Chalk Talk: Southlake Carroll

Perennial power Southlake Carroll opened the 2008 season at the Tom Landry Classic held at SMU's Ford Stadium. Scout.com was on hand to witness their 35-9 defeat of Plano West and now breaks down the three key factors in their dominating victory.

1) Bend But Don't Break

The Dragons' defense gave up just under 300 yards of total offense however they only allowed 9 points. The object of the game is to score points not rack up yards. The defense made the plays when it counted. They created two turnovers both of which lead to scores (one was an interception returned for a TD).

2)Balanced Attack

The Carroll offense kept Plano West honest by attacking every part of the field. They threw long and short, they ran inside and outside. They threw 28 times and ran 31. Plano West couldn't cheat a man into the box to help on the run because Southlake Carroll passed so often and if they brought in an additional DB Carroll would of attacked a weaker defense with a run. Great game planning by the Southlake Carroll Dragons.

3) Tradition

Scanning the Carroll bleachers, I noticed a banner that read, "Protect The Tradition". The youthful Dragons are standing on the shoulders of giants and they know it. While they have a lot to live up to, they are up for the challenge. Winning is a habit and fortunately for Carroll it is a habit that is hard to break. These kids expect to win every game and that is a competitive edge that helps a young team pull out victories.

Must Improve

1) The Fast Start

It took a quarter for Carroll to get on track (They fumbled the opening kickoff and trailed 3-0 headed in the the second quarter of play). Because they are a young team that is starting a new era under the lights, it is expected and acceptable for the first game. However, if they want to continue to be the Carroll of old, they have to play four quarters of football.

In their pre-season evaluation, Texas Prep Insider Matt Diggs wrote: "Southlake has averaged nearly 50 points a game in the regular season over the last 6 years. This will be the first season they will not get close to that number and they will likely have to play 4 quarters every single week. Southlake is going to have to win some 24-21 games over the next season. The game has 4-5 games that could go either way - and that has happened for the first time in a long time. Games against Galena Park North Shore, Arlington, Marcus, Plano West and Hebron will be very competitive games. I look for Southlake to split those games but likely lose in the second or fourth round, depending how the playoff seedings go. Look for Southlake to go 9-3 or 8-4 - but next year, they will be pretty darn good."

A dead on evaluation as Carroll must play for quarters of football.

Overall

Southlake Carroll is a storied program and while I do not think that they are as good a team as in years past, they definitely have the talent and the coaching staff to carry the tradition. Their young players will have to grow up quickly and a win over Arlington at home this week will make them 2-0 and should give them added confidence.


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