JACKSONVILLE — The Carthage Bulldogs are in the state semifinals for the sixth straight year, one victory away from an appearance in the Class 4A Division I state championship game.
Quarterback Kai Horton ran for a touchdown and threw for another, while the Bulldog defense was like a junkyard dog as Carthage scored a 24-7 win over Midlothian Heritage on Friday night in a state quarterfinals football game at the historic Tomato Bowl.
Carthage (14-0) will play either Lampasas (12-1) or Liberty Hill (7-5), who play at 2 p.m. Saturday in Cedar Park, next week in the state semifinals.
Waco LaVega and Springtown will face off in the other semifinal.
The Jaguars end their season at 9-5.
The game was quite different from last year’s third-round thriller, a 50-49 overtime win by Carthage in Frisco.
This time is was all about the defense.
Carthage limited Heritage to 175 yards of total offense and picked off three passes.
Horton was 13 of 23 passing attempts for 147 yards and an 18-yard TD toss to Braeden Wade in the first quarter. Brennan Phillips’ kick gave Carthage a 7-0 lead with 8:53 on the clock.
A little over four minutes later, Kelvontay Dixon scored from four yards and Phillips’ kick put the Bulldogs ahead 14-0 with 4:39 showing.
In the second quarter, Phillips booted a 24-yard field for a 17-0 lead at 5:04.
On the final play of the half, Cade Sumbler connected with Jay Wilkerson for a 5-yard TD pass on fourth down. Hayden Riggins’ PAT brought the Jaguars within 17-7.
That’s the way the score stayed until Horton scored from 1-yard out in the third quarter. Phillips’ PAT was the final point as Carthage led 24-7 with 6:28 showing.
Carthage’s Mason Courtney rushed for 93 yards on 16 carries.