[By Anthony Hawthorne, Special to ETSN.fm]

The Carthage Bulldogs were in unfamiliar territory following last week's home loss to Jacksonville.  Facing the possibility of an 0-2 start, the No. 9 Bulldogs responded with a sharp effort in defeating the Lindale Eagles, 38-21, at Bulldog Stadium on Friday night.

The Bulldogs' balanced attack was led by quarterback Blake Bogenschutz, as the junior finished the night 16-of-25 passing for 174 yards and two touchdowns. Tevin Pipkin paced the ground game with 13 carries for 117 yards and a score.

“Our intensity was better. I thought we played hard last week; we just didn’t play very smart and turned the ball over,” said Carthage head coach Scott Surratt, whose then-No. 3 team lost to Jacksonville 34-30 last week.

After last week's six-turnover performance, the Bulldogs finished the night turnover free against Lindale.

The first four drives of the first half for Carthage all ended with points as the Bulldogs took advantage of field position and another stellar night from wide receiver/defensive back Tee Goree. Goree finished the night with eight catches for 108 yards and a score on both sides of the ball.

Carthage (1-1) opened the game with a nine-play 75-yard drive behind the arm of Bogenschutz, who completed all five passes to get the Bulldogs into scoring position. Following a Goree reverse, the Bulldogs lined up Texas A&M commit DT Isaiah Golden in the backfield and he barreled through the line for a 2-yard score.

The Carthage defense was stellar all night behind Golden and Lane Pearce on the line  Pearce was in the backfield all night and finished with a sack. The Carthage defense forced two turnovers.

Lindale quarterback Josiah Johnson kept the Eagles close for most of the night, both with his arm and his legs. The Eagles signal-caller finished the night with 75 yards on 19 carries and a score as well as 126 yards through the air. Johnson’s favorite target was Trenton SirLouis, who had four grabs for 79 yards.

With the Eagles trailing 17-7 and facing a third-and-long at their own 24, Johnson’s deep pass was intercepted by Goree at the 45. With a convoy of blockers in front, he scampered down the sideline for a touchdown the Bulldogs would not look back from.

The Eagles did their best to make things close in the second half, even after losing a fumble on a big hit by Bulldog Mario McCain.

Following a stop by the defense, the Eagles responded with a 15-play, 78-yard drive that consumed 7:44 of the clock behind the legs of Demarcus Lynch and Johnson. The drive was capped by a 1-yard sneak by Johnson on fourth-and-goal on the first play of the fourth quarter.

Lynch finished the night with only 34 yards on 18 carries mainly due to a harassing Bulldogs defensive front.

Carthage finished the scoring on the ensuing possession with an eight-play, 70-yard drive of its own. A 27-yard run by Pipkin and a 23-yard catch by Goree set up a 4-yard fade from Bogenschutz to Okeeron Rutherford for a touchdown.

Lindale will be at home next Friday against Van, while the Bulldogs will travel to Chapel Hill.