Carthage Offense Erupts to Beat Silsbee, 64-36, and Reach Fourth Round
[By JOSH HAVARD, Special to ETSN.fm]
LUFKIN -- Racking up 277 yards of offense and 21 points in the opening half alone, Silsbee flashed an offense that could hang with most teams in the state. But with the top-ranked Carthage Bulldogs on the other side of the ball, they never stood a chance.
Countering with an offense that put up a show to the tune of 534 yards and 64 points in the first half alone, the Bulldogs showed why they may be the favorites to take home another state title as they punished Silsbee 64-36 in Class 4A Division I playoff action at Lufkin's John Outlaw Memorial Field at Abe Martin Stadium on Friday night.
Gunner Capps lit up Silsbee to the tune of 291 yards and seven touchdowns on 13-of-15 passing before cheering on from the sideline in the second half as the Bulldogs quickly turned yet another game into a laugher before the first quarter was even over.
He had plenty of help around him as Keaontay Ingram ran for 161 yards and two touchdowns on eight carries while adding a 59-yard touchdown reception before he also sat out the second half.
Dee Bowens led the way for Cartahge's receivers with four receptions for 133 yards and three touchdowns.
Silsbee was led by Jacob Collins, who threw for 291 yards and five touchdowns on 13-of-15 passing.
With the win, Carthage advances to the state quarterfinals where it will take on Henderson, a 20-14 winner over Kilgore on Friday night. That game will be played on Friday night at 7:30 on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches.
Nearly from the opening kickoff, Carthage put on a display that wowed the crowd.
On the third play of the game, Capps connected with Dee Bowers for a 30-yard touchdown less than a minute into the contest.
Silsbee provided its own fireworks two plays later when Jacob Collins delivered a perfect 65-yard touchdown strike to Kalon Barnes that knotted the game at 7-7 with 10:22 left in the quarter.
On Carthage's next drive, it needed five plays to find the end zone with Capps hitting Bowens on a screen pass before he made a move and raced the final 15 yards to the end zone. Ahmad Brown ran in the two-point conversion to make the score 15-7.
Following a Bulldogs' stop, Ingram got his first big play in the ground game as Keaontay Ingram went untouched for an 83-yard touchdown run that upped the margin to 22-7 with 6:09 still left in the first quarter.
The Bulldogs were just getting started as they recovered a pooch kick on the following kickoff. and scored on the next play with Dewaylon Ingram catching a 33-yard touchdown pass on a perfect strike from Capps, making it 29-7 midway through the opening frame.
Silsbee drew closer with the big play once again as Kalon Barnes took a short pass and turned it into a 78-yard score that made it 29-14.
The Bulldogs got back on the board one final time in the first quarter with Capps hitting Dewaylon Ingram over the middle before he made a defender missed before coasting to a 33-yard touchdown pass reception that made it 36-14 less than 10 minutes into the game.
The Bulldogs' special teams got into the act with a Felipe Ponce blocked punt that set up a two-yard scoring run from Keaontay Ingram for a 43-14 advantage.
The Bulldogs hit the half-century mark with 5:24 still remaining in the second quarter when Capps hit a wide open Bowens for a 72-yard score that upped the margin to 50-14.
Silsbee ended a stretch of 21 unanswered Carthage points on the following drive when Collins hit Barnes for an eight-yard touchdown pass to make it 50-21 with 2:34 left in the half.
However, that still left Carthage enough time to score two more touchdowns before halftime.
Keaontay Ingram, who ran for 161 yards and two touchdowns on just eight carries in the first half, took a short pass before making an impressive 59-yard run to the end zone that made it 57-21.
The Bulldogs got on the board one final time in the first half when Cappts hit Mekhi Colbert over the middle for a 57-yard touchdown pass that made the score 64-21 with seven seconds left in the second quarter.
Carthage forced a turnover on the following play but couldn't punch in a final score before the end of the first half.
That was the only time in 10 first-half possessions for Carthage in which it didn't find the end zone. In the opening half, the Bulldogs had the ball for a total of 8:02 while finding the end zone nine times.
Capps completed 13-of-15 passes through the air for 369 yards and seven touchdowns. Bowens led the receivers with four receptions for 133 yards and three touchdowns.
For the half, Carthage had 534 yards of offense on just 24 plays.
Silsbee managed to rack up 277 yards despite trailing by 33 points. Collins completed 8-of-9 passes for 234 yards and three touchdowns, while Barnes had three catches for 151 yards with all of those going for touchdowns.
However, Carthage let off the gas at halftime when it took its starters out of the game.
Silsbee got back on the board with 7:56 remaining when Collins hit Adam Carrell for a seven-yard touchdown pass that made it 64-28.
The Tigers put up one final touchdown with 2:31 remaining when Tre'Darius Lowe connected with Kalon Barnes for a 10-yard touchdown, narrowing the margin to 64-36 after a converted two-point try.