A strange feeling hung in the recycled air at AT&T Stadium at halftime despite having thoroughly dominated the first half to race out to a 17-0 lead. DeSoto had just scored late in the 1st half and stopped the Dragons on a blocked field goal. This was still very much a football game, which was unusual for the Dragons this year, especially considering last week at the break the score was 63-0.
It took all of four plays for this mood to change. DeSoto received the ball to begin the half and after the Dragon defense pressured the DeSoto quarterback resulting in two QB sacks and a three and out, the Dragons cashed in on a two play drive. After sophomore quarterback Quinn Ewers had a 12 yard carry to begin the half the Dragons found pay dirt on the second offensive play. Ewers stretched the field looking for the senior Clemson commit RJ Mickens, who raced away from DeSoto's defense, streaking to the end zone. Essentially ball game over - nobody make any plans for Thanksgiving day because we have football practice.
The third quarter strike to Mickens was just one of Ewers' five aerial strikes on the day. Two were to Brady Boyd, one to Blake Smith and another lightening bolt of a pass to Wills Meyer (who led the Dragons in receiving with five catches on the day.)
Ewers' stellar day was needed because the Eagles limited the Dragon running game. Freshman running back Owen Allen had just 68 yards on the day as DeSoto loaded the box and gambled that a sophomore quarterback in his second playoff start couldn't beat their defense. That was proven wrong multiple times and the Dragon defense kept living in DeSoto's backfield with multiple sacks and numerous QB pressures.
DeSoto had one last chance to respond. They took the ball on a very long drive, pushing deep into Dragon territory. Facing a 4th and 6 the Eagles had to go on 4th down and again pressured DeSoto's quarterback lofted a ball toward the back post. But senior defender Brandon Howell leapt into the air beating the receiver to the 50/50 ball and coming down with the INT. That was one of the Dragons two turnovers on the day. Dylan Thomas grabbed the other, since no Carroll defensive effort can be complete without an interception by Thomas these days (remember he had two INTs returned for turndowns against Timber Creek three weeks ago.)
Carroll, 12-0, now checks the second of its three goals off its goal board as there will be football practice on Thanksgiving.
The Dragons will face the winner of tomorrow's Midland Lee vs. Arlington Lamar game at a site and time to be determined. Stay tuned to Dragon Sports Network for further details.