Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Dragons Battle Westlake; Come Up Short in UIL State Championship

The Dragons went head to head with one of the top programs in the state in the UIL State Championship over the weekend. A game that was described as a “knockdown drag-out fight” by Westlake coach, Todd Dodge ended with his Chaparrals coming out on top of the Dragons 51-34.

Facing a defense that has given up less than six points a game on average throughout the entire season, the Dragons offense came out hot and scored quickly on the opening drive of the game when sophomore Owen Allen took on into the end zone from 26 yards out. The Chaps responded immediately with a long rushing touchdown, and the back in forth fight was on.

At the half, the Dragons were behind by one score. Westlake opened the second half with a touchdown and an interception. Converting on the turnover, the Chaps added to their lead and shut down the Dragon offense through the end of the third quarter. The Dragon surged late with 14 unanswered points to close the gap but it wasn’t enough.

This is the first appearance since 2011 for the Dragons in the State Championship game. Head Coach Riley Dodge described the week as “program-changing” and he feels his team is heading in the right direction. With the entire starting defense and many offensive weapons including quarterback Quinn Ewers and running back Allen, the future is definitely bright for the Dragons.

As the season wraps up, this group of Dragons is expected to receive quite a bit of recognition at the district, region, and state level. District awards were announced via the Carroll Football Twitter account on Tuesday, January 19.

Sophomore running back Owen Allen was named District 4-6A Most Valuable player after racking up over 2,000 yards and 28 touchdowns. Junior defensive back Cinque Williams was named 4-6A Defensive Player of the Year, and Landon Samson received the 4-6A District Offensive Player of the year. First-year varsity player, Logan Anderson received the district’s Newcomer of the Year award.

Players named to the 4-6A All-District First Team Offense include junior tight end RJ Maryland, junior Joey Baker, senior tackle Payton Knezek, senior guard Caden Niewolny, senior wide receiver Brady Boyd, senior quarterback Hunter Holden, senior center Dylan Anderson and junior guard Walker Anderson.

The 4-6A All-District First Team Defense featured junior cornerback Avyonne Jones, sophomore defensive end Cade Parks, junior defensive end Travis Keener, junior inside linebacker Benecio Porras, junior defensive tackle Calder Bray and junior outside linebacker Barrett Baker. Senior Joe McFadden was also named to the 4-6A All-District First Team as a kicker and punter and junior cornerback Max Reyes was named to the 4-6A All-District Second Team Defense.

Dodge and his coaching staff received the 4-6A District Coaching Staff of the Year honor as well.