Saturday Semifinal: Southlake Carroll vs. Duncanville
It's the penultimate week of this much longer 2020 season. There are four games featuring DFW teams as they fight for a shot a state title next week. The last game of the weekend is a matchup of strength vs. strength in another playoff rematch from a year ago.
6A Division I State Semifinal
Just as the 6A Division II semifinal was an intriguing rematch from last year, so is this one as Southlake Carroll and Duncanville lock horns.
Last year, Duncanville broke open a 14-14 game with a late score in the first half on the way to 21 straight points and a 49-35 win in the Regional Final. A year later and a round deeper, the two juggernauts meet again after dismantling long-time rivals in the previous round.
Duncanville dominated defensively against its long-time district rival in DeSoto after its scheduled district matchup was cancelled. The front seven made DeSoto's offense look completely pedestrian, at best, while the Roderick Daniels and the offense scored with ease.
Likewise, Southlake - and more specifically, Quinn Ewers - was nearly flawless in its dissection of Euless Trinity. In his second week back from injury Ewers looked every bit the part of the Nation's No. 1 quarterback prospect.
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PLAYERS TO WATCH: WR Brady Body (Carroll), ATH Cinque Williams (Carroll); LB Kendrick Blackshire (Duncanville), QB Grayson James (Duncanville)
KICKOFF: 3 p.m. @ Globe Life Park (Arlington)
LINE: Duncanville favored by 14
NEXT ROUND: Winner meets winner of Galena Park North Shore/Austin Westlake in State Championship
SCOUTING THE GAME
In running down how both teams got to this point, it alludes to a matchup featuring unstoppable offense against suffocating defense.
The main matchup within the game will be the scheme Southlake runs on offense to offset Duncanville's attacking front. Duncanville's front seven is lead by Kendrick Blackshire, and keeping the pocket clean will be the upmost priority for Southlake in hopes of getting back to the state final for the first time since 2011.
For Duncanville, discipline will be key. Not in the sense of not getting penalties, but not being lulled into a sense of "doing anything it wants" against a very smart team. Duncanville can stop the run, but thinking Carroll will rely solely on the passing game is something it cannot do.
The biggest question mark will be the absence of Carroll's head coach Riley Dodge, who will be out due to COVID-19.
PICK: Duncanville has the athletes and talent that should give it a leg up over Carroll. Duncanville will get to Ewers like Arlington Martin did two weeks ago but be able to capitalize with greater success. It'll be an interesting game throughout and probably closer than many expect. But in the end, Duncanville advances for its third shot at state - probably against North Shore again.
Duncanville wins 45-38