with a huge sack, putting the Warriors in a terrible spot with five-minutes left in the game. Once Arlington Martin punted the ball away, the game was basically over. Carroll was able to run the clock out, and end the game 30-26.
Both Landon Samson and Brady Boyd both finished with great games. Samson had a game high 10 catches for 169-yards and two touchdowns. Boyd finished with eight catches for 78-yards and a touchdown. Quinn Ewers finished with 252 passing yards and three touchdowns on the night.
Carroll High School will move on to the UIL 6A-I State Championship quarterfinals where they will play the winner of Allen High School and Euless Trinity High School. That match-up will take place at Globe Life Park as well, but on Saturday night. Whether it is the Trojans, or the Eagles that move on, that Quarterfinals should be one of the best of the week.