Carthage Tops Coldspring for Three-Peat

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP

    Anthony Morgan threw for 392 yards and six touchdowns, including an 85-yarder on his first play, and Carthage won its third straight Class 3A Division II championship with a 47-22 victory against Coldspring-Oakhurst on Friday.

    Morgan had 213 yards and four touchdowns by halftime, with Cortlyn Ware and Jalen Claiborne each scoring twice. Ware caught the long opening pass in stride about 40 yards downfield and went in untouched.

    Carthage (14-2) took control with two third-quarter TD passes by Morgan, one each to Ware and Claiborne.

    Coldspring's Sherman Gilbert answered Morgan's arm with his feet for a half, rushing for 129 yards and a touchdown before halftime. He finished with 149 yards.

    Coldspring (14-2) fell to 0-2 in championship games. The other loss was in 1992. Besides scoring three touchdowns apiece, Ware and Claiborne each had more than 100 receiving yards.

    The first Morgan-to-Ware touchdown came after Coldspring kept the ball for 15 plays and more than 5 minutes on the first possession. The drive ended on a fourth-down interception at the Carthage 10-yard line.

    Coldspring scored all 22 points in the second quarter, leading for the last time at 16-15 after Gilbert scored on a 52-yard and Cody Cummings ran in the 2-point conversion. Cummings scored the first TD for Coldspring two plays after a Morgan fumble.

    Carthage went ahead for good late in the second quarter when Ware caught a pass over a leaping Coldspring defender at the goal line.

    Coldspring pulled within 30-22 by scoring with 2 seconds left in the first half, but Morgan directed scoring drives of 83 and 79 yards to start the second half.

    Carthage has won three straight state titles after just one previous championship game appearance, a loss in 1991.