MOBILE, Ala. — In 2005, Southlake Carroll and Katy met for the Texas Class 5A Division II championship at Texas Stadium.
Just over 5 years later, Texas Stadium has been replaced by the sparkling $1.15 billion Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. And the 2 quarterbacks who played in that championship game, Greg McElroy and Andy Dalton, are teammates.
McElroy, who led Carroll to a 34-20 victory over Katy in that 2005 final, went on to help Alabama to a national title in 2009. Dalton guided TCU to an undefeated season and No. 2 final ranking this season.
This week, they’re both playing on the South squad in the Under Amour Senior Bowl.
Both players remember that 2005 game well.
“Katy is predominantly a run team, and that was the first year they had a passing attack,” said McElroy, who threw for 331 yards and four touchdowns in the game. “Andy was unbelievable … as good as anyone in the state as far as I was concerned.”
“Greg played a little bit better than I did,” Dalton said. “I didn’t play as well as I would have liked. But it was pretty cool because we played before Christmas, and his team was green and my team was red, so we played in Texas Stadium and it was half green and half red.”
The third quarterback on the South roster this week — Florida State’s Christian Ponder — is also a Texas native who played at Carroll’s district rival, Colleyville-Heritage, and worked out at the same gym as McElroy when they were in high school.
“He lives 10 minutes from my house, so we see each other quite a bit,” McElroy said of Ponder. “I have a lot of respect for both of those guys. We’re going to be competing against each other throughout practice, but we’re also encouraging each other because we all understand and respect what each other has done to get to where we’re at.”
The trio is looking to join a long list of quarterbacks from Texas who have gone on to big things in college football and the NFL, including Drew Brees, Matthew Stafford and Colt McCoy.