Written by Corbett Smith
Southlake Carroll pulls away late to oust Plano East, 23-16
Interception seals Carroll's Dragons’ victory
ARLINGTON — Plano East went nearly twenty minutes of game time — spanning three quarters — held to just one first down, its own defense doing a commendable job holding Southlake Carroll in check under such duress.
But it was only a matter of time.
In the fourth quarter of a tied game, quarterback Kenny Hill led Southlake Carroll on a 15-play, six-and-a-half minute scoring drive, with a 1-yard run by A.J. Ezzard the difference in Carroll’s 23-16 bi-district win in the Class 5A Division I Region I playoffs at Cowboys Stadium.
Hill passed for 215 yards and rushed 33 times for 176 yards and a score, as Carroll (11-0) won its bi-district game for the 12th straight year.
“We knew if we could get a couple of first downs [on that drive], we could really ice the game,” Hill said.
Peyton Williams caught 12 of Hill’s passes for 135 yards and a touchdown.
East (6-5) got the ball back with 4:06 remaining in the fourth quarter but couldn’t get a first down, going for it on fourth-and-7 from its own 14-yard line.
The gambit didn’t work, as Dillon Rake stopped East quarterback Corey Wesley for a turnover on downs.
But East got a second chance, as Hill’s pass on thirdand-7 was tipped at the line and intercepted by Kylon Higgins.
Carroll clinched the win two plays later, with safety Jeremy McClellan intercepting a pass from Wesley.
“The players brought me to the play,” McClellan said. “I don’t think the quarterback saw me, and I was able to get a jump on the ball.”
Carroll will play Cedar Hill (8-3) at 11 a.m. Saturday at Cowboys Stadium.