In the shadows of AT&T Stadium, fans packed into Maverick Stadium on the campus of UT-Arlington to watch the Southlake Carroll Dragons take on the Arlington Martin Warriors. After the Dragons came out on top last season, Martin was able to avenge last year’s loss with a 50-33 win.
Southlake Carroll received the opening kickoff and quickly drove down the field to get inside the 10 yard line. The Martin defense held their ground but the Dragons scored on a fourt and goal from the one yard line on a carry by TJ McDaniel to put Carroll on the board first.
Martin got the ball back and, just like Carroll, pushed and shoved their way down the field taking over six minutes off the clock. The drive was capped off by a keeper by Martin quarterback Juma Otoviano to tie the game at seven.
Carroll’s second drive of the game started slow being forced into an early 3rd down. After picking up the first down, quarterback Will Bowers handed off to McDaniel who took it 57 yards for the Dragon touchdown. But on the ensuing kickoff, Juma Otoviano fielded the ball at the one-yard line and took it 99 yards for the touchdown. Otoviano then took the snap on the two point conversion and snuck it in on the second effort putting Martin up 15-14.
Martin surprised Carroll with an onside kick, but the Dragons came up with it as Ryan Thompson caught it off the bounce. Both teams went three and out on their next possession. Carroll wasted no time to get back in business as Will Bowers threw to RJ Mickens for a 26 yard score to put the Dragons back up 21-15.
But it wouldn’t last long as on the second play of Martin’s possession, Otoviano threw over the middle to senior tight end Brayden Willis who took it 80 yards for the Martin touchdown to make it 22-21. Carroll would not be denied though as TJ McDaniel took it in for his third touchdown from 3 yards out. The half would end with the score 27-22 Carroll on top.
Martin started the second half by going three and out but quickly bounced back by turning a Carroll interception into points. Otoviano connected with Brayden Willis for the touchdown and Martin led 29-27 after the extra point. Two key sacks help Martin force the Dragons to go three and out and the Warriors went to work again. Juma Otoviano drove them all the way down the field before taking it in from 6 yards out to extend the lead 36-27.
The Dragons started the fourth quarter trailing by 9. They faced a fourth down and three but fumbled on the play and the Warriors recored. Two plays later, junior running back Montrell Smith took it up the middle 39 yards for the Warrior touchdown to make it 43-27 with 10 minutes to go.
Carroll would not give up though. With 5:35 left, Will Bowers hit Cade Bell for the 26 yard touchdown. The missed two point conversion kept it a 10 point game of 43-33. Martin would then score one more time as Montrell Smith took it around the right side 57 yards for the Warrior touchdown to make it 50-33. The Martin defense would hold and preserve the win.
Arlington Martin improves to 2-0 on the season and will play South Grand Prairie next week at the Gopher-Warrior Bowl. Southlake Carroll drops their first game of the season to fall to 1-1 and will play Rockwall next week at home.
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