Update: The starting time for Friday's Region III-4A quarterfinal game between the No. 2 Carthage Bulldogs and the Crandall Pirates in Tyler has been moved up several hours because of the "possibility of severe weather."
The opening kickoff is now set for 2 p.m. Friday at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium in Tyler.
The No. 2 Carthage Bulldogs haven’t done anything particularly flashy while completing the first two steps of what they hope will be a six-step playoff march.
They’re just taking care of business.
The Crandall Pirates are up next for Step 3, and they get to stay a little closer to home.
Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. Friday at Trinity Mother Francis Rose Stadium in Tyler between the 12-0 Bulldogs and the 10-2 Pirates.
The two school have four common opponents in Chapel Hill, Palestine, Athens and Kilgore.
The Bulldogs were perfect against those four schools, outscoring them 181-39.
The Pirates were 3-1, but only outscored them 87-84 thanks to a 42-0 shutout loss to Chapel Hill in the season opener. The Bulldogs beat them 40-14.
“Crandell is a team with good speed,” Carthage Head Coach Scott Surratt said. “They mainly run the spread, but they’ll run some two-back, some screens and they like the RPO’s (run-pass option).
“They have a big, strong back and a pair of dynamic receivers.”
Holt Reese is the quarterback for the Pirates with Kyle Dearman taking over the position when they go to the wildcat formation.
Damerian Wigenton is the running back and Billy Myers and Shabrun Booker give the Pirates speed outside.
“They’re real proud of their defense and they’re only giving up something like 15 points a game,” Surratt said. “Their linebacker (Carl Johnson) is very physical. Their defensive line is one of the best one’s we’ve seen in a while, and No. 52 (Calob Davis) is their leader.”
Weather could be an issue on Friday, which is the reason for the 5 p.m. start. The coaches wanted to avoid having possible delays and the game going deep into the night.
But Surratt is just depending on a tried and true formula.
“We have to take care of the ball no matter what the weather is,” he said. “And we want to force turnovers. If we can do that, we have a chance to win the game.”
The Bulldogs continue to put big numbers on the board offensively, despite holding Kelvontay Dixon out with a small injury last week.
Quarterback Kai Horton is 189-313-4 passing for 2,797 yards for 38 TDs.
Mason Courtney has now rushed fro 1,156 yards and 12 scores, while catching 25 passes for 330 yards and two scores.
Dixon is still the leading receiver with 57 catches for 860 yards and 13 touchdowns. Kel Williams has 41 for 748 yards and eight touchdowns, while Craig McNew has 25-372 and five scores.
Rayvn Ingram continues to lead the Bulldogs in tackles with 93, despite missing last week’s game. He also has two interceptions and two sacks.
Jai Brazier is next in tackles with 82 after dominating last week with Ingram out. Quinton Owens and Kylon Lister both have 79, Mason Bobo has 70 and Cole Whitlock and D.J. Hicks both have 64.
The winner of this game will play the winner of the Palestine-Midlothian Heritage playoff game.
Carthage is a 24-point favorite according to the Harris Rating System.