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Carthage Airs it Out in 49-21 Win

Coach Surratt Now Has More Championship Wins Than Playoff Losses

AT&T Stadium - The 2017 Class 4A DI State Championship featured two powerhouse programs in the Carthage Bulldogs (15-0) and the Kennedale Wildcats (14-1.) The game featured a host of 2,000 yard rushers:


  • RB Jaden Knowles, Sr., 5-8, 175 (180 carries, 2,200 yards, 34 TDs; 5 catches, 22 yards)
  • RB De'Shaun Kirven, Jr., 5-7, 166 (205 carries, 2,191 yards, 41 TDs; 10 catches, 156 yards, 2 TDs)


  • RB Keaontay Ingram, Sr., 6-0, 190 (221 carries, 2,164 yards, 34 TDs; 23 catches, 284 yards)

With all that firepower in the ground game, the fans filed into AT&T Dallas Cowboy Stadium expecting a hard-hitting game that featured very few passes. Carthage began with the ball but quickly found that their running game was not going to be enough by itself. With Kennedale focusing on the run game, Carthage finally broke out the passing game and mixed things up to drive 85 yards on 12 plays for the first score. The score came when Dewaylon Ingram (one of four Ingrams on the Carthage roster) pulled down a 14 yard pass from quarterback Gunner Capps to score making it 7-0 midway through the quarter. Kennedale was unable to get their running game going and was forced to punt on their first possession. Carthage put the ball in the air again and Capps hit Mekhi Colbert for a 64 yard bomb to put the Bulldogs up 14-0. Up to this point, the Bulldogs have converted on 5 of 5 3rd down plays. The Wildcats finally got their running game going and were on the move when the quarter ended. For the quarter Kennedale had 9 plays for 28 yards while Carthage has 12  plays for 156 yards.

The Wildcats put the ball in the air to get their first touchdown of the game when Evan Jowers hit David Roper for a 37 yard pass.  That cut the Bulldog lead in half 14-7.  The Bulldogs stayed with their passing game and they finally got stopped on 3rd down in Kennedale territory. They converted on 4th down though.  The next play Texas commit Keaontay Ingram ran it in from 20 yards out to make the score 21-7. The Wildcats went back to the run but Carthage linebacker Mykel Gates (156 tackles 20 TFL during the season) caused and recovered a fumble at the Bulldog 25 yard line with 3:04 left until halftime. Keaontay Ingram was able to run another one in, this time from 41 yards out with 52 seconds left to make the score 28-7 and that is how the half ended. Kennedale was held to 89 yards rushing in the first half. They had 5,985 yards rushing during the season which was 3rd most in the NATION.  Carthage had 240 yards passing in the first half.  The Bulldogs had four possessions in the first half and came away with four touchdowns.

Kennedale was unable to do anything on their first possession of the 2nd half and had to punt. After that, it only took two plays for Carthage to score when Capps hit Dee Bowens for a 76 yard pass to making it 35-7. After another Kennedale punt, Bowens this time took it on in on the ground for 39 yards to up the score to 42-7. The Wildcats did not give up on their running game and were driving as the 3rd quarter ended.

Kennedale found the end zone as DJ Kirven scored to make the score 42-14. The Bulldogs went to the ground and Keaontay Ingram went on a 69 yard scoring run to up the score to 49-14. The Wildcats turned the ball over on downs and Carthage started to empty their bench. The Wildcat showed no quit as Knowles scored a touchdown with 10 seconds left to make the final score 49-21.

The Wildcats had averaged 9.9 yards per rush during the season but they were held to 5.3 yards on 48 carries today. Carthage receiver Colbert broke the Class 4A state championship game record with 191 yards receiving.

by Michael Wright

Offensive MVP:  Carthage Quarterback Gunner Capps (16 of 21 passing for 365 yards and 3 touchdowns)

Defensive MVP: Carthage linebacker Mykel Gates (11 tackles 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery)

Attendance: 18,o043

15First Downs18
252Rushing Yds212
55Passing Yds365
307Total Yds577

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