The defending state-champion, Carthage Bulldogs ran up 424 yards of total offense and 42 points
By by Rick McPherson
Jan. 10, 2018 at 9:28 a.m.
The defending state-champion, Carthage Bulldogs ran up 424 yards of total offense and 42 points in the first half of Friday night's game against Chapel Hill, and then cruised to a 49-20 victory. The win gave Carthage a perfect 10-0 mark for regular season play.
Carthage scored on its first four possessions of the game. Facing a fourth and two at the Chapel Hill 39-yard line, Mekhi Colbert lined up at quarterback. Colbert kept the ball and picked up the needed two plus 17 yards more. On the next play, Gunner Capps threw the first of his three touchdown passes on a 20-yard strike to Dee Bowen. The extra-point was good and Carthage was up 7-0.
After forcing a punt, the Carthage Bulldogs took over at their own 37-yard line and drove to the Chapel Hill 18. With another fourth and short situation, Capps handed off to Keaontay Ingram who went untouched into the end-zone.
On its next possession it took Carthage just three plays to get from its own 37-yard line to the Chapel Hill 1. The Bulldogs brought in linebacker, Mikhal Gates, for its goal line package. Gates got the handoff and went in for the touchdown.
The fourth Carthage touchdown came with 9:07 left in the second quarter. After being sacked for a 6-yard loss, Capps handed off to Keaontay Ingram at the Chapel Hill 21. Ingram hurtled a defender at the 15-yard line and went in for the score. Alberto Sigala's fourth extra-point of the night made the score 28-0, Carthage.
Chapel Hill finally got on the board on the following kickoff. For the second week in a row, Carthage, gave up a big return. Hunter Branin took the long line-drive kickoff at his own nine-yard line and went 91 yards up the right sideline for the first Chapel Hill touchdown of the night.
With 5:52 left in the first half Capps and Dee Bowen teamed up for their second touchdown pass of the night. This time Capps threw a 25 yard strike to Bowen in the Corner of the end zone. The extra point made the score 35-7.
Chapel Hill's second touchdown of the game came with 4:10 left in the half. After Griffin evaded a Carthage blitz and scrambled for 25 yards, he hit wide-out Robbie Williams with a 19-yard scoring pass to make the score 35-13. The extra point was no good.
Carthage came right back and scored on its next possession. Capps threw his third touchdown pass of the night to Callahan Baldree. The extra point was good and the scoring for the first half was over. The teams went to the locker-rooms with the half-time score 42-13.
The only Carthage score of the second half came on a 35-yard Tucker Smith touchdown run. Jesus Jimenez added the extra point and Carthage lead at that point 49-13.
The only Chapel Hill score in the second half came with 5:55 left in the game. The 7-yard touchdown run and extra point made the final score 49-20.
On the night, Carthage picked up 24 first downs on its way to running up 547 yards of total offense. The Carthage Bulldogs had 273 yards through the air, and 274 yards on the ground. The leading Carthage rushers in the game were Tucker Smith with 112 yards on 8 carries and Keaontay Ingram, who also had 8 carries and picked up 104 yards.
The first playoff game for Carthage will be against Huffman Hargrave, at Bulldog Stadium in Jasper, this Thursday at 7:00 p.m.