Background. This essay is intended as a continuation on a tour through dominant High School football programs operating within or near the Dallas-Austin-Houston triangle in South-Central Texas. Named below are four among the strongest, as reckoned by at least one panel of veteran analysts.
Home to the Carthage Bulldogs lies about 160 miles east and a touch south of Dallas, every inch door-to-door negotiated over I-20. It has already logged a win this season, putting up 17 Fourth Quarter points to nose out a 27-24 margin on a neutral site and over non-conference rival Crosby High. Head coach Scott Surratt will lead his charges as two time defending State Champions and owners of eight of the previous dozen in their UIL Class AAAA Division. The game plan is typically comprised of three pillars: a) isolated slant with spacing; b) the all go; and c) keeper and closing. Interested students may explore the details of Coach’s teaching methods as detailed on: https://coachtube.com/coach/football/scott-surratt-carthage. A fairly small enrollment at under 800 does not prevent Carthage’s Bulldogs from occupying the fifth rung on the Texas HS ladder.
A 23 mile drive eastbound along I-30 will deliver a motorist to the home of the Rockwall-Heath Hawks, also with a 2021 win now in the books. The home field non-conference final 56-49 margin over Timber Creek will doubtless suggest a different sport, so Coach Mike Spradin and Staff may devote added practice time to defensive fundamentals. Joining returning QB Josh Hoover and an overall superb aerial game will be five defensive stalwarts, most notably Safety Peyton Williams and DE Justice Rider, whose 6’3” 240 lbs. frame blends with excellent speed off the snap. Regional finalists a year ago, the Black and Red trimmed Hawks defend the sixth spot in Texas ranks as the 2021 campaign unfolds.
Northwest from Dallas Route 114 TEXpress feeds into Southlake, whose Carroll Dragons notched an opening road W, emerging 45-21 victors over Highland Park, played at AT&T Stadium in Arlington and featured on ESPNU. Coach Riley Dodge returns a veteran lineup featuring QB Quinn Ewers, RB Owen Allen — 2020’s District 4-6A MVP on the strength of 2,063 rushing yards — and WR Landon Samson. Ewers is an Ohio State commit and regarded in some quarters as the 2022 top overall High School recruit. Samson pulled down 75 throws last year, converting 15 of them into a TD. Numerous defensive standouts return, notably last Season’s District 4-6A Defensive Newcomer of the Year in Logan Anderson. He will apply needed pressure alongside Baker Barrett, the team year ago leading tackler. It happens that Week Two sends the Dragons on the road for a Rockwell-Heath Hawks matchup.
A twenty mile drive West along I-30 leads to Arlington, whose previously eighth ranked Martin Warriors stumbled from the gate in absorbing a 40-28 on the road setback from the hands of Lake Travis. Coach Bob Wager’s Silver, Black and Red outfitted group returns a quintet of starters on both sides of the ball, among them last Season’s ace QB and a pair of All-Star running backs, one a transfer over from Fort Worth Nolan Catholic named Sergio Snider. They will be joined on defense by Stanford commit at the end, Ernest Cooper IV, and at linebacker by Trevell Jackson, who has elected to keep it local with his commitment to the Longhorns of Texas.