WHITEHOUSE -- Aside from some early carelessness with the football, the Carthage Bulldogs displayed why they are Class 4A's top-ranked team in the state Friday night.

Gunner Capps passed for 330 yards and four touchdowns, running back Keaontay Ingram put up more than 200 yards from scrimmage and scored twice, and the Bulldogs rolled to an impressive 42-20 win over Whitehouse at Wildcat Stadium.

Carthage (3-0), the defending 4A Division I state champions, eclipsed the 40-point mark for the third consecutive week and amassed nearly 600 yards of total offense in the victory.

“I thought we controlled the pace of the game," said Carthage coach Scott Surratt. "We went fast, we went slow."

Capps, a junior making his third varsity start, threw four touchdowns for the second-straight week and now has 10 on the year. He competed 22 of 33 attempts, connecting with six different receivers.

“He’s getting better every week," Surratt said of Capps. "I don’t think he had any turnovers tonight as far as interceptions. And those receivers are really good, but he’s going to be a really good one.”

Carthage turned the ball over three times in the first half, and despite outgaining Whitehouse (2-1) by more than 200 yards, only held a 21-14 lead at halftime.

The Bulldogs took control by scoring three touchdowns in the third quarter.

“The three turnovers, two of them were self-inflicted, just crazy turnovers," Surratt said of the trio of first-half fumbles.

Carthage's defense did a number on Whitehouse, forcing four takeaways, including three interceptions by junior cornerback Jacorey Ware.

“We knew (Whitehouse) would get a play or two because they’ve got a pretty good offense," Surratt said. "But we got them off the field most of the time on third down, and I thought we tackled for the most part real well.”

Disappointed with his team's rushing performance last week, Surratt saw significant improvement against Whitehouse. The Bulldogs churned out 267 yards on the ground, including a season-high 179 from Ingram.

“I liked how we mixed it up," Surratt said. "For us to be at our best we’ve got to mix it up in the run game. We weren’t really happy at all (with our running game) last week. But you saw maybe the best back in Texas tonight.”

Four different players were on the receiving end of Capps' touchdown passes. Dewaylon Ingram led the way with eight catches for 110 yards, and he was followed by Dee Bowens' 110 yards on three receptions. Mekhi Colbert caught five balls for 60 yards, and Hunter Hill caught a 5-yard score.

Whitehouse quarterback Jake Clemons threw for 215 yards and two touchdowns on 13 of 23 completions, but was picked off three times. Javier Neal had two catches, including an 81-yard catch-and-run touchdown in the third quarter.

Ware intercepted Clemons on the second play of the third, and Carthage added to its lead on the ensuing possession with Capps' 20-yard touchdown pass to Dewaylon Ingram for a 28-14 lead.

Whitehouse then went three-and-out, and Keaontay Ingram had runs of 17 and 38 yards to set up Capps' 5-yard touchdown pass to Hill, which opened the Bulldogs' lead to 35-14 with 3:16 remaining in the third.

The Wildcats responded quickly with Neal's long touchdown, but Keaontay Ingram stopped any Whitehouse momentum on the ensuing drive with a 67-yard touchdown to push Carthage's lead to 42-20 late in the third quarter.

Carthage scored the game's first touchdown when Keaontay Ingram found paydirt from four yards, capping a nine-play, 75-yard drive on the Bulldogs' opening series.

Whitehouse recovered the first of Carthage's three first-half fumbles on the next possession, and used a 33-yard completion from Clemons to Seth Dolan to get in the red zone. Javian Myles took the direct snap and scored from six yards two plays later to even the game, 7-7, with 5:03 remaining in the first quarter.

Both teams then traded turnovers.

Ware's first interception of the night set the table for Capps' 70-yard touchdown pass to Bowens on the very next snap.

Whitehouse answered back with a 56-yard march, tying the game at 14-14 on Clemons' 16-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Bullard with 7:05 to play in the half.

The Wildcats couldn't capitalize on Carthage's third fumble, and when the Bulldogs got the ball back, they drove 90 yards and went up 21-14 on Capps' 19-yard pass to Colbert with 1:59 until halftime.

Both teams return to the field next week. Whitehouse plays host to Sulphur Springs (2-1) on Friday night, while Carthage travels to Gilmer take on the No. 2 Buckeyes (3-0) next Saturday night.

“As long as we don’t read ink poison and keep getting better we’ll have a chance to maybe do something," Surratt said. "But we’ve got to continue to get better because we know that Gilmer’s going to be very good, and we know Henderson and Kilgore (are good). We’ve got a long way to go, and we’ve got to stay healthy through that run.”

No. 1 Carthage 42, Whitehouse 20

At Wildcat Stadium, Whitehouse

Carthage               7    14    21      0    --    42
Whitehouse           7      7      6      0    --    20

First Quarter
CAR--Keaontay Ingram 4 run (Alberto Sigala kick), 8:22.
WHI--Javian Myles 6 run (Cooper Clemons kick), 5:03.
Second Quarter
CAR--Dee Bowens 70 pass from Gunner Capps (Sigala kick), 10:50.
WHI--Brandon Bullard 16 pass from Jake Clemons (Cooper Clemons kick), 7:05.
CAR--Mekhi Colbert 19 pass from Capps (Sigala kick), 1:59.
Third Quarter
CAR--Dewaylon Ingram 20 pass from Capps (Sigala kick), 8:42.
CAR--Hunter Hill 5 pass from Capps (Sigala kick), 3:16.
WHI--Javier Neal 81 pass from Jake Clemons (run failed), 1:37.
CAR--Keaontay Ingram 67 run (Sigala kick), :56.

                                           CAR                    WHI
First Downs                             23                       14
Total Yards                             597                     292
Rushes-Yards                   35-267                 27-77
Passing Yards                        330                    215
Comp.-Att.-Int.                22-33-0             13-23-3
Punts-Avg.                         1-50.0               3-37.0
Fumbles-Lost                          4-3                    3-1
Penalties-Yards                     8-80                  7-59

RUSHING--Carthage, Keaontay Ingram 17-179, Mekhi Colbert 1-41, Tucker Smith 9-40, Chad West 4-7, Dee Bowens 1-4, Gunner Capps 3-(-4). Whitehouse, Clayton Cook 14-55, Jake Clemons 7-9, Javian Myles 3-8, Logan Ward 1-4, Javier Neal 1-3, Flint Herrington 1-(-2).
PASSING--Carthage, Capps 22-33-0--330. Whitehouse, Clemons 13-23-3--215.
RECEIVING--Carthage, Dewaylon Ingram 8-110, Colbert 5-60, Keaontay Ingram 4-38, Bowens 3-110, Smith 1-7, Hunter Hill 1-5. Whitehouse, Cameron Cantrell 4-25, Kendrion Johnson 3-31, Neal 2-94, Seth Dolan 1-33, Brandon Bullard 1-13, Jackson Cook 1-13, Myles 1-0.

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