December 24, 2020
Class 6A Division I Regional Semifinal
Globe Life Park, Arlington
In a Christmas Eve classic that didn’t end until just a couple of hours before Santa Claus would make his rounds delivering toys to children, the Carroll Dragons held off an incredible challenge from Arlington Martin in a 30-26 classic.
QB Quinn Ewers, an Ohio State commit, made his return for the Dragons after missing six weeks due to surgery from a sport hernia. After shaking off some early rust, Ewers led the way for Southlake Carroll throwing for 251 yards and three touchdowns.
Carroll jumped out to a 14-3 lead at the end of the first quarter when Ewers threw touchdown passes to Landon Samson and Brady Boyd, while Martin’s offense had some early struggles with a punt and turnover on downs on two of their first three drives. The Warriors climbed back into the game as after a Carroll missed a field goal early in the second quarter, by marching 79-yards on 14 plays, cutting the Dragons lead to 14-11; Javien Toviano scored from a yard out and then added a two-point conversion run.
Carroll would add a field goal and take a 17-11 into the halftime locker room, but Martin would seize the lead in third quarter as QB Zach Mundell would score on a fifteen yard run, capping off a twenty play drive and giving the Warriors their first lead of the game at 18-17. The Dragons would answer with a 14-play, 88-yard drive capped off by another field goal to put Southlake Carroll up 20-18. Martin’s famed special teams would answer in a major way as on the ensuing kickoff Lenard Lemons would go 101-yards for the touchdown and after Toviano’s two-point run Martin led 26-20 with just over two minutes left in the third quarter.
Southlake Carroll would need just three plays to answer as Ewers and Samson hooked up once again, this time from 45-yards out to give the Dragons the lead back at 27-26 late in the third quarter. On the first play of the fourth quarter, with Martin looking to take the lead having moved to the Carroll 23, the Dragons defense made a play as Mundell was picked off by Parker Schnieders in the end zone to stop the Martin drive.
The Dragons would take up over half of the fourth quarter on their next drive marching 73-yards in 21 plays to the Martin before before a third Joe McFadden field goal would put Carroll up 30-26 with just over five minutes left in the game. After an exchange of punts, Martin would make one final push to win the game, marching to the Carroll 18 yard line, but only having one timeout and a key unsportsmanlike conduct penalty derailed the drive and forced Martin into obvious passing situations which caused the drive to stall and the Warriors turned the ball over on downs with seven seconds left and Carroll would escape with a heart-stopping victory.
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