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Monday, December 12, 2011
Turnovers on downs fuel Southlake Carroll's D

By Jeff Andrews

Lost in the frenzy surrounding the last two minutes of Southlake Carroll’s 28-24 comeback win Saturday was the fantastic job the Dragon defense did against Dallas Skyline.

Carroll (15-0) held Skyline’s explosive offense to 24 points, which was a season low for the Raiders by a touchdown.

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“I think our defense did a great job,” said Carroll linebacker Will Davis after the game. “They have a lot of athletes over there, so we played to the best of our ability tonight.”

Turnovers were the key. Skyline totaled nearly 450 yards of offense – 150 more than the Dragons – but Carroll made big plays at key times to force turnovers and turnovers on downs.

The Dragons stuffed Skyline on fourth down three times, intercepted two Devante Kincade passes and recovered a Skyline fumble, but the turnovers on downs may have been the most important to Carroll’s win because all three came as Skyline was threatening to score.

On the first play of the second quarter, Carroll forced an incompletion on a pass to Thomas Johnson on fourth-and-4 from the Carroll 18-yard line to preserve a scoreless tie.

In the third quarter, Matt Swoyer tackled Johnson for no gain on a fourth-and-1 at midfield when Skyline held a 14-7 lead.

And early in the fourth quarter, a mob of Dragons hit Ellis Onic well shy of the first down on fourth-and-4 at the Carroll 22.

Forcing turnovers on downs is becoming a trend for Carroll. The Dragons stopped Arlington Martin on fourth down three times the week before.