ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Tevin Pipken rushed for 118 yards and a late touchdown to lead Carthage to a 34-23 victory Friday over Kilgore in the Class 3A Division I title game.
Carthage saw an 18-point lead dwindle to 28-23 with 3:40 left in the game at AT&T Stadium. But it recovered an onside kick and kept to the ground to wind down the game. Pipken picked up a key first down early in the drive by breaking a tackle along the left side of the field and capped off the drive with a 24-yard touchdown run with 50 seconds left.
Carthage (15-1) has won state titles in four of the past six years, including three in a row from 2008 to 2010.
Carthage stretched a 14-10 halftime lead into a 28-10 advantage heading into the fourth before Kilgore (14-0) mounted its comeback attempt.
Carthage built the third-quarter lead thanks to two long passes from Blake Bogenschutz.
The Texas-San Antonio recruit hit O'keeron Rutherford down the right sideline for a 51-yard touchdown pass with 6:25 left in the third to make it 21-10. On Carthage's next drive he completed a 49-yard pass to Pipken to set up a 10-yard Terian Goree touchdown run on the next play.
Goree also scored earlier on a 13-yard run to break a 7-7 deadlock with 2:34 left in the first half.
Kilgore's comeback was jump-started when quarterback Benny Colbert took a read option 32 yards on third-and-6 with 11:07 left in the game.
Nearly eight minutes later, Kevrin Justice scored from 1 yard out for his second touchdown of the game. His score, which cut the deficit to 28-23, came three plays after Aaron Foy intercepted Bogenschutz at the Carthage 26.
Kilgore kicker Christian Galvan made a 40-yard field goal as time expired in the second quarter to make it 14-10 at half. Less than 90 seconds before, he missed from 41 yards.
Justice ran 21 times for 94 yards, scoring twice for Kilgore.
Bogenschutz was 8 of 18 for 185 yards for Carthage. He rushed 11 times for 100 yards.