Carthage Seeks First District Win Against League Unbeaten Center
DISTRICT 9-4A DIVISION I
Center Roughriders (5-2, 3-0)
Carthage Bulldogs (3-2, 0-2)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Bulldog Stadium, Carthage
- Center: Barry Bowman
- Carthage: Scott Surratt
- Center: def. Chapel Hill, 35-28 (OT)
- Carthage: lost to Kilgore, 41-34
- Center: vs. Henderson, Oct. 21
- Carthage: at Bullard, Oct. 21
- WR/S Octavius Evans, Sr., 6-3, 195 (44 catches, 535 yards, 4 TDs; 43 tackles, 3 for loss, 1 INT, 1 fumble recovery)
- QB Kyle Parks, Sr., 6-1, 185 (96 of 161, 1,285 yards, 11 TDs, 3 INTs; 100 carries, 224 yards, 9 TDs)
- WR/DB Jaterious Evans, Jr., 5-10, 180 (16 catches, 387 yards, 5 TDs; 22 tackles, 1 for loss, 3 INTs, 2 PBUs)
- LB Adrian Johnson, Sr. (80 tackles, 24 for loss, 9 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 1 INT, 1 PBU)
- DE Romario Brown, Sr., 5-11, 195 (42 tackles, 10 for loss, 5 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries)
- S Macade Perry, Sr., 5-11, 150 (28 tackles, 9 for loss, 4 sacks, 1 INT)
- RB Jacarlos Hall, Sr., 5-5, 175 (64 carries, 291 yards, 1 TD)
- CB Kameron Elmer, Jr., 5-11, 145 (43 tackles, 3 for loss, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery, 2 PBUs)
- RB Keaontay Ingram, Jr., 5-11, 198 (101 carries, 743 yards, 8 TDs; 20 catches, 275 yards, 2 TDs)
- QB Kason Davis, Sr., 6-2, 180 (97 of 165, 1,520 yards, 15 TDs, 5 INTs)
- WR Dee Bowens, Jr., 5-7, 140 (26 catches, 422 yards, 6 TDs)
- WR Dewaylon Ingram, Jr., 6-0, 160 (23 catches, 384 yards, 4 TDs)
- LB Mykel Gates, Jr., 6-0, 215 (55 tackles, 5 for loss, 1 forced fumble, 2 recoveries, 2 PBUs)
- CB Nic Moore, Sr., 5-11, 150 (32 tackles, 1 fumble recovery, 4 PBUs)
- CB Mekhi Colbert, Jr., 5-10, 180 (19 tackles, 2 for loss, 2 INTs, 4 PBUs, 1 forced fumble)
- DE Tre Gatlin, Sr., 6-6, 250 (32 tackles, 2 for loss, 8 QB pressures, 3 PBUs)
Just the facts
- Since World War II, Center and Carthage have met 49 times. Carthage leads the series over that span, 41-8.
- Center has not defeated Carthage since 2005.
- The Roughriders average 26 points and 281 yards per game -- 97.4 rushing and 183.6 passing.
- Center has racked up 21 sacks and 87 tackles for loss in seven games.
- The 'Riders remaining two opponents are a combined 10-3.
- Carthage is averaging 34.8 points, while allowing 29.4 points per game.
- Bulldogs running back Keaontay Ingram is on pace for 1,629 all-purpose yards during the regular season.
- Carthage's remaining three opponents are a combined 8-12.
Key matchup: Carthage rushing attack vs. Center defensive front. Carthage quarterback Kason Davis is on pace to pass for nearly 3,000 during the regular season, but that doesn't mean the Bulldogs' primary objective on offense isn't to establish the running game. Armed with one of the best running backs in all of East Texas in junior Keaontay Ingram, Carthage's pro-style offense needs to be balanced to be effective. Not only has Ingram excelled in running, with an average of 149 rushing yards per game, he has also become a serious weapon as a pass catcher. Ingram enters Friday's game with 275 receiving yards on 20 receptions, most of which have come on screen passes. It will be up to Center's defense to make sure Ingram is held in check, or it could be a long night for the Roughriders' defenders.
Center has had its struggles on the offensive side of the ball. The 'Riders enter this week with a yards-per-game average of less than 300, and Center is only averaging 26 points per contest. Nevertheless, Center is 5-2 on the season, and tied atop the District 9-4A Division I standings with a 3-0 record. And it's mainly been the result of an aggressive defense that's come on strong of late. In three district wins, the Roughriders are allowing a little more than 20 points per game; this after giving up 126 combined points in consecutive losses to Gilmer and Gladewater. Making plays behind the line of scrimmage has certainly been a forte for the 'Riders, who have produced an incredible 87 tackles for loss and 21 sacks in their seven games. Outside linebacker Adrian Johnson leads the area in tackles for negative yardage with 24.
Don't be surprised if: Carthage returns to early-season form Friday night. It's been a rough couple of weeks for the Bulldogs, who suffered back-to-back losses to Henderson (36-28) and Kilgore (41-34). Carthage has lost three consecutive games just once previously in the Scott Surratt era, and after an impressive non-district performance that included wins over Whitehouse and Gilmer, the Bulldogs are due for a bounce-back effort. Center, while looking strong at the moment, has not yet faced the toughest portion of its schedule. The Roughriders' remaining three games come against Carthage, Henderson (6-0, 2-0) and Kilgore (4-3, 3-0). Center's five wins this season have been over Rusk, Diboll, Bullard, Palestine, and Chapel Hill, who have a combined record of 11-23.