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Carthage Visits Rusk as Both Teams Try to Recover from Losses

Cornerback Dominic Collins picks off Whitehouse’s Patrick Mahomes during Carthage’s 29-27 home loss last week. Carthage visits Rusk on Friday. (Bud Worley, ETSN.fm)

Carthage Bulldogs (3-2)
vs.
Rusk Eagles (4-1)

7:30 p.m. Friday
Eagle Stadium, Rusk

Coaches
Carthage: Scott Surratt
Rusk: Ted Patton

Last week
Carthage: lost to Whitehouse, 29-27
Rusk: lost to Brownsboro, 42-21

Next week
Carthage: vs. Huntington
Rusk: vs. Fairfield

Playmakers

Carthage

  • QB Blake Bogenschutz, Jr., 6-0, 182 (73 of 143, 1,058 yards, 12 TDs, 4 INTs; 1 rush TD)
  • DT Isaiah Golden, Sr., 6-2, 315 (29 tackles, 20 for loss, 4 sacks, 2 forced fumbles; committed to Texas A&M)
  • DE/LB Gregg Graves, Sr., 6-1, 200 (33 tackles, 15 for loss, 5 sacks, 1 forced fumble)
  • MLB Trent Jackson, Sr., 6-0, 215 (54 tackles, 6 for loss, 2 INTs, 1 forced fumble, 2 recoveries)
  • WR Tee Goree, Jr., 6-2, 170 (30 catches, 481 yards, 6 TDs; 1 INT, 1 def. TD)
  • WR Okeeron Rutherford, Jr., 6-5, 180 (15 catches, 208 yards, 2 TDs)
  • LT/DE Mario McCain, Jr., 6-0, 240 (28 tackles, 16 for loss, 3 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 2 recoveries)
  • RB Tevin Pipkin, Jr., 5-10, 170 (75 carries, 504 yards, 4 TDs; 11 catches, 66 yards; questionable for Friday’s game)

Rusk

  • RB/DB Chaston Bennett, Sr., 5-10, 160 (58 carries, 936 yards, 9 TDs; 54 tackles, 4 for loss)
  • QB Kody Stanley, Sr., 6-1, 175 (9 of 24, 175 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs; 60 carries, 412 yards, 10 TDs)
  • FB Ray Foreman, Jr., 5-11, 185 (43 carries, 314 yards, 3 TDs; 2 receiving TDs)
  • LB Keshannon Dearman, Sr., 5-9, 160 (45 tackles)
  • LB Garrett Ault (38 tackles)
  • DL Octavian Arrington, Jr., 6-2, 225 (33 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss)
  • OL Drew Walley, Sr., 6-0, 260
  • ATH Vijay Stingley (23 carries, 195 yards, 1 TD; 1 receiving TD)

Just the facts

  • Friday’s game is Rusk’s first home game since Sept. 7 (2-1 on the road since)
  • Carthage has only two remaining home games: Oct. 12 vs. Huntington and Oct. 26 vs. Jasper
  • Carthage averages 33.8 points per game and allows 22.2
  • Rusk averages 38.0 points per game and allows 16.6
  • Rusk running back Chaston Bennett averages 16.1 yards per carry
  • Carthage leads the all-time series vs. Rusk 11-7, including a 4-2 advantage since 2002
  • Carthage and Rusk did not play from 1953-2001
  • The series dates to 1929, when Rusk won 13-6
Rusk RB/DB Chaston Bennett. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Key matchup: Rusk’s defensive line vs. Carthage’s ground game. Whitehouse completely shut down Carthage’s rushing attack, and a banged up Tevin Pipkin didn’t help the Bulldogs’ cause. Pipkin sprained an ankle in Carthage’s 44-21 win against Nacogdoches and was noticeably slowed against Whitehouse. Nevertheless, the Wildcats did plenty on their own to keep Carthage from establishing its running game, limiting the Dawgs to 70 yards on 24 carries. Carthage threw for more than 300 yards, but completed less than half of its 45 passing attempts. The Bulldogs were one-dimensional because of Whitehouse’s undersized defensive line beating the much larger Carthage O-line at the point of attack. Rusk will have to do that to take away half of Carthage’s balanced pro-style offense in hopes of springing the upset.

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

Don’t be surprised if: Carthage preps for District 20-3A with a bounceback win. Rusk’s four-game winning streak to start the season showed that the Eagles are capable of playing well consistently, but the Brownsboro team that doubled them up last week is not comparable to Carthage, which will be bigger and faster at most positions. Carthage’s two losses have come by a combined six points and against Class 4A teams, and the Bulldogs rarely drop two games in a row. In fact, they’ve done that once since 2008 (2011 non-district) and twice during Scott Surratt’s tenure (the other back-to-back losses were his first two games in 2007). Carthage cannot allow Rusk to dictate the tempo with its run-heavy attack, but with a defensive line featuring Isaiah Golden, Mario McCain, and others playing as well as Carthage’s, the Bulldogs are well equipped get their defense off the field and try to re-establish their ground attack in an attempt to re-energize their offense.

Carthage’s Kolby Blissett hauls in an 80-yard touchdown catch in last week’s 29-27 loss to Whitehouse. (Bud Worley, ETSN.fm)

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