Thursday night's season-opening shootout between talent-laden East Texas Class 4A programs Gilmer and Liberty-Eylau featured a ton of offense and not much defense.
The 6-foot-4, 261-pound defensive end saw his Liberty-Eylau squad fall 61-55 to Gilmer in a matchup of Associated Press Class 4A Preseason Top 10 squads (Gilmer No. 6, Liberty-Eylau No. 9) at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium in Tyler.
While the teams combined for more than 1,100 total yards of offense, Carson did his part. The No. 1-ranked defensive end in the state of Texas' senior class finished with two sacks and four tackles for loss. Gilmer threw for a school-record 569 yards, but ran for only 75 yards on 35 attempts, thanks in part to Carson's presence on the defensive front, according to Clint Buckley, managing editor of the East Texas Sports Network (ETSN.fm).
"Even though his defense gave up 61 points, it was pretty evident that Lagaryonn Carson wasn't the reason," said Buckley, who's covered football in East Texas since 2002. "The powerful defensive end applied heavy pressure most of the night, and was double-teamed nearly every snap. Carson has a motor that doesn't quit."
Other than his motor, what stood out about Carson's performance?
"He was able to use his raw power to fly through the double teams," Buckley said. "Gilmer didn't run to his side too often, and for good reason. His 6-4, 260-pound frame served as a brick wall."
-- If you're interested in the game story, check out this from ETSN.fm: Gilmer Edges Liberty-Eylau 61-55 in Thrilling Opener
Carson helped Liberty-Eylau reach the 4A Division I state semifinals a year ago, when L-E fell in a thriller to state runner-up Argyle. Matching his junior numbers will be a tough task, but it sounds like Thursday night's opener put Carson on the right track.
As a junior in 2015, Carson recorded a staggering 170 tackles, 40 tackles for loss, 20 sacks, and six forced fumbles to earn 4A all-state Defensive MVP and his district's Defensive MVP.
Carson and Liberty-Eylau play yet another East Texas perennial power, Carthage, in their home opener.
-- Junior highlights: