The La Vega (Waco, TX) varsity football team has a neutral playoff game vs. Carthage (TX) today @ 11a. Game Details: Cowboys Stadium. This game is a part of the "2019 Football State Championships - 2019 Football Conference 4A D1 " tournament.

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It’s not just some piece of trash that’s blown in. It’s there by design to it help the Carthage Bulldogs special teams unit work on timing in the kicking game. When the ball passes by the water bottle, the kicker better be moving toward the kick.

Minor details go a long way in Carthage, which is set for its eighth state championship appearance overall and seventh under Surratt, who is in his 13th season at the helm of the Bulldogs.

It’s those details along with a blend of consistency and buying in that have the Bulldogs back once again in the state finals. Around here, the backup plan has a backup plan.

This senior class of 32 players were 6 or 7 years old when Carthage won its first state title in 2008. They’ve grown up watching the wins a lot of them and have the program ingrained in them.

Apply this to the entire game: A war in the trenches. Carthage comes in averaging 253.3 passing yards and 174.2 rushing yards per game but in this one, the Bulldogs need to establish the ground game. La Vega brings a stout, physical and fast front seven in a defense that has 78 tackles for loss and 35 sacks. Carthage’s offensive line needs to win some battles up front in order to get the ground game going and soften up the secondary to enable Horton and a number of weapons, led by Dixon, to get to work. The Bulldogs have sputtered at times offensively with three empty redzone possessions in the quarterfinals and three turnovers-on-downs inside the 40-yard line a week ago. They did respond with touchdowns on four of its five second-half possessions. Balance is the key and to do that, the ground game has to go.

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