When Scott Surratt arrived at Carthage, he was best known as Ryan Mallett's mentor while serving as Texas High's offensive coordinator.

Seven seasons and three quarterbacks later, Surratt's definitely made a name for himself and the Carthage Bulldogs.

Carthage head coach Scott Surratt hugs offensive coordinator Chris Smith at the end of the Bulldogs' 34-23 Class 3A Division I state championship win over Kilgore on Dec. 20 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. (Bud Worley, ETSN.fm)

Surratt has compiled a staggering 88-15 overall record, including four state championships in the last six seasons. His playoff record at Carthage is an unheard of 30-3. Add district play to that playoff tally and the record balloons to 52-4.

Carthage's latest display of state supremacy -- a 34-23 win over East Texas rival Kilgore in December's Class 3A Division I championship game -- capped a 15-1 season that saw Carthage start the year No. 1 and finish the year No. 1. For that oft-unappreciated accomplishment, Surratt is the ETSN.fm East Texas Super Team Coach of the Year for the 2013 season.

Carthage's latest championship has been three years in the making.

After a dynasty-establishing Class 3A Division II championship three-peat from 2008-10, Surratt and his staff had to virtually start over, especially on offense, for the 2011 season, when sophomores Blake Bogenschutz and Tevin Pipkin showed fans that they could be the next skill-position stars to lead Carthage back to the mountaintop. A one-point, double-overtime, third-round playoff loss to eventual state runner-up Argyle ended that campaign at 9-4. Then came the 2012 season, one that ended in an 11-3 record and a state semifinal appearance.

Carthage head coach Scott Surratt talks to his team in a timeout during the Bulldogs' 42-28 season-opening win at Jacksonville on Aug. 30. (Courtesy Shannon Bogenschutz)

But ask Surratt and his players, and they'll tell you the 2012 ending -- Carthage blew a 25-14 fourth-quarter lead to fall to El Campo -- was a disappointment. That set an "unfinished business" tone for 2013.

Carthage's only hiccup was a 20-minute span in the second half at highly-ranked Class 4A Whitehouse in late September. After the Bulldogs fell in that contest, they won their remaining 11 games by double-digits, most memorably crushing defending 3A Division II champion Navasota on a bone-chillingly cold November night in Corsicana, then beating the wind and a tenacious West Orange-Stark defense two weeks later in Beaumont. Carthage thrashed Region IV champion La Grange in the state semifinals with almost 400 passing yards from Bogenschutz, who teamed with Terian "Tee" Goree to shred the Leopards' secondary.

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones (left) present Carthage head coach Scott Surratt with the Class 3A Division I state championship trophy Dec. 20 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. (Bud Worley, ETSN.fm)

The stage was set for the East Texas Bowl in the 3A D-I title. Surratt rode an offense that featured nine senior starters to his fourth ring, which gives Carthage the second-most state championships in East Texas history behind only Daingerfield (six).

But when examining Carthage's state title run, it's impossible to ignore the strides an undersized, but physical defense made, particularly after surrendering 63 points to Patrick Mahomes and Whitehouse. Carthage allowed 170 points in its first five games, then yielded 133 points in its final 11 contests.

Neverthless, Surratt is known as an offensive-minded coach, and the Bulldogs were as potent in 2013 as they've ever been. Bogenschutz shattered school passing records thanks to a pair of 1,000-yard receivers in Goree and O'Keeron Rutherford, plus an offensive line with five players who started at least two full years. Goree re-wrote most of the school's receiving marks. Pipkin broke what is arguably the most hallowed mark in Carthage history: the career rushing record, which Kris Briggs previously held with 5,130 yards from 1995-98.

Carthage head coach Scott Surratt answers questions during the press conference following the Bulldogs' Class 3A Division I state championship win over Kilgore on Dec. 20 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

On top of that, Carthage scored a school-record 721 points, breaking the mark set by the history-making 2008 team, which scored 705 points with the dynamic backfield duo of Si'Darius Blackshire and Dwight Smith.

Looking ahead to this fall, Carthage graduates 16 of its 22 starters from the 2013 state championship team. At least four Division I FBS players will be gone from the record-setting offense, while four-year varsity starter Mario McCain, who started the last three seasons on both sides of the ball, will also graduate.

Sound familiar?

If we've learned anything during Scott Surratt's seven-year tenure at Carthage, it's that regardless of the cast, the director and his crew will always have the Dawgs primed for another postseason run.

Scott Surratt's Tenure at Carthage

  • 2007-- 9-3, Class 3A Division I Region III semifinalist
    • Lost 41-14 to eventual state champion Liberty Hill in Mesquite
  • 2008 -- 14-2, Class 3A Division II state champion
    • Beat Celina 49-37 at Texas Stadium in Irving
  • 2009 -- 16-0, Class 3A Division II state champion
    • Beat Graham 13-12 at SMU in Dallas
  • 2010 -- 14-2, Class 3A Division II state champion
    • Beat Colspring-Oakhurst 47-22 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington
  • 2011-- 9-4, Class 3A Division II Region II semifinalist
    • Lost 35-34 (2OT) to eventual state runner-up Argyle in Mansfield
  • 2012-- 11-3, Class 3A Division I state semifinalist
    • Lost 29-25 to eventual state runner-up El Campo in Beaumont
  • 2013 -- 15-1, Class 3A Division I state champion
    • Beat Kilgore 34-23 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington
  • TOTALS -- 88-15 overall, 52-4 in district, 30-3 in the playoffs, six district championships, four state championships

 

2,000-Yard Passing Seasons in Carthage History

Before Scott Surratt's Arrival in 2007 -- 1
  • 1991: Joey Blissett -- 2,043

 

Since Scott Surratt's Arrival in 2007 -- 7
  • 2007: Si'Darius Blackshire -- 2,611
  • 2008: Si'Darius Blackshire -- 2,735
  • 2009: Anthony Morgan -- 2,931
  • 2010: Anthony Morgan -- 3,680
  • 2011: Blake Bogenschutz -- 2,696
  • 2012: Blake Bogenschutz -- 2,870
  • 2013: Blake Bogenschutz -- 4,003

 

2,000-Yard Rushing Seasons in Carthage History

Before Scott Surratt's Arrival in 2007 -- 3
  • 1994: Johnnie Balous -- 2,025
  • 1997: Kris Briggs -- 2,169
  • 1998: Kris Briggs -- 2,150

 

Since Scott Surratt's Arrival in 2007 -- 3
  • 2008: Dwight Smith -- 2,821
  • 2010: Hunter Holland -- 2,604
  • 2013: Tevin Pipkin -- 2,113

 

1,000-Yard Receiving Seasons in Carthage History

Before Scott Surratt's Arrival in 2007 -- 0
  • None

 

Since Scott Surratt's Arrival in 2007 -- 7
  • 2009: Jalen Claiborne -- 1,066
  • 2010: Jalen Claiborne -- 1,534
  • 2010: Cortlyn Ware -- 1,034
  • 2011: Edward Pope -- 1,233
  • 2012: Terian "Tee" Goree -- 1,261
  • 2013: Terian "Tee" Goree -- 1,744
  • 2013: O'Keeron Rutherford -- 1,048

 

400-Point Seasons in Carthage History

Before Scott Surratt's Arrival in 2007 -- 1
  • 1991 -- 507

 

Since Scott Surratt's Arrival in 2007 -- 6
  • 2007 -- 450
  • 2008 -- 705
  • 2009 -- 577
  • 2010 -- 689
  • 2012 -- 589
  • 2013 -- 721