Center Hosts Carthage as the Roughriders Shoot for 8-0 Start
Carthage Bulldogs (5-2, 1-0)
Center Roughriders (7-0, 1-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Roughrider Stadium, Center
Carthage: Scott Surratt
Center: Kevin Goodwin
Carthage: def. Huntington, 56-0
Center: def. Diboll, 38-0
Carthage: vs. Jasper
Center: at Huntington
- DT Isaiah Golden, Sr., 6-2, 315 (39 tackles, 25 for loss, 4 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 1 recovery)
- QB Blake Bogenschutz, Jr., 6-0, 182 (91 of 168, 1,472 yards, 18 TDs, 4 INTs; 1 rush TD)
- WR Tee Goree, Jr., 6-2, 170 (36 catches, 678 yards, 9 TDs)
- LT/DE Mario McCain, Jr., 6-0, 240 (32 tackles, 16 for loss, 3 sacks, 6 forced fumbles, 3 recoveries)
- MLB Trent Jackson, Sr., 6-0, 215 (66 tackles, 7 for loss, 2 INTs, 3 forced fumbles, 2 recoveries)
- RB Tevin Pipkin, Jr., 5-10, 170 (91 carries, 620 yards, 6 TDs; 14 catches, 126 yards)
- WR Okeeron Rutherford, Jr., 6-5, 180 (20 catches, 288 yards, 4 TDs)
- RB/FS Bryian Bolton, Soph., 5-10, 175 (15 carries, 144 yards, 3 TDs; 37 tackles, 4 INTs)
- OLB D.K. Calloway, Sr., 5-7, 175 (50 tackles, 2 for loss, 1 fumble recovery)
- WR Kolby Blissett, Jr., 5-8, 165 (9 catches, 252 yards, 4 TDs)
- OG Adrian Goodacre, Jr., 6-4, 325
- RB K.J. Garrett, Sr., 5-9, 178 (119 carries, 1,169 yards, 13 TDs; 15 catches, 138 yards, 2 TDs)
- OLB Derrick Thomas, Sr., 6-0, 222 (93 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, 2 recoveries)
- MLB Kiounis Williams, Jr., 5-10, 215 (92 tackles, 1 sack, 1 INT, 2 forced fumbles)
- DB Johnny Shaw, Soph. (65 tackles, 2 INTs, 2 forced fumbles, 3 recoveries, 1 def. TD)
- QB Dalton Horton, Soph., 6-3, 190 (61 of 108, 910 yards, 9 TDs, 8 INTs; 1 rush TD)
- WR/DB Shaquille Ingram, Sr., 5-8, 159 (26 carries, 116 yards, 2 TDs; 10 catches, 193 yards, 3 TDs; 1 INT)
- WR/DB DeJalen Preston, Jr., 6-0, 168 (10 catches, 159 yards, 2 TDs; 39 tackles, 4 INTs, 1 forced fumble, 2 recoveries)
- DB Darren Bolton, Sr. (30 tackles, 4 INTs, 1 kick block)
- WR Tony McCollister, Sr., 5-10, 150 (16 catches, 127 yards; 1 rush TD)
- ATH Sakedron Horn, Soph. (4 catches, 115 yards, 1 TD; 43 tackles, 1 sack, 1 INT, 2 forced fumbles, 2 recoveries)
- OL Javaris Rankin, Sr., 5-10, 245
Just the facts
- Carthage averages 39.9 points per game and allows 17.9.
- Center averages 37.6 points per game and allows 18.0.
- Carthage averages 363.4 total yards per game and allows 265.6.
- Center averages 369.6 total yards per game.
- Carthage has forced 26 turnovers, or 3.7 per game.
- Center has forced 29 turnovers, or 4.1 per game.
- This is the 68th meeting between Carthage and Center.
- Carthage leads the all-time series 43-22-2.
- Carthage has won 42 of the last 50 meetings, including a 9-1 edge since 2002.
- Carthage has won six consecutive games vs. Center.
- Center's last win was a 19-14 home victory in 2005.
Key matchup: Center's secondary vs. Carthage's passing game. Line play is always one of the most, if not the most, important aspect of every football game, and that's no different in Friday's matchup. But there's an interesting dynamic when examining the possible key matchups between Carthage and Center, and that is the passing game, particularly Carthage's passing game vs. Center's defensive backs. Carthage's passing attack has been on fire lately. Junior quarterback Blake Bogenschutz tied a single-game school record with six touchdown tosses in a near-300-yard game two weeks ago against Rusk. Since Carthage's season-opening loss to Jacksonville, Bogenschutz's touchdowns-to-interceptions ratio is 17-1. Tee Goree has been his primary target, but Okeeron Rutherford and Kolby Blissett have become dependable targets in recent weeks. On the other side of the ball is a Center defense that has picked off 13 passes. Darren Bolton and DeJalen Preston have four interceptions apiece for a unit that averages almost two interceptions per game. But, Center hasn't faced an offense as capable in the passing game as Carthage, so the Roughriders must be prepared to defend Carthage's array of offensive formations and the Bulldogs' big receivers (6-2 Goree and 6-5 Rutherford).
- Carthage coach Scott Surratt on what stands out on film about Center: "Their skill position speed. They're very athletic in the secondary and can run. They're very fast offensively. If (K.J.) Garrett gets lose we're not catching him. You might say that about two or three of them."
- Center coach Kevin Goodwin on what stands out on film about Carthage: "They're athletic all over the place. The quarterback, he kind of runs it all. He's going through and making the checks at the line of scrimmage and telling the receivers literally what routes to run. When you've got a guy like that running the show, it makes everything else easier."
- Surratt on the key matchups: "Defensively we've got to hold up to all their jet sweeps to the outside and the edges. Offensively we've got to run the ball. We've got to be able to run the ball to set up our passing game a little bit."
- Goodwin on the key matchups: "I think there's two. The first one I think is our offensive line vs. their defensive line. We are larger than we have been in the past, so hopefully that'll help us in that aspect of it. We also have more confidence than we've had in the past. The second big thing is going to be their receivers vs. our secondary. Those are going to be two huge battles. I think the victors in those two will be the victor in the game."
- Goodwin on his standout linebacking duo of Derrick Thomas and Kiounis Williams: "Everything starts with them because of their seniority and just playing the game. Derrick has had to play a lot of walking up on the line of scrimmage. He's done a great job of literally shutting down half the field. People are to the point where they aren't running to him as much. Kiounis can just flat run. He was on our 4x1 (sprint relay) team last year that won the district championship. We're talking about a kid who can flat fly."
- Surratt on Carthage's approach to a road game against a familiar foe that's 7-0: "We're treating it as a huge district ball game on the road because that's what it is. We can't get into the Center vs. Carthage thing. We've got to get into the individual matchups on the field and not what's happened in the past. We're worried about this game and treating it just as a huge district ball game on the road."
- Goodwin on Center's approach to this homecoming matchup against a rival with an 8-0 record on the line: "Honestly, it is what it is. I'm a real fiery guy come game time, but throughout the week I'm pretty level-headed and calm. The rivalry, it's like I told them on Monday … all that kind of stuff, that's for the community. We've got to take care of what's between the lines."
Don't be surprised if: There's a packed house in Center on Friday. This could be the most anticipated Center home game in years when you think about the 'Riders being 7-0 on homecoming against their arch rival. Both coaches downplayed the peripheral aspects, such as the rivalry, which Carthage has dominated 42-8 since 1950. But Center's home crowd will be ready to see the Roughriders ambush a Carthage team that lost by a combined six points in its two defeats. Carthage will likely have the edge on both lines thanks to its overwhelming size, but Center's speed could be the neutralizer. Carthage is still the favorite entering the game, but that could play perfectly into Center's hands. After all, there aren't a lot of 7-0 home underdogs in high school football. This could be one of the best games in East Texas this week.