Class 3A Division I Region III
Final

Carthage Bulldogs (10-2)
vs.
Silsbee Tigers (10-2)

7:30 p.m. Friday
John Outlaw Memorial Field at Abe Martin Stadium, Lufkin

Coaches
Carthage: Scott Surratt
Silsbee: Bobby McGallion

Road To Regionals

Carthage

  • Bi-district: def. Palestine, 30-27
  • Regional semifinal: def. Taylor, 56-21

 

Silsbee

  • Bi-district: def. Huffman-Hargrave, 54-21
  • Regional semifinal: def. Stafford, 45-21

 

Next week: Winner plays El Campo (12-0) or Ingleside (9-3) in a 3A Division I state semifinal.

 

Playmakers

Carthage

  • DT Isaiah Golden, Sr., 6-2, 315 (67 tackles, 31 for loss, 4 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 1 recovery; committed to Texas A&M)
  • QB Blake Bogenschutz, Jr., 6-1, 182 (157 of 283, 2,480 yards, 35 TDs, 7 INTs; 1 rush TD)
  • MLB Trent Jackson, Sr., 6-0, 215 (104 tackles, 12 for loss, 1 sack, 3 INTs, 4 forced fumbles, 3 recoveries)
  • WR Tee Goree, Jr., 6-2, 170 (58 catches, 1,131 yards, 16 TDs; 1 INT, 1 def. TD)
  • RB Tevin Pipkin, Jr., 5-10, 170 (192 carries, 1,389 yards, 11 TDs; 19 catches, 203 yards, 1 TD)
  • LT/DE Mario McCain, Jr., 6-0, 240 (53 tackles, 17 for loss, 5 sacks, 6 forced fumbles, 3 recoveries)
  • RB/FS Bryian Bolton, Soph., 5-10, 175 (28 carries, 274 yards, 6 TDs; 63 tackles, 7 INTs, 4 pass breakups)
  • RG Adrian Goodacre, Jr., 6-4, 325
  • DT K'Aelin Ware, Sr., 5-11, 225 (71 tackles, 14 for loss, 1 sack, 5 fumble recoveries)
  • WR Okeeron Rutherford, Jr., 6-5, 180 (35 catches, 493 yards, 7 TDs)

 

Silsbee

  • QB Patrick Reed, Jr., 6-2, 175 (120 of 218, 2,040 yards, 18 TDs, 6 INTs; 128 carries, 1,030 yards, 6 TDs)
  • NT Seth Adams, Jr., 6-0, 260
  • WR Jordan Holmes, Sr. (42 catches, 886 yards, 7 TDs)
  • WR/DB Chris Elam, Sr. (11 catches, 430 yards, 6 TDs; 6 INTs)
  • RB Floyd Spearman, Jr., 6-0, 185 (109 carries, 389 yards, 14 TDs)
  • ATH Zayon Jackson, Jr. (16 carries, 179 yards, 4 TDs; 17 catches, 196 yards, 2 TDs)
  • WR/DB Montana Garcia, Sr. (15 catches, 249 yards, 1 TD)
  • OL Kanon Mackey, Jr., 6-4, 255

 

Just the facts

  • Carthage averages 42.8 points per game and allows 20.6
  • Silsbee averages 39.0 points per game and allows 18.3.
  • Carthage has won seven consecutive games.
  • The Bulldogs have averaged 49.3 points per game in that span.
  • Silsbee has won nine of its last 10 games.
  • The Tigers' only loss in that span was a 26-12 defeat against unbeaten West Orange-Stark in a Nov. 9 District 21-3A finale.
  • Carthage has scored 54 or more points four times during its seven-game winning streak.
  • Silsbee won the only previous meeting in series history.
  • The Tigers beat Carthage 43-21 in a 1998 Class 4A Division II Region III area playoff that ended the career of Bulldog career rushing leader Kris Briggs.

 

Carthage QB Blake Bogenschutz. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Key matchup: Carthage's offensive line vs. Silsbee's 3-4 front. Fans of East Texas football know that Carthage is at its best when its offense can pick virtually any play in any down-and-distance situation. Meaning, Carthage plays its best when the Bulldogs are so balanced that the their opponents don't have any clue what's coming next. The 2010 season was the perfect example of that when Carthage strung together seven consecutive scoring drives vs. Argyle and pounded the rock against Brownwood en route to a state championship. Carthage has succeeded running and throwing this year, but not always at the same time. Friday in Lufkin, Carthage faces a Silsbee defensive front anchored by 6-foot, 260-pound junior nose tackle Seth Adams that could give the Bulldogs problems when they try to establish the run, which helps them get their passing game going. Carthage coach Scott Surratt said Adams can cause plenty of trouble in the middle of opposing offensive lines, where two of Carthage's biggest players -- junior guards Griffin Bankhead (6-3, 280) and Adrian Goodacre (6-4, 325) -- will have to impose their wills. Carthage's all-junior offensive line must also give QB Blake Bogenschutz time to throw when Surratt takes to the air, something he loves to do. In an October District 20-3A meeting, Jasper's 3-4 front got some shots on Bogenschutz, so the Bulldogs must be better prepared to keep their trigger man upright.

 

Chalk talk

  • Carthage coach Scott Surratt on Silsbee junior QB Patrick Reed: "The quarterback's a special athlete. He can really throw. He's got a big arm, really accurate. He's their leading rusher. We've got to limit his big plays or we're gonna be in trouble."
  • Surratt on Silsbee's offense: "They're a spread team. They do some jet sweeps and they'll fake jets and throw. They've got a solid tailback, too."
  • Surratt on Silsbee's defense: "Their nose is a big ol' defensive lineman and I think he's their best defensive lineman for sure. He makes a lot of tackles. He really causes problems inside. ... They're very good against the run. We've got to be a little hard-headed and run the football. We've got to execute our run and pass games. I think we'll have some opportunities. We've just got to get to them."
  • Surratt on Silsbee's similarities to teams Carthage has already faced: "Defensively they run a lot of the same things Jasper did. Offensively they get the quarterback more involved, but it's a lot of the same stuff Center does."

 

Carthage DT Isaiah Golden. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Don't be surprised if: Both offenses have success. Dual-threat quarterbacks are hard to defend and that's exactly what Silsbee junior Patrick Reed is. He's essentially Silsbee's entire offense considering that he's eclipsed 2,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards, while the Tigers' starting tailback, Floyd Spearman, hasn't reached the 400-yard mark on the ground. Nevertheless, Surratt said to be wary of Spearman, who has 14 rushing touchdowns, as well as a Silsbee defense that has held five opponents to 18 or fewer points and nine to 21 or fewer. That all starts up front with Seth Adams, so don't be surprised to see Carthage test Silsbee's anchor early and possibly turn the game into a battle of wills in the trenches. Carthage's averages of about 265 pounds per offensive lineman and 250 pounds per defensive lineman -- not to mention U.S. Army All-American and Texas A&M commit Isaiah Golden -- should help the Bulldogs in the battles on the line of scrimmage. Carthage has been its own worst enemy in losses to Jacksonville (six turnovers) and Whitehouse (two critical special teams errors) and a near loss to Palestine (three second-half turnovers). The Dawgs even had four turnovers in last week's rout of Taylor. If Carthage can eliminate those self-inflicted mishaps, it should reach its fourth state semifinal in five years.