Carthage Wins Division II 7-on-7 Football State Tournament Consolation Championship
LEANDER -- The wore the same uniforms and shoes and ran the same plays they ran during Thursday's 1-2 pool-play performance, but Carthage looked like a different team Friday.
The Bulldogs reeled five consecutive victories, culminating in a 46-20 rout of McGregor in the Division II consolation championship at the 7-on-7 state tournament at Southwest Williamson County Regional Park.
Quarterback Blake Bogenschutz threw seven touchdown passes in the consolation title as receivers Terian "Tee" Goree and O'Keeron Rutherford did virtually whatever they wanted. Goree caught three touchdown passes, while Rutherford snagged two, plus four PATs as the Dawgs repeatedly threw him the jump ball to take advantage of his 6-foot-6 frame. Keldrean Strong also caught two touchdown passes, including the score that pushed Carthage's lead to 27-14 just before halftime.
"We just played as a team," Rutherford said of the difference in Carthage on Friday and the Dawgs' disappointing Thursday performance. "We were more confident. Yesterday I don't know what it was. We were all hyped the first game, but messed around and lost the next two, but we shook that off. We'll never let a loss stop us. We'll keep pushing."
Bogenschutz, who is committed to UTSA, agreed.
"When we won that first game (Thursday 32-0 vs. Gatesville) and I think we thought it was gonna be easy because we've been undefeated all (7-on-7) season," Bogenschutz said. "A few teams got after us and we started blaming each other. We've got to play as a team and I think we realized that."
"We wanted to be in the championship bracket with all those other teams, and I think we're capable of playing with them. But we did what we could in this bracket and won it all."
Outside linebacker Tra Leary had one interception apiece in the consolation final and the semifinals, when Carthage beat Iraan 26-12. Tailback/defensive back Tevin Pipkin had a title-game interception as well, while safety Bryian Bolton leaped above several players from both teams to pick off a juggled pass in the end zone during the win against Iraan. Cornerback Trevor Cooper picked off an Iraan pass on the game's first possession
Goree had three touchdown receptions against Iraan. Rutherford added one. Carthage built a 26-6 lead early in the second half before throttling down.
Carthage rolled into the semifinal against Iraan after beating Abilene Wylie 34-25 in a first-round consolation bracket matchup. The Bulldogs then beat Dublin 39-26 and hammered Grandview 39-13.
Carthage starts fall two-a-days Monday, Aug. 5. The first day in pads is Friday, Aug. 9.