Carthage + Jacksonville Meet for 58th Time Friday at Tomato Bowl
No. 2 Carthage Bulldogs
7:30 p.m. Friday
Tomato Bowl, Jacksonville
- Carthage: Scott Surratt
- Jacksonville: Chris Taber
- Carthage: at Lindale
- Jacksonville: at Palestine (7 p.m. Thursday)
- Jacksonville 34, Carthage 30 (season opener at Carthage's Bulldog Stadium)
- QB Blake Bogenschutz, Sr., 6-1, 180 (committed to UTSA)
- RB/DB Tevin Pipkin, Sr., 5-10, 165
- WR/S Terian “Tee” Goree, Sr., 6-2, 170
- WR O’Keeron Rutherford, Sr., 6-5, 181
- RB/FS Bryian Bolton, Jr., 5-10, 175
- OT Adrian Goodacre, Sr., 6-4, 318 (committed to ULL)
- OG/DL Mario McCain, Sr., 6-0, 220
- OG Griffin Bankhead, Sr., 6-3, 301
- WR/CB Keldrean Strong, Sr., 5-11, 165
- OLB D’vodney Brooks, Sr., 6-3, 205
- QB Carter McCown, Jr., 6-3, 175
- RB Stacy Cummings, Sr., 5-9, 185
- WR Tony Lane, Sr., 5-7, 175
- OL Justin Stewart, Sr., 6-4, 230
- RB Lekendrick Anderson, Sr., 6-1, 210
- OL Xavier Matthews, Sr., 6-1, 250
- RB Braylon Parish, Jr., 5-9, 178
- OL Curtis Landon, Jr., 6-3, 225
- RB Datavian Thacker, Soph., 5-10, 170
Just the facts
- Friday's game is the 58th meeting between Carthage and Jacksonville, which leads the all-time series 29-28.
- Carthage led last year's game 30-27 late and picked off a pass but fumbled the return, giving the ball back to Jacksonville with timing running out. The Tribe scored the go-ahead touchdown after the Bulldog turnover to get the win, one of only three for opponents in Bulldog Stadium since it opened in 2008.
- Jacksonville quarterback Carter McCown broke his collarbone in that game but led the game-winning drive with the injury. He missed the next several games.
- McCown threw for 1,305 yards, 13 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions in about half a season last year, when he suffered two separate injuries that caused him to miss playing time. He completed 23 of 36 passes for 369 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception in last year's win against Carthage.
- Jacksonville's 2012 win at Carthage snapped a four-game losing streak to the Bulldogs, who beat the Indians each year from 2008-11.
- Carthage is 17-11 vs. Jacksonville since 1975.
- Carthage, which is ranked No. 2 in the Associated Press Class 3A preseason poll, has 10 returning offensive starters, including a 2,800-yard passer (Blake Bogenschutz), its top two rushers, its top two receivers, and its entire starting offensive line.
- Jacksonville returns only three defensive starters.
- Carthage's Blake Bogenschutz enters his senior season with more than 5,500 career passing yards and 62 career touchdown passes.
- After Friday's contest vs. Carthage, three of Jacksonville's next four games are on the road.
Key matchup: Jacksonville defensive front vs. Carthage running game. Carthage has a rebuilt front seven that the Tribe and offensive-minded head coach Chris Taber could possibly exploit, but with 10 returning starters, Carthage's offense is the unit that enters this game with the highest possibility of determining the outcome.
Carthage has an offensive-minded head coach of its own in Scott Surratt, whose multiple pro-style offense is in stark contrast to Jacksonville's uptempo spread attack. While the Bulldogs frequently post impressive passing numbers, they love to run the ball and pound opponents into submission when they have big, physical lines, which is often. This year should be no different since Carthage averages more than 260 pounds per offensive lineman, including a pair of 300-pounders on the left side in Adrian Goodacre and Griffin Bankhead.
If Carthage gets its running game going, any advantage Jacksonville has with a playmaking quarterback against an inexperienced Carthage front seven could be null and void. The Bulldogs would probably be happy to force Jacksonville to go score for score with them considering the experience Carthage has back on offense from a unit that averaged 42.1 points per game a year ago.
Don't be surprised if: Carthage's experienced offense is too much for the Tribe's inexperienced defense. There's no doubt that Jacksonville's offense likely has the advantage vs. Carthage's defense entering the game considering McCown's return and Carthage's rebuilt front seven. But a 10-to-3 ratio in Carthage's offensive veterans to Jacksonville's defensive veterans is too much to ignore.
If Jacksonville pulls off another upset, the X-factor could be Taber. Dating to 2010, he's beaten the Bulldogs three consecutive years -- in 2010-11 as Chapel Hill's offensive coordinator and last year as the Tribe's head coach.
Carthage didn't run the ball as well as it wanted at times last season, despite a second consecutive big rushing campaign from Tevin Pipkin, who had 1,645 yards. The Bulldogs' lack of a consistent ground game against Whitehouse and El Campo cost them dearly in both games, with the latter ending the Bulldogs' season. You've gotta think that Surratt does not want to start what looks like a very promising 2013 season the way the 2012 season ended in the Class 3A Division I state semifinals.