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Southlake Carroll moves past controversy

Southlake Carroll coach Hal Wasson didn’t try to downplay the importance of his team’s 20-17 win over L.D. Bell.

“I think that was one of the biggest wins we’ve had since I’ve been here,” Wasson said.

He may be right. The win was the first bit of good news for the Dragons (1-1) this season after a string of bad publicity and setbacks.

Carroll’s starting QB, Daxx Garman, was ruled ineligible the morning of the team’s opener, and a WFAA-TV report insinuated that Wasson and Carroll broke UIL rules during summer 7-on-7 practices.

And when you consider the Dragons had only one returning starter, things could have gotten ugly in hurry had Carroll kicker Mac McGuire not knocked down a 27-yard field goal as time expired against Bell.

Still, Wasson has a lot of work to do with an inexperienced team, whose next test comes against a salty Richardson Berkner team at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Dragon Stadium.

Wasson said he’s seen steady improvement. New starting QB Drew Ahmuty was effective and efficient against Bell, going 16-for-21 with 204 yards and a touchdown. He had 63 yards and a score on the ground.

Wasson has been mostly encouraged by the team’s play on defense, where execution was much better against Bell than in an opening lopsided loss to Copperas Cove.

“The first week we weren’t really efficient in our stunts and execution of our plan,” Wasson said. “Our kids always play hard, but it helps when you’re playing hard and carrying out your assignments. We were just overall more consistent on that side of the ball.”

Carroll’s defense will have its hands full with Berkner (1-1) and QB Aric Stock. The Rams blew a 17-point lead in their opener against South Garland but crushed North Crowley, 31-0, last week behind Stock’s ability to both run and pass.

“We’re going to be underdogs in our own field,” Wasson said. “We have to continue to improve in all three phases.”