Video: Keaontay Ingram's highlights vs. Gilmer High School
See the Carthage back go beast-mode in a game this season.
As non-district games go, Kennedale and West Orange-Stark (Orange) are going to great lengths to face off Friday.
The distance between the two is 321 miles, maybe not all that much for schools in West Texas but a pretty sizable drive on the other side of the state where long trips are not ingrained. To cut travel time, the two undefeated teams have chosen to meet on a neutral site in Nacogdoches for the 7:30 p.m. kickoff.
Kennedale, from suburban Fort Worth, returns 15 starters from a team that won District 5-4A DI a year ago and made a playoff run that did not end until the state semifinals.
But the task for the Wildcats and coach Richard Barrett is a daunting one. West Orange-Stark is a two-time Class 4A-DII state champion and owns a 30-game winning streak dating back to the 2015 season.
The Mustangs from District 12-4A DII hail from the extreme southeast corner of the state known as the Golden Triangle. Coach Cornel Thompson has guided West Orange Stark to three consecutive state title games.
Here's a closer look at that game and nine other top matchups on this week's card:
Kennedale 4-0 vs. West Orange-Stark (Orange) 3-0 at Nacogdoches, 7:30 p.m. Friday
Kennedale won 11 games last year on the way to the Class 4A-DI state semifinals and is rolling again with the rushing duo of junior De'shaun Kirven and Jaden Knowles. Only seven starters returned from last year's 16-0 Mustangs' club that included a 45-21 victory over Kennedale, but quarterback Chaka Watson and running back Kavyn Cooper gained valuable experience.
Carthage 4-0 at Henderson 5-0, 7:30 p.m. Friday
Even though it is early in the District 9-4A DI schedule, this game could decide the title. In 2016, Carthage rebounded from consecutive losses to Henderson and Kilgore and went on to capture the state crown. In Henderson's 35-21 victory over Chapel Hill (Tyler) in the district opener, Kourtland Jackson intercepted two passes and the defense allowed only 128 yards on 58 plays. This game marks the start of district play for Carthage, which drew an open date last week. Running back Keaontay Ingram, a University of Texas pledge, rushed for 225 yards and two touchdowns as Carthage in its most recent contest snapped Gilmer's 28-game home winning streak.
Tascosa (Amarillo) 5-0 at Midland Lee (Midland) 5-0, 7:30 p.m. Friday
Both teams are 1-0 in District 2-6A. Tascosa junior quarterback Connor McAnaul is more likely to run than pass. Taylan McKellar, Lamaron Smith and King Doerue share ball-carrying duties. Lee, which went 3-7 a year ago, has a nice mix with senior quarterback Colby Standard throwing for 922 yards and seven touchdowns, while junior Josh Traylor supplies ground support with 940 yards and 13 touchdowns.
McKinney 4-0 at Plano 4-0, 7:30 p.m. Friday
Both teams are coming off wins in District 6-6A openers. It has been an opportunistic McKinney club so far with junior cornerback Andrew Pitts leading the way with four interceptions and eight pass break-ups. Joshua Whytus leads the Lions in tackles. Junior Kyron Cumby has been key in Plano's fast start with 576 rushing yards and 156 more as a receiver. He has 11 touchdowns. Sophomore Cody Crist has chipped in with 335 rushing yards and four scores.
Central Catholic (San Antonio) 5-0 at Navarro (Geronimo) 5-0, 7:30 p.m. Friday
Central Catholic from TAPPS DI District 2 has already equaled last season's win total, thriving on the passing connection of Nick Chavez to Jack Perkins. Chavez has thrown for 639 yards and nine touchdowns. Perkins has 339 receiving yards and four scores. Navarro, representing the UIL's District 13-4A DII, survived last week's test against Class 2A power Refugio. Versatile Will Eveld stars offensively running and passing as quarterback and doubles as a ballhawk in the defensive secondary.
Wakeland (Frisco) 4-0 at Reedy (Frisco) 4-0, 7 p.m. Thursday
Both teams are 1-0 in District 13-5A. Wakeland has put 34 or more in each game, in part due to the throwing of junior Dylan Cadwallader (1,024 yards, 16 touchdowns). Tre Adams and Easton Reeves are preferred targets. Reedy counters with a 1,000-yard passer in Josh Foskey, a productive runner with Justin Gipson (503 yards, five touchdowns) and active defender Dominic McCorry (three interceptions).
Flour Bluff (Corpus Christi) 4-0 at Veterans Memorial (Corpus Christi) 5-0, 7 p.m. Thursday
This is the opener of South zone play for District 30-5A clubs. Flour Bluff figured to be very good on offense with eight returning starters from a 2016 club that went two rounds in the playoffs. Tight end Brendan Suckley is a proven receiver. Veterans Memorial opponent has secured all of its wins by at least 35 points. Frank Jones Jr. has gone over 100 yards in every game and leads the Eagles with 699 yards and 12 scores.
Boerne 5-0 at Wimberley 5-0, 7:30 p.m. Friday
Senior quarterback Brooks Klutts has accounted for 1,446 yards and 19 touchdowns for Boerne of 14-4A DI. Junior receiver Douglas Hodo III, a University of Texas baseball pledge, is his most productive target with 22 catches for 430 yards and eight scores. Wimberley, which represents 13-4A DII, relies on senior quarterback Jordan Weeks (1,523 passing yards, 15 touchdowns). Cade Stoever leads Texans receivers with 27 catches for 387 yards and four scores.
Madisonville 5-0 at Rusk 4-1, 7:30 p.m. Friday
Madisonville's defense has forced 12 turnovers with sophomore safety Tyrese Brown leading the way with two interceptions and two fumble recoveries. The Mustangs from District 11-4A DII rely on a stable of runners led by Cornelius Merchant with 481 yards. Sam Thomas with 624 yards is well on his way to repeating 2016 accomplishment as leading rusher for District 8-4A DII Rusk. Quarterback Darrian McDuff shares the ball-toting load with 475 yards and nine touchdowns.
Estacado (Lubbock) 4-1 at Shallowater 4-0, 7:30 p.m. Thursday
Estacado from District 1-4A DI relies on the passing of senior Bo Sims mixed with the darting runs of sophomore Jermiah Dobbins and senior Kamadrick Williams. Shallowater, in its final tune-up before beginning District 1-3A DI play, depends on the passing of Cutter Sparks and a running game featuring Brody Hendrick.