GUNTER — Carlos Rodriguez played a big role in leading the Tigers’ dominant defense that led to a state championship.

Gunter had the best unit in the area, allowing barely 200 yards per game and held seven opponents to seven points or fewer, including Boling in the 3A Division II title game.

Rodriguez totaled 129 tackles, 21 for a loss, four sacks, five forced fumbles and three pass breakups.

He shared Defensive Player of the Year honors in 6-3A (II) with teammate Zach Lowe, was an honorable mention Class 3A all-state selection by the Associated Press Sports Editors and is the Herald Democrat All-Texomaland Class 2A-3A Defensive Player of the Year for 2016.