PREVIEW: Carthage Meets Midlothian Heritage in Regional Semis
CLASS 4A DIVISION I
Region III Semifinal
No. 1 Carthage Bulldogs (12-0)
Midlothian Heritage Jaguars (11-1)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Ford Center, Frisco
- Carthage: Scott Surratt
- Midlothian Heritage: Lee Wiginton
- Carthage: def. Hargrave, 46-0
- Midlothian Heritage: def. Navasota, 49-9
- Winner vs. Van or Henderson, 4A Division I, Region III final
Players to watch
- QB Gunner Capps, Sr., 6-1, 195 (205-of-330, 2,898 yards, 35 TDs, 5 INTs)
- WR Kelvontay Dixon, Jr., 6-0, 173 (63 catches, 1,011 yards, 9 TDs; 15 carries, 188 yards, 3 TDs)
- WR Kel Williams, Jr., 6-0, 144 (41 catches, 744 yards, 4 TDs)
- OT Ty'kieast Crawford, Jr., 6-6, 310 (committed to Baylor)
- DE Quinton Owens, Jr., 6-3, 200 (64 tackles, 10 for loss, 3 sacks, 10 QB pressures, 2 forced fumbles)
- LB Rayvon Ingram, Jr., 5-10, 205 (104 tackles, 17 for loss, 3 sacks, 5 QB pressures, 2 INTs, 4 PBUs, 2 forced fumbles, 1 recovery, 1 defensive TD)
- DB Ja'Corey Ware, Sr., 6-0, 170 (34 tackles, 2 for loss, 1 sack, 7 INTs, 3 PBUs)
- RB Tucker Smith, Sr., 5-11, 180 (128 carries, 753 yards, 12 TDs; 34 catches, 464 yards, 6 TDs)
- RB Mason Courtney, Soph., 5-9, 185 (104 carries, 754 yards, 10 TDs; 6 catches, 82 yards)
- QB Landon Ledbetter, Sr., 6-1, 180 (187-of-283, 2,997 yards, 43 TDs, 8 INTs; 21 carries, 131 yards)
- RB Dre Washington, Sr., 5-10, 155 (122 carries, 823 yards, 10 TDs; 33 catches, 404 yards, 5 TDs)
- WR Jay Wilkerson, Jr., 6-1, 165 (57 catches, 1,106 yards, 15 TDs)
- WR Langston Anderson, Sr., 6-2, 188 (63 catches, 1,120 yards, 18 TDs; 14 carries, 156 yards, 3 TDs)
- LB Konner Jones, Jr., 6-0, 219 (108 tackles, 14.5 for loss, 0.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery)
- OL/DL Jon Sanders, Sr., 6-0 (42 tackles, 11 for loss, 5 sacks, 1 forced fumble)
- DB Nathan Parrish, Sr., 6-0, 150 (54 tackles, 1 for loss, 2 INTs, 8 PBUs)
Just the facts
- This is the first matchup between Carthage and Midlothian Heritage.
- Carthage is averaging 434.3 yards per game (252.8 passing and 181.5 rushing).
- The Bulldogs own the state's longest-active winning streak at 38 games.
- Carthage quarterback Gunner Capps has a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 7:1.
- Midlothian Heritage is averaging 416.2 yards per game (261.3 passing and 154.0 rushing).
- Jaguar receiver Jay Wilkerson is averaging 19.4 yards per catch.
- Both Midlothian and Carthage played Kilgore this season. Midlothian won 42-21 while Carthage won 48-23.
Key matchup: Midlothian Heritage passing attack against the Carthage secondary. Although both teams run a fairly balanced offense, the experience of both quarterbacks makes passing a better option in close games. Landon Ledbetter has thrown for nearly 3,000 yards this season and has a couple of targets he goes to often. Jay Wilkerson and Langston Anderson each have more than 1,000 yards receiving and have combined for 33 touchdown receptions.
Carthage's secondary is led by senior Jacorey Ware, who has seven interceptions this season. He, along with Austin Morgan (3 INTs, 7 PBUs) will likely take up the challenge of containing Anderson and Wilkerson. The Bulldogs have managed to hold teams to 113.1 yards passing per game and forced 21 interceptions. However, they haven't faced an offense quite as strong as the Jaguars'. How they respond early against Midlothian Heritage will give a good sense of the way this game will go.
Don't be surprised if: Kel Williams has a big game. With all the attention going to star receiver Kelvonty Dixon, Williams has started to flourish in the past few games. He led Carthage in receiver in its first round games against Life Waxahachie, finishing with 143 yards on five catches. Although Dixon reclaimed the top role in the next game, it's nice to know the Bulldogs have a second weapon to go to if the defense decided to hone in on him. Williams has one other game with more than 100 yards, but it also came in the second half of the season. The potential is there for him to explode at any moment.