Saturday, February 24, 2018

No. 1 Carthage

George Whitley

By George Whitley
Dec. 4, 2017 at 10:02 a.m.

LUFKIN — Scoring on nine of their 10 first half possessions, the No. 1 ranked Carthage Bulldogs rolled to a 64-36 Class 4A DI regional rout of the Silsbee Tigers on Friday at Abe Martin Stadium.

The Bulldogs (13-0) racked up 534 yards total offense in the first half and easily put this game on ice by the break. The reigning Class 4A DI kingpins posted 36 points in the first quarter and another 28 in the second as this was over before the water even got warm.

Both teams combined for 983 yards in offense, 100 points and 38 first downs. The Dawgs finished the blowout with 600 yards, averaging 13 yards every time they snapped the ball.

Carthage, winners now of 23 straight, prepare for a quarterfinal clash with District 9-4A neighbor Henderson. The game is set for Friday at SFA's Homer Bryce Stadium in Nacogdoches with a 7:30 p.m. kick.

The Dawgs were 42-17 winners over the Lions in their week six Oct. 6 contest in Henderson.

Gunner Capps had a first half most players would be proud to have in a full season. The 6-2, 205-pound junior completed 13 of 15 his passes for seven touchdowns. Much like last week, Capps and many of the other regulars rested in the second half, allowing valuable playing time for second and third stringers.

The party started fast when Capps flawlessly executed a 30-yard play action scoring toss to Dee Bowens only 57 seconds into the game. Capps opened festivities with consecutive strikes to Mekhi Colbert and Bowens. Colbert finished the night with 87 yards on four receptions, while Bowens pulled in 133 yards on four grabs and three scores.

Silsbee wouldn't be floored with the first haymaker as Jacob Collins and Kalon Barnes teamed up on a 65-yard score not even a minute later to tie the score.

The Dawgs proceeded to strike on their next three tries all in the first quarter. Bowens pulled in a 15-yard pill at 8:35 and Ahmad Brown's 2-point plunge made it 15-7.

Keaontay Ingram, who finished his abbreviated evening with 161 yards on eight carries, got in on the act when he took a simple handoff and glided 83 yards down the sideline to the pay window and a 22-7 lead just shy of the midway point in the first quarter.

Rayvon Ingram pounced on a pooch kick that fell in no man's land. This led to Capps and Dewaylon Ingram paring up on a 33-yard score and a 29-7 lead at 6:01 of the first period. It was that same combo that gave the Dawgs a 36-14 advantage after Barnes and teamed up with Alford for their second score of the period on a 78-yard bubble screen. Dewaylon Ingram managed 84 yards on his three catches and the two touchdowns,

It was a most eventful opening 12 minutes as the two teams combined for 50 points, 515 yards in total offense and 17 first downs. Things didn't slow down a lot in the second quarter as Keaontay Ingram slipped in from two yards out at 7:25. Capps then launched a bomb to Bowens, who had got behind double coverage and cradled the ball in for a 72-yard TD.

Alford and Barnes did it again for their third hookup of the half and the Dawgs closed with Keaontay Ingram's 59-yard scoring reception at 2:16 and Colbert took it the distance from 57 yards out with 0:07 showing before intermission.

Carthage improves to 7-0 at Abe Martin Stadium under the direction of Scott Surratt dating back to 2008. Surratt is all alone in 13th place among Texas high school football coaches with 44 postseason wins. He currently trails Smithson-Valley's Larry Hill, who sits in 12th with 46 victories.

(Follow George Whitley on Twitter: @GPigskinprof)



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