Carthage Crushes Mexia 49-6 Behind First-Quarter Scoring Spree
RUSK -- Friday's Class 3A Division I Region III bi-district playoff marked the third time Carthage and Mexia have played in the postseason since 2007.
The meeting also marked the third time in seven years that Carthage has ended Mexia's season.
The Bulldogs set a scorching pace early, scoring five touchdowns in the game's first 10 minutes in a seven-touchdown first half that led to a 49-6 rout of Mexia at Rusk's Eagle Stadium.
Senior quarterback Blake Bogenschutz, who already held school career records for passing yards and touchdown passes, threw for four scores to set a new Carthage single-season record with 44, which leads East Texas this season. The previous school record was held by Anthony Morgan (41), who led Carthage to the second and third of their back-to-back-to-back titles from 2008-10.
Carthage (10-1) beat Mexia 55-7 in a 2007 first-round game, which was head coach Scott Surratt's first postseason contest with the Bulldogs, who beat Mexia 35-26 in the 2009 second round en route to their second 3A Division II state crown. After Friday night's win, Carthage is 25-3 in the playoffs under Surratt, who is in his seventh season with the Dawgs.
Bogenschutz completed 11 of 18 passes for 120 yards and the four scores, three of which went to senior receiver O'Keeron Rutherford (10, 9, 13). His other touchdown throw went to sophomore tight end Marquise Guinn, who led Carthage with five catches for 54 yards.
Senior tailback Tevin Pipkin ran six times for 109 yards and a touchdown, while junior Tredarion Jackson gained 84 yards on 14 carries. Junior Bryian Bolton carried only twice but gained 41 yards and scored a touchdown.
Carthage jumped on top early with back-to-back touchdown throws from Bogenschutz to Rutherford, who enters next week's 3A D-I Region III area playoff against Navasota or Robinson with 12 touchdown catches this season. Carthage's lead grew to 21-0 only 15 seconds after the second touchdown to Rutherford when Christian Allison recovered a bad snap in the end zone. Less than six minutes later, Pipkin scored from 20 yards for a 28-0 lead, then Bolton scored from 10 yards with 2:08 left in the first for a 35-0 advantage.
Carthage's lead bulged to 42-0 on the 13-yard strike to Rutherford a minute and a half into the second. Bogenschutz found Guinn for an 11-yard touchdown with 22 seconds until halftime for a 49-point lead.
Carthage's offensive starters sat the entire second half. The Bulldogs outgained Mexia 392-112 and forced five turnovers.
Senior Terian "Tee" Goree, who entered the game leading East Texas in receiving yards and receiving touchdowns, caught two passes for 30 yards and added his fourth interception this season from his safety spot. Sophomore Jordan Romero also picked off a pass.
Draeshun Hanna's seven-yard touchdown run with 5:19 left in the game accounted for Mexia's only touchdown. Jaylon Gipson led Mexia (4-7) with 34 yards on eight carries.
Navasota (9-1), the defending 3A D-II state champion, faces Robinson (8-2) at 2 p.m. Saturday in Waco to decide which team plays Carthage next week.
-- Game stats courtesy the Panola Watchman