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BreakDown: 2023 Southlake Carroll Dragons Schedule

By guruscotty August 22, 2023 No Comments

BreakDown: 2023 Southlake Carroll Dragons Schedule

By Troy Phillips
Photos by Ron Jenkins

Carroll is in the second year of the latest realignment cycle, so road and home games from 2022 switch in 2023, except the opener vs. El Paso Eastwood. The Troopers will visit Southlake again. District 4-6A includes just three home games, two trips to nearby Keller ISD Stadium, and back-to-back weeks at Northwest ISD Stadium (Oct. 19 and 27). The Dragons’ longest road trip will be to Cedar Hill (Sept. 8).

Linebacker/safety Aaron Scherp (28) is one to watch for the Dragons this fall.

Friday, Aug. 25
El Paso Eastwood
7 p.m., Dragon Stadium
(Green Out)

The Troopers (9-3) bounced back nicely after a 66-14 blowout loss at Carroll to start 2022. Area finalist Eastwood is back to try to close the gap, and quarterback Evan Minjarez threw for 2,700 yards and 35 touchdowns last season. Eastwood has good size up front and big-play receiver Evan Macias (4 TDs in last 9 games), but likely leans too heavily on too few stars.

Friday, Sept. 1
Flower Mound Marcus
7 p.m., Dragon Stadium
(Emerald Belles’ 60th Anniversary)

Marcus welcomes former Grapevine coach Mike Alexander, who previously led a successful program. Offensive lineman Jack Tanner (6-6, 290) and defensive lineman Matthew Bryant (6-2, 265) are typical of the Marauders’ up-front strength, but there are tests to pass at quarterback, running back and wide receiver, which on the surface, would appear big early obstacles.

Friday, Sept. 8
Cedar Hill
7 p.m., Longhorn Stadium

Things got atypically ugly for the Longhorns in 2022 with a 2-8, no-playoff finish. Change was inevitable, and Cedar Hill brought in Midlothian assistant Nick Ward. The rebuilding begins on defense, where Cedar Hill is traditionally strong and athletic despite any offensive struggles. Defensive back Dante Wesley stands out. Quarterback Anthony Edwards is a year older after struggling (no TDs thrown through
4 games) in 2022.

Thursday, Sept. 14
Keller Timber Creek*
7 p.m., Keller ISD Athletics Complex

Timber Creek has more than 30 returning letterwinners, but serious holes to fill after losing three college-level wide receivers. Until those targets are established, quarterback Lior Mendji and running back AJ Parks likely will have the Falcons looking conservative. Four-year starting linebacker Devin Green is relentless.

Friday, Sept. 22
7 p.m., Dragon Stadium

The winless Buffalos were the second (62-0) of Carroll’s two 2022 shutout victims. The climb to contention could be long, but there’s help in strong arrivals from Haltom’s junior varsity. Quarterback Ashton Moore played in six games; he should take the wheel full time. Finding offensive rhythm and execution are common for Haltom. Coach Jason Tucker has found success before.

Thursday, Oct. 5
7 p.m., Keller ISD Athletics Complex

Keller put a scare into Carroll last season. The Dragons won 38-35, and the Indians finished 10-3. Senior losses were heavy, but receiver Tre’ Griffiths (32 catches, 7 touchdowns) and running back Cameron Rayford (9 rushing TDs) lead a good returning core. The graduation of Tre Guerra (2,600 yards, 21 TDs passing) leaves the district’s biggest question mark at quarterback.

Friday, Oct. 13
Keller Central*
7 p.m., Dragon Stadium
(Pink Out)

The Chargers struggled to a 1-9 finish and are in rebuilding mode, perhaps with an untested sophomore (Chevy Andrews) at quarterback. Running back/defensive back Cornelius Wilson is a two-way weapon, and how much he’ll be needed every play remains to be seen. Kicker Max Miranda was perfect on point-after kicks and 4-for-5 on field goals.

Thursday, Oct. 19
Haslet Eaton*
7 p.m., Northwest ISD Stadium

The 4-6 Eagles were squeezed out of playoff contention by a tiebreaker. Quarterback Noah Lugo is an exciting returnee through the air (1,600 yards, 16 TDs passing) and on the ground (900 yards, 14 TDs rushing). Talan Holmes, Mason Stubbe and Karsten Robinson, sophomores last season, caught a combined 67 passes.

Friday, Oct. 27
Trophy Club Byron Nelson*
7 p.m., Northwest ISD Stadium

Senior Tom Von Grote moves from backup to starting quarterback. He threw for about 300 yards in 10 games of spot duty for the 11-2 Bobcats. Defensive back David Kabongo (64 tackles, 2 interceptions) might be needed at running back if a new group is slow to grow. Kicker Pierce Dahlin scored 88 total points, including a 46-yarder among six field goals. Ashton Williams had nine tackles for losses and three sacks while in the secondary.

Friday, Nov. 3
Keller Fossil Ridge*
7 p.m., Dragon Stadium
(Senior Night)

Defensive backs Reece Watkins and X’zavion Branch Duncan are talented in coverage and helped the Panthers at receiver. Quarterback Logan Cundiff threw for 1,500 yards and 16 touchdowns for 5-5 Fossil Ridge. Cooper Leonard (38 catches) is Cundiff’s primary collaborator. The Panthers could be running back-by-committee if a leader doesn’t emerge. Coach Derek Ramsey has built diligently with youth for two years.