Home Features 2016 Playoffs Carthage pulls away in fourth quarter against Abilene Wylie to capture first...

Carthage pulls away in fourth quarter against Abilene Wylie to capture first state title since 2013


The Carthage Bulldogs defeated the Abilene Wylie Bulldogs on Friday evening to capture the 4A Division I state championship, their fifth in school history, all in the past nine years.

By the looks of the game in the opening few possessions, it looked as if Abilene Wylie would run away with it. Two quick touchdowns gave Wylie a 14-0 lead with 5:55 left in the first quarter, but Carthage responded quickly with two quick scores of their own to close the gap.

Those two scores were apart of 17 unanswered points for Carthage before Wylie added on a field goal just before the half to tie it up at 17.

Little did they know that that would be the final points the Wylie Bulldogs would account for in the 2016 season.

The Carthage defense came out in the second half and did business. The defensive line constantly flushed quarterback Zach Smith out of the pocket, causing five second half turnovers.

“Coming in, we felt like we had a big speed advantage tonight,” Carthage head coach Scott Surratt said.

The offense did their part with two fourth quarter touchdowns off of turnovers to pull away with the 4A Division I state title.

The Carthage Bulldogs finish 14-2 on the season after losing back-to-back games in the opening weeks.

The Abilene Wylie Bulldogs finish 12-2 and state runner-ups, but have nothing to hang their heads on as they fought to the end.

“At the end of the day, we left it all on the field,” Wylie offensive lineman Kade Parmelly said.

If you haven’t noticed yet, a dynasty is in full force at Carthage High School. With five titles now on their belt, the Bulldogs will look to be a powerful force for many years to come.

Carthage head coach Scott Surratt has experienced each of them, and when asked about it post-game, it was clear to him that the 2016 journey was the most difficult of them all.

“This was definitely the toughest of the five,” Surratt said. “But who cares? We’re state champs.”

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