Carthage Dominates Kennedale From Start to Finish For Sixth State Championship
ARLINGTON — You would think Carthage head coach Scott Surratt would’ve had it all figured out by now.
He led five previous Bulldogs team to state championship games, but Surratt did something Friday afternoon for the first time.
As time ticked away in the fourth quarter of Carthage’s dominating 49-21 win over Kennedale for the Class 4A Division I title, Surratt had a chance to honor his seniors by pulling them off the field to a standing ovation.
“That’s a special moment,” Surratt said. “Every time we’ve come out here the previous five times I was too stupid to do something like that. I said, ‘if we ever win another one I’m gonna try to recognize these seniors right.’ They needed the recognition and they got it, and I’m glad we gave it to them.”
The game had long been decided.
Carthage scored on its first seven possessions of the game to build a 42-point lead midway through the fourth quarter.
It was a total mismatch from beginning to end as Carthage (16-0) won its second consecutive championship and sixth since 2008. The Bulldogs also extended their winning streak to 26 games.
“Our junior high coordinator said ‘you’re gonna at least get two championships out of this group,’” Surratt said. “And the last time he told me that we got three. Anything less than a championship, unless with injuries or something like that, would be disappointing.”
The Kennedale (14-2) defense had no answer for Carthage, which rolled up 577 yards of offense.
Bulldogs junior quarterback Gunner Capps, the game’s Offensive Most Valuable Player, threw for 365 yards and three touchdowns.
Carthage senior Mekhi Colbert set a new Class 4A state title game record with 191 receiving yards on eight catches, which included a touchdown. Fellow senior wideout Dee Bowens had four receptions for 135 yards and a TD, and he added a 39-yard scoring run.
Bulldogs senior running back and University of Texas commit Keaontay Ingram capped his high school career with 163 yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries.
“It’s tremendously hard,” Kennedale coach Richard Barrett said. “They have guys out there that are catching the ball and can make plays. It was very difficult. When you’ve got Ingram inside and outside, play action and then you hit those guys on the outside, it’s pretty lethal.”
Kennedale, which came into Friday averaging 52.6 points per game in the playoffs, managed just 252 yards of offense. The Wildcats scored twice and picked up 116 of those yards in the fourth quarter.
“I’ve got to give it all to (my defensive coordinator Darren Preston),” said Carthage senior linebacker Ahmad Brown. “We took a lot of time to stay in the film room and study. We studied their formations and every day we went to practice. Once we got out here in the game it came easy to us.”
Carthage linebacker Mykel Gates was voted Defensive MVP after coming up with 11 tackles.
He also forced the game’s only turnover with a strip and fumble recovery in the second quarter, which led to a Bulldogs touchdown just before halftime.
“We’re proud of our defense,” Surratt said. “Last week we gave La Vega 21 points and we needed to clean that up, and we didn’t give them any tonight. You can’t be one-dimensional against us, we’re gonna stop the run.”
Six of Carthage’s seven touchdowns covered at least 20 yards. The only one that didn’t came on the Bulldogs’ opening drive of the game when Capps connected with Dewaylon Ingram for a 14-yard touchdown.
Colbert reeled in a 64-yard touchdown reception on Carthage’s next possession, and after Kennedale got on the board with a 37-yard scoring pass from Evan Jowers to David Roper, the Bulldogs’ offense went back to work.
And they fed their star running back.
Keaontay Ingram had touchdown runs of 20 and 41 yards that opened up a 28-7 halftime lead for Carthage.
“We knew coming into it we were gonna have a lot of what we wanted passing-wise and on the ground,” Capps said. “We just had to get it outside to those guys and make plays.”
Bowens scored both of Carthage’s third-quarter touchdowns with a 76-yard reception and a 39-yard run.
Keaontay Ingram put the finishing touches on state championship No. 6 for Carthage with a 65-yard touchdown run with 7:58 remaining in the fourth.
“It’s amazing, it really is,” Surratt said. “It never gets old, obviously, but it’s a tribute to (my players) and my staff. This is a special, special senior group.”
Carthage 49, Kennedale 21
Class 4A Division I Championship
At AT&T Stadium, Arlington
Kennedale 0 7 0 14 -- 21
Carthage 14 14 14 7 -- 49
CAR--Dewaylon Ingram 14 pass from Gunner Capps (Alberto Sigala kick), 6:35.
CAR--Mekhi Colbert 64 pass from Capps (Sigala kick), 1:39.
KEN--David Roper 37 pass from Evan Jowers (Kevin Tiero kick), 9:50.
CAR--Keaontay Ingram 20 run (Sigala kick), 7:10.
CAR--Keaontay Ingram 41 run (Sigala kick), :52.
CAR--Dee Bowens 76 pass from Capps (Sigala kick), 9:35.
CAR--Bowens 39 run (Sigala kick), 5:08.
KEN--DJ Kirven 4 run (Tiero kick), 10:22.
CAR--Keaontay Ingram 65 run (Sigala kick), 7:58.
KEN--Jaden Knowles (Tiero kick), :10.
First Downs 15 18
Total Yards 307 577
Rushes-Yards 48-252 24-212
Passing Yards 55 365
Comp.-Att.-Int. 4-10-0 16-21-0
Punts-Avg. 3-42.0 1-33.0
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 1-0
Penalties-Yards 4-25 6-45
RUSHING--Kennedale, DJ Kirven 20-11, Jaden Knowles 15-61, David Roper 4-44, Evan Jowers 9-36. Carthage, Keaontay Ingram 15-163, Dee Bowens 1-39, Anthony Wilson 1-7, Mekhi Colbert 2-7, Tucker Smith 2-5, Team 1-(-2), Gunner Capps 2-(-7).
PASSING--Kennedale, Jowers 4-10-0--55. Carthage, Capps 16-21-0--365.
RECEIVING--Kennedale, Jaden Smith 2-10, Roper 1-37, Kirven 1-8. Carthage, Colbert 8-191, Bowens 4-135, Dewaylon Ingram 4-39.