Late, second half rally secures road win for Southlake Carroll over Rockwall-Heath
Photo Credit: WooDoo Photo (@woodoophoto)
ROCKWALL, TEXAS— Arguably two of the best offenses in the Dallas area were set to face off to start Week 2 of high school football in Texas. The Southlake Carroll Dragons are without their star quarterback from last season, Quinn Ewers, as he opted out of his senior season to enroll early at Ohio State. But the Dragons were still returning most of their offense from last year’s 6A D1 runner up team in junior running back, Owen Allen, senior wide receiver, Landon Sampson, who is committed to South Carolina, and more. Rockwall-Heath is coming in with most of their offensive firepower from last season as well, as the Hawks are led by quarterback and Indiana commit, Josh Hoover, and wide receiver and Auburn commit, Jay Fair. The two powerful offenses were on display in last year’s matchup between the two teams; Southlake Carroll walked away with a 72-57 win at home. But now that Rockwall-Heath had home field advantage, they looked to make the score even. However, Carroll had a different plan in mind, and they wouldn’t give up until they accomplished that plan.
Rockwall-Heath started the game how they wanted; the Hawks forced a punt on Southlake Carroll’s first possession, and got the offense rolling all the way inside Carroll’s 8-yard line. Running back, Zach Evans, who is committed to Minnesota, put the Hawks’ first points on the board with an 8-yard touchdown, giving Rockwall-Heath an early 7-0 lead (PAT good).
Southlake Carroll’s offense got going after that, as quarterback, Kaden Anderson, found Owen Ohser for a long pass to the Rockwall-Heath 34-yard line. But the Dragons couldn’t get in the end zone, and were forced to settle for a 35-yard field goal. The Rockwall-Heath offense took advantage after the defense kept Carroll out of the end zone. Josh Hoover was able to find Jordan Nabors for a 58-yard touchdown to extend the Hawks lead to 14-3 (PAT good).
Owen Allen then started his dominant running, making moves and breaking free all the way up to the Rockwall-Heath 32-yard line. But Rockwall-Heath wasn’t fazed, as they were able to recover at their own 21-yard line, and ended the first quarter up 14-3.
Josh Hoover found Jordan Nabors again to start the second quarter, and the Hawks were brought to the Southlake Carroll 15-yard line. Zach Evans did the rest from there, running 12 yards into the end zone to make the score 21-3 (PAT good). Kaden Anderson started to find his receivers, as he found Landon Sampson on Carroll’s next possession for a 72-yard touchdown, making the score 21-10 (PAT good). After Rockwall-Heath marched down the field inside Carroll’s 20-yard line, and false start penalties brought them to 4th and goal from the 17, the Hawks were forced to turn the ball over after a blocked field goal. But the Dragons were unable to take advantage, and the first half ended with Rockwall-Heath in the lead 21-10.
Rockwall-Heath kept going strong to start the second half. Running back, Brittan Snider, ran for a long run inside the Carroll 25-yard line, which set up a 24-yard touchdown pass from Josh Hoover to Fletcher Fierro (PAT good). But Southlake Carroll wouldn’t back down, as Kaden Anderson found R.J. Maryland for a long pass to the Rockwall-Heath 26-yard line. After Anderson found Landon Sampson for a pass to the 3-yard line, he then ran it himself for a 3-yard touchdown to make the score 28-17 (PAT good). Josh Hoover kept his rhythm on the Hawks’ next possession, as he found Fletcher Fierro for a long pass to the Carroll 39-yard line. He then found Jay Fair for a 39-yard touchdown, extending Rockwall-Heath’s lead to 35-17 (PAT good).
Kaden Anderson was able to connect with Landon Sampson on the Dragons’ next possession. After he completed a pass to Sampson to advance into Rockwall-Heath territory at their 42-yard line, Anderson found him shortly after for a 24-yard touchdown (PAT good). Anderson and the Dragons kept going, as he found Owen Allen for a long pass on their next possession, bringing Carroll to the Hawks’ 2-yard line. Owen Allen capped off the drive with a 2-yard touchdown, bringing the Dragons within one score of Rockwall-Heath at 35-30 to end the third quarter (2-point conversion no good).
Rockwall-Heath found a tempo at the start of the fourth quarter; Zach Evans ran for a long run to their own 45-yard line, and Josh Hoover found Jordan Nabors for a long pass to the Carroll 8-yard line. But the Dragons defense kept them out of the end zone, forcing a turnover on downs after a bad snap, and taking over at their own 14-yard line. Carroll was brought to 4th down and 13, but were able to convert with a screen pass to Owen Allen to the Rockwall-Heath 21-yard line. The Dragons were brought to 4th down and 7 again, this time at the Hawks’ 8-yard line. But a pass interference penalty on Rockwall-Heath gave Carroll a fresh set of downs from the Hawks’ 2-yard line. Owen Allen took advantage, as he ran for a 1-yard touchdown, giving Southlake Carroll their first lead of the game at 36-35 (2-point conversion no good).
Carroll had the lead, now all they had to do was hang onto it. After a facemask penalty on the Dragons brought Rockwall-Heath to their own 43-yard line, Zach Evans ran into Carroll territory to their 25-yard line. The Dragons’ defense kept their composure, forcing a 4th down and 6. Rockwall-Heath let the clock run down, and were going to try and win the game with a 35-yard field goal. But the Southlake Carroll defense came up big, as big as they might all season. The Dragons blocked the field goal, completed the comeback, and walked away with an outstanding 36-35 win.
Southlake Carroll keeps their undefeated streak alive after Week 2 at 2-0. The Dragons will stay on the road and take on Prosper next week on Friday, September 10th at 8 PM ET (7 PM CT). Rockwall-Heath will look to bounce back after a heartbreaking loss, as they will take on Naaman Forest next week on Friday, September 10th at 8 PM ET (7 PM CT).