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All About Steve; Carroll wins region 16-7, moves on to quarterfinals
BY Matthew Costa
BIRDVILLE-- In the marquee matchup of the regional round of the 5A division 1 playoffs, the Southlake Carroll Dragons (12-1) gutted out a low-scoring victory to win region one, 16-7, versus the Euless Trinity Trojans (10-3).
"Trinity came in very prepared," said Hal Wasson, Carroll head coach. "We anticipated they would try to deflate the ball. They played smart and kept our receivers in front. They had a great game plan."
"I got over [the goal line]," Bergmark said. "It was just a big old pile and I just had to stretch my arm over."
Bergmark made his mark in every facet of the game. Along with his rushing touchdown, the junior blocked a field goal, forced and recovered a fumble, earned a sack and picked off a pass as Trinity was trying to respond late.
"We told our team that someone in here is going to be very special," Wasson said. "Fortunately for us, Steven was able to make some special plays."
The first half of the game may not have gone according to script, as Carroll's fast pace offense was held in check through the air, but actually outgained Trinity's run-based offense behind the legs of Hill. The Texas A&M commit finished the game with 112 yards passing and one interception, but also gained 130 yards on the ground.
"We had to be physical," Bergmark said. "We knew they liked to run it down your throat, so we just had to be physical back."
Carroll extended the lead further on its first possession of the second half, using half of the third quarter and 16 plays to give junior kicker Drew Brown another field goal attempt. The 31-yard try proved to be good and Carroll had a 6-point lead at 13-7.
Trinity's next two drives ended quickly after Bergmark's fumble recovery and a punt by the Trojans. Carroll used the strong defensive performance to set up its offense with one more field goal attempt and the ability to make it a two-possession game.
Brown's 42-yard attempt sailed through and Carroll was able to finish the game with a 9-point victory at 16-7.
Trinity's first drive started in Carroll's territory after a 58-yard return by returner Kenneth Gonzales. The Trojans drove down to the Dragons' 10-yard line with a combination of runs by running back Homer Babcock and senior quarterback Matt Hawkins before having a 27-yard field goal blocked by Bergmark.
The Dragons answered with a 76-yard drive that ended with a 25-yard field goal by Brown to give the Dragons a 3-0 lead with over three minutes to play in the first quarter.
Hawkins helped the Trojans take their first lead on Trinity's next possession, passing for 56 yards, including the go-ahead 6-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jason Reese, as Carroll trailed for the first time of the game, 7-3.
Even with the early lead, Trinity was unable to get around the Dragons' defense again, as Southlake Carroll held for the 16-7 victory.
Carroll will move on to the quarterfinal round of the 5A Division 1 playoffs against the top-ranked team in the state of Texas, Desoto, at 2 p.m. at SMU's Ford Stadium.
"They've been number one all year," Wasson said. "We've got our work cut out for us... I'm just glad we get to keep working another week."
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