Every year it’s the same old thing. Who would win if the Division I state champ played the Division II champ?
Sometimes the match ups are intriguing. Like, what if this high-powered offense had to play that tough defense. Or, we’d like to see that legendary coach against that legendary program. Maybe it’s star power on state championship teams or just to see if Cinderella can conquer one more foe.
High school football season ended last weekend at AT&T Stadium in Arlington with 10 newly crowned state champions in 11-man football.
As a way of extending the season one more week, here’s our Christmas wish — a hypothetical game of each class’s state champions. It’s like the Little League World Series finale is the United States Champion against the International champion.
But this is Texas, and we’re ALL Texans. So here are the match ups, each with a prediction.
And to go old school, we’ll put each game at a site that’s neutral and about even in distance — the way coaches used to decide on the site for a state championship game. We’ll have five games in four days at four different sites, just to mix things up for media and earn those extra airline miles.
4A State Finale
Who: West Orange-Stark vs Carthage
Date: Thursday, 7 p.m.
Site: Texas A&M University’s Kyle Field
Both teams are 182 miles away from Kyle Field, making this the perfect neutral site. And what a colossal clash this could be.
This hypothetical match up looks like a cakewalk on paper for the West Orange-Stark Mustangs, but the Carthage Bulldogs don’t care what a piece of paper says.
Carthage lost two district games — to Kilgore and Henderson — but rallied to win 10 straight games and the Division I state title with a 31-17 victory over Abilene Wylie.
West Orange-Stark won its 27th-consecutive game and the Division II state championship with a 24-6 win over Sweetwater.
Carthage had too many close games down the stretch, which included a 14-0 deficit to start the state championship. The Bulldogs needed three overtimes to defeat China Spring in the state semifinal after a close game against Stafford (27-26) in the quarterfinal and Henderson (33-31) in the regional. They snuck past Silsbee (34-30) in the first round.
West Orange-Stark simply destroyed teams this year, allowing just 69 points on the season — that’s 4.3 a game. The six points they allowed in the state championship was a fumble returned for a touchdown by Sweetwater’s defense. The WO-S offense gave away a few safeties this year, which would lower the total points allowed by the actual defense.
Carthage has a sneaky good offense and the Bulldogs know how to win games. Running back Keaontay Ingram could give WO-S fits like he did Wylie in the state championship when he rumbled his way to 182 rushing yards and a pair of scores.
But the West Orange-Stark defense is just too good, and quarterback Jack Dallas knows how to use the Mustangs’ weapons and get the win.
The Mustangs win the 4A Super Bowl convincingly.
West Orange-Stark 34, Carthage 17
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