ARLINGTON — The Carroll Dragons knew they were in for a tough first-round matchup with Plano East. It was as expected.
The Dragons (11-0) held off the Panthers with an impressive defensive showing and enough clutch fourth-quarter plays to survive 23-16 Saturday in a Class 5A Division I bi-district playoff at Cowboys Stadium. Carroll advances to meet Cedar Hill at 11 a.m. Saturday at Cowboys Stadium in a Class 5A Division I area matchup and the opening game of a quadruple header.
With the scored tied 16-16, the Dragons produced a 15-play, 71-yard drive that was capped by A.J. Ezzard’s 1-yard touchdown run with 4:06 left in the game. It proved to be the game-winning score after Carroll’s defense held Plano East on downs (with 2:33 left) and produced an interception in the final minutes.
Plano East (6-5) entered the game averaging more than 500 yards per game, but was held to 248 yards and 11 first downs. Offensively, the Dragons had 429 yards and quarterback Kenny Hill had 215 passing and 176 rushing and one touchdown passing and rushing.
Dragons receiver Peyton Williams had a busy day with 12 catches for 135 yards and one TD, which came on a 9-yard pass with 3:51 left in the third quarter. The TD catch tied the game at 16-16. Sabian Holmes added five catches for 66 yards.