CORINTH - It was a rotating cast of quarterbacks for both squads Friday at Falcon Stadium in Lake Dallas.
Lake Dallas, with senior starter Brandon Engel still nursing an injury, rotated between him and junior backup Trevor Moon. Frisco Centennial used all three quarterbacks on the roster before halftime, with Grayson Diggs starting, Logan Swink relieving Diggs in the second quarter, and Nathan Hopkins playing the majority of the final eight minutes before halftime.
With so much flux at the signal-caller position, both teams relied on a ground-heavy attack -- an approach that went decidedly in Lake Dallas’ favor.
The Falcons were led by Moon, sophomore Godwin Ugochukwu, and senior Ike Onyekwere, who combined for 114 rushing yards, and the defense forced three turnovers and blocked a field goal attempt en route to a 24-0 victory.
Centennial struggled mightily on offense in the first half -- at one point in the second quarter, the Titans had minus-6 rushing yards - and dropped three possible interceptions on defense. By game’s end, the Titans had managed only four first downs and 60 total yards.
“Our defense has a chance to be a dominant unit,” said Michael Young, Lake Dallas head coach. “I can count on one hand the times I’ve had a team shut out another team. If that unit can keep getting better, it’s going to put us in position to win a lot of games."
Lake Dallas blocked a Centennial field goal attempt in the first quarter, then drove 80 yards for a touchdown - throwing only three passes on the drive - and ending the march with a 12-yard Moon pass to senior Jaden McGrew. The Falcons’ defense shut down Centennial for the remainder of the half, and junior kicker Anthony Patti added a field goal for a 10-0 Falcon lead at the break.
Moon added a touchdown run in the third quarter to push Lake Dallas’ lead to 17-0.
“I thought [Moon] did some good things tonight,” Young said. “He made some good throws, and he’s really good at reading the defense on the run-option plays. He can really help us in the running game."
Young reiterated that, when healthy, Engel remains the team’s starting quarterback -- although Moon impressed him on Friday. To complicate matters even further, Engel re-aggravated his injured left leg in the fourth quarter Friday after catching a short swing pass.
“We’ll really just have to see [on Engel],” Young said. “Honestly, even when he’s playing receiver, defenses cover us in a totally different way. A lot of times tonight, they had a corner and a safety over the top looking out for him, and that opens holes for other players on our squad. But whether he’s playing running back, wide receiver, or quarterback, we want him out there. He’s one of the best players in DFW, and we need him."
On the other sideline, the quarterback position is still very much up in the air.
Diggs started the second half for the Titans and Swink saw a few snaps, but it was Hopkins who saw the majority of playing time in the final two quarters. The final stat lines for all three quarterbacks: Dairies, 50 yards passing; Hopkins and Swink, 8 yards passing each.
Centennial’s rushing attack wasn’t much better, as eight players gained 27 yards -- or, minus-6 counting sack totals.
Centennial’s final non-district game is Thursday against Bishop Lynch, while Lake Dallas draws Frisco Reedy on Friday in its opener to District 7-5A Division II.