Carthage rolled to its sixth UIL state football championship in the past 10 years Friday, knocking off Kennedale 49-21 at AT&T Stadium.
The Bulldogs, who repeated as the Class 4A, Division I champions, built a 28-7 lead in the opening half.
Carthage running back Keaontay Ingram, a Texas Longhorns pledge, rushed for 163 yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries. He scored a pair of second-quarter TDs on carries of 20 and 41 yards.
Gunner Capps threw for 365 yards and three touchdowns for Carthage (16-0), and Bulldogs wide receiver Mekhi Colbert set a 4A state championship game record with 191 yards receiving. Colbert had a 64-yard touchdown reception in the opening quarter.
Kennedale (14-2) managed only 11 first downs until its final scoring drive, which came against Carthage reserves. The Wildcats were playing in a state final for the first time.
CLASS 4A, DIVISION II FINAL
Texarkana Pleasant Grove 41, West Orange-Stark 21: West Orange-Stark entered the state championship game with all the pedigree, experience and history. Texarkana Pleasant Grove exited with the trophy, knocking off West Orange-Stark in the program’s first championship game appearance.
Pleasant Grove (16-0) attacked the vaunted West Orange-Stark defense from the opening snap, scoring on the first offensive play of the game when Ben Harmon found TJ Cole on a 75-yard touchdown pass. The two connected again in the first quarter for a touchdown.
West-Orange Stark (13-1) never led. The loss is the program’s first since the 2014 state championship game against Gilmer. The two-time defending state champion entered the game allowing fewer than 10 points a game.
The passing game gave Pleasant Grove the advantage despite only 14 attempts. Harmon threw for 248 yards, and Cole and fellow wideout Xavier Benson each finished with more than 100 yards receiving.
Pleasant Grove returned two interceptions for touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
CLASS 3A, DIVISION II FINAL
Newton 40, Gunter 16: Gunter’s 31-game winning streak came to an end as Newton capped an unbeaten season with a victory in the championship game.
Gunter (15-1) entered the game at AT&T Stadium allowing only seven points a contest, but Newton led 14-10 at halftime after Darwin Barlow scored on a 28-yard run in the opening quarter and Noah Williams caught an 11-yard TD pass from Josh Foster early in the second period.
Braiden Clopton’s 23-yard touchdown catch put Gunter ahead 16-14 in the third quarter, but Newton responded with four unanswered touchdowns, starting with a 66-yard scoring pass from Foster to Williams. The flurry continued with a 74-yard TD pass from Foster to LaKendrick Adams, and Tamauzia Brown added a 75-yard touchdown dash.
Brown, a junior who’s rated as a four-star recruit and is drawing interest from Texas, also grabbed an interception.
Foster completed 6 of 12 passes for 217 yards as Newton (15-0) won its fourth state title, its first since 2005. Barlow and Brown combined for 255 yards rushing on 23 carries.