Since 2008, Carthage has made four state championship appearances, coming home with the hardware every time.
Friday afternoon will mark their fifth appearance in that span, first since 2013.
Even though Carthage has won nine straight games, the road to AT&T Stadium hasn’t been easy. Four out of their five playoff wins were decided by a touchdown or less.
Carthage’s balanced offense will rely on their stellar running game, led by running back Keaontay Ingram. The junior has 292 carries for 2,045 yards and 29 TDs this season and will help pace a Carthage offense that averages 34 points per game.
For Abilene Wylie, they counter with an offense that averages 39 points per game, led by running back Brooks Pepper, who has 180 carries for 1,466 yards and 17 TDs. Senior quarterback Zach Smith, who is a Midland College baseball commit, has been effective all season completing 84-for-148 passes for 1,093 yards and 17 TDs. He’s also shown off his scrambling ability with 120 carries for 647 yards and 11 TDs.
Both teams will try to control the clock as much as possible, but turnovers and experience should win out, making Carthage the favorite.