Carthage Erupts in First Half to Hammer Nacogdoches, 44-21 [VIDEO]
NACOGDOCHES — The Carthage Bulldogs did it all Friday night — special teams, offense and defense — on the way to a 44-21 victory over the Nacogdoches Dragons Friday night at Dragon Stadium.
Carthage turned to special teams first as Lane Pearce blocked a punt, and D.K. Calloway picked it up and returned it 25 yards to the end zone for the quick 7-0 lead.
Three straight Nacogdoches incompletions quickly put the ball back in the Bulldogs' possession, and three plays later, sophomore Bryian Bolton broke loose for a 46-yard touchdown run to make it 14-0.
Bolton also helped the Bulldogs get their final points of the game, intercepting a pass in the third quarter to set up a 17-yard touchdown pass on fourth down from William Rittenberry to Major Harris to make it 44-0.
Carthage finished with 314 yards — 256 in the first half — as most of the starters didn't see action after halftime.
That's because the Bulldogs (3-1) had nearly everything go their way in the first half to build a 37-0 lead going into the locker room.
A 23-yard field goal by Jimmy Gonzalez made it 17-0 late in the first quarter.
After Nacogdoches lost a fumble on an option try deep into Carthage territory, the Bulldogs made it 24-0 with a 35-yard strike from Blake Bogenschutz to Terian Goree. About a minute later, Carthage's Dominic Collins ripped the ball from Nacogdoches running back La'Tavion Forest's hands without it ever hitting the ground and returned it 40 yards for the score to push the lead to 31-0.
Carthage added to its lead late in the half with a 27-yard pass from Bogenschutz to Kolby Blissett.
Bogenschutz was 9-of-16 for 139 yards and two touchdowns. Tevin Pipkin led the Carthage ground attack with 69 yards on seven carries.
The Dragons (0-3) ended the game with 21 straight points, but it was too late.
Sophomore Hunter McClellan was 13-of-23 for 193 yards with a touchdown.
The Dragons had four players with at least four receptions, led by L.J. Barnes who had four catches for 114 yards. Sophomores Sam Morgan and Tae Thomas each had touchdown receptions, and another sophomore — Shawn Smith — rushed for 54 yards and a score on 12 carries.
Senior Isaiah Golden, who has committed to Texas A&M, had a big first half for Carthage, including forcing a fumble.
Carthage will host Whitehouse next week, while Nacogdoches will travel to Hallsville.