Written by Matt Wixon
7-on-7 state championships: It’s a high five for SL Carroll
Fifth win of day caps show of endurance in run to championship
LEANDER — With the temperature near 100 degrees Saturday, Southlake Carroll took the field for its fifth game of the day. Some of the players were cramping, and all were feeling the effects of two intense days at the adidas 7-on-7 State Championship.
“But then you think, it’s just 40 more minutes,” Carroll quarterback Ryan Agnew said.
That final 40 minutes of 7-on-7 was dominated by the Dragons, who pulled away from Houston Stratford for a 46-27 victory in the Division I title game at Southwest Williamson County Regional Park.
“It feels awesome,” said Agnew, a 6-1, 180-pound junior who appears to be Carroll’s next great quarterback. “The receivers here are the best I’ve ever seen. I’m lucky to be throwing to them.”
Carroll scored 28 straight points, including six on an interception return, to take a 40-13 lead and wrap up its second 7-on-7 title. The Dragons also won the title in 1998, the inaugural year of the tournament.
Three local semifinalists: Carroll was joined in the semifinals by DeSoto and Arlington Bowie, and the Dallas area was close to filling all four semifinal spots. Mesquite Horn was edged in the quarterfinals, 39-32, by Stratford. The Houston school beat DeSoto, 41-34, in the semis to advance to the title game for the first time since Andrew Luck was its quarterback in 2007.
Defending champion Plano advanced to the round of 16 before losing to Houston Langham Creek, 27-20. The loss snapped the Wildcats’ 12-game state winning streak.
Coppell builds for fall: Coppell lost in the first round of the consolation bracket, but that wasn’t a big surprise. Coppell will be a run-first team in the fall, and it doesn’t incorporate special plays for 7-on-7.
But 7-on-7 provided valuable experience for a young group of quarterbacks and receivers who could be the X-factor in this season’s success for Coppell, which is loaded on the offensive and defensive lines.
“We like to pound the rock. We run the ball to set up the pass,” said junior quarterback Skyler Bonneau. “But we have a great play-action passing game out of it.”
Tough finish for Hebron: Trailing Langham Creek by six points with a minute to play in the first round of the championship bracket, Hebron star safety/receiver Jamal Adams caught a pass across the middle to keep a drive alive. Adams, rated by SportsDay as the Dallas area’s No. 4 recruit in the Class of 2014, then pulled in a jump-ball pass in the end zone to tie the score at 41.
But after Hebron failed on its point-after try, Langham Creek won in overtime, 47-41.
Briefly: All eight of this year’s Division I quarterfinalists advanced at least one round in last fall’s UIL playoffs. How much 7-on-7 success corresponds to winning in tackle football is debated, but the 7-on-7 Division I winner has gone on to make the playoffs every year since 2007. … Arlington Lamar, the only school to play in every 7-on-7 tournament since 1998, advanced to the final of the consolation bracket, where it lost to College Station A&M Consolidated, 42-34.
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