MURPHY – The Carroll Dragons’ 2016 football season ended Friday, Nov. 18 in the second round of the playoffs against No. 2- ranked DeSoto.
After a close first half, DeSoto pulled away from Carroll in the final two quarters for a 48-30 victory in the Class 6A Division II area playoffs at a cold and windy Tom Kimbrough Stadium in Murphy.
Carroll trailed 29-23 after a wild back-and-forth first half. But the Dragons were held to only one touchdown coming late in the game as DeSoto advanced to face Abilene in the regional quarterfinals.
Dragon senior running back Audricke Gaines had 104 yards on 22 carries and one touchdown. Receiver Jackson Davis had two catches, both touchdowns, and 84 yards. His 61-yard touchdown catch with 2:15 left in the first half gave the Dragons a 23-21 lead.
But DeSoto answered back in the final moments of the first half when Eagles quarterback Shawn Robinson hit KD Nixon on a 34-yard touchdown pass. Robinson, who has committed to TCU, threw for 245 yards and one touchdown and had 209 yards on 20 carries and three rushing touchdowns.
This marked the third consecutive year Robinson, a transfer from Denton Guyer, faced Carroll in the playoffs. He started at Guyer as a sophomore and junior and split those playoff matchups vs. Carroll.
Dragon quarterback Mason Holmes finished 6-for-20 with 158 yards and one touchdown and one interception.
Carroll (10-1) is coming off a first-round victory against Wylie. DeSoto (11-0) defeated Killeen 51-7. The Dragons enter the game ranked No. 8 in the Class 6A Associated Press poll and DeSoto is No. 2.
The Class 6A Division II Region I area playoff is 7:30 p.m. Friday at Plano ISD’s Kimbrough Stadium – located at 700 North Murphy Road, Murphy, Texas.
Carroll is led offensively by quarterback Mason Holmes and running back Audricke Gaines. Holmes has thrown for 2,204 yards with 15 TDs and six interceptions.
DeSoto quarterback Shawn Robinson, a TCU commitment and transfer from Denton Guyer, faces the Dragons for the third consecutive year in the playoffs. He led Guyer to a second-round playoff victory against the Dragons last season. Robinson has thrown for 2,146 yards and 19 TDs and five interceptions this season.
Gaines is one of the area’s leading rushers with 1,417 yards (six yards per carry) and 20 touchdowns.
Carroll (10-1) vs. Desoto (11-0) – Class 6A Division II Region I Area Playoff
Date: Friday, Nov. 18
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Site: Plano ISD’s Kimbrough Stadium
Radio: 100.7 FM The Word (pre-game show at 6:30 p.m.)
TV: KTXA Ch. 21
The Dragons were denied by DeSoto’s goal-line stand in a wild 49-45 loss last Saturday before 20,000 at SMU’s Ford Stadium. The Dragons were stopped twice in the final seconds at the one-yard line by the Eagles in the Class 5A Division I Region I final. DeSoto advances to face Allen in the state semifinals.
Carroll (12-2) held DeSoto (14-0) on fourth down and nearly pulled off the dramatic comeback. The Dragons took over at their own 29 yard-line and Kenny Hill’s 22-yard pass to Luke Timian moved Carroll to the DeSoto 3-yard-line with 12 seconds left. On the next play, Hill ran two yards to the one-yard line with 8 seconds left. But on the final two plays, DeSoto stopped Hill just short of the goal to win the game.
Hill finished with five rushing TDs and 40 carries for 99 yards. He also passed for 339 yards on 18-of-33 passing and one TD. Hill finished his career as the winningest quarterback in school history at 36-4 overall and 12-2 in the postseason over three seasons. The Dragons had 532 yards of offense and nationally-ranked DeSoto finished with 620 and overcame a 24-6 first-half deficit.
Dragon safety Tanner Jacobson ended his career with an impressive performance including an interception deep in DeSoto territory and a fumble recovery.
The Class 5A defending state champion Carroll Dragons face the DeSoto Eagles on Saturday at SMU’s Ford Stadium in a highly-anticipated showdown of two of the state’s top teams. The Class 5A Division I Region I final kicks off at 2 p.m.
The Dragons are coming off a hard-fought defensive victory last week against Trinity, which DeSoto also defeated this season. The Eagles feature standout tailback Dontre Wilson, who has verbally committed to Oregon. He teams with quarterback Desmond White for a potent backfield.
For Carroll, quarterback Kenny Hill continues to add to his impressive career at the helm of the Dragons. As a starter, Hill is 36-3 and is looking for his 13th career victory in the postseason since his sophomore season. Hill rushed for 130 yards last week against Trinity. The Dragons have won 12 consecutive games and held Trinity scoreless in the second half last week.
Carroll (12-1) vs. DeSoto (13-0) – Class 5A Division I Region I Final
Date: Saturday, Dec. 8
Time: 2 p.m.
Site: SMU’s Ford Stadium
Tickets: $12 at the gate
Radio: KWRD 100.7 FM
TV: Fox Sports Southwest – Tape Delay, 10 p.m.
Live Updates: Follow Carroll ISD’s Twitter account for scoring updates and photos @Carrollisd
Notes: The winner faces the winner of Allen vs. Dallas Skyline in the state semifinals next week…Last week LB/FB Steven Bergmark added his name to Dragon playoff lore. He recorded a blocked FG, sack, fumble recovery, Carroll’s only TD and the game-sealing INT. Bergmark won the Dallas Morning News’ Hero award for this week..This will be the first meeting between Carroll and DeSoto.