Down 14-0 midway through the first quarter, Carthage could have hit the panic button. But with four playoffs victories for a combined 13 points this team was battle tested. The Bulldogs chipped away at the deficit and the game was tied at 17 after two quarters.
In the second half it was all Carthage. The bulldogs forced 5 turnovers and star running back Keaontay Ingram went to work finishing with over 180 total yards. With a 31-17 victory over Abilene Wylie, Head Coach Scott Surratt and company claimed their fifth state championship in the last ten years.
"Five championships in a program, I could only dream of one and we've got five. It's just great coaches and great players. You know its hard work. We went 0-2 in district and now we are state champions. That's unbelievable," said Coach Surratt.
"It was just big for us because I feel like people thought we were the underdogs. Every single game we played and we kind like that role. We like to come up and then let defense get it going in the second half. I told them this is our half and that's what we did," said Kason Davis, Carthage quarterback.
Since taking over Carthage in 2007, Coach Surratt is 40-5 in the postseason. He now has five state titles. Which means the Nick Saban of East Texas has as many playoff loses as he does championship.