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Class 3A Division I State Championship Features Perennial East Texas Powers Carthage and Kilgore

Kilgore’s Davieonta “JuJu” Brown (10) is brought down by Stephenville’s Cameron Reynolds (62) and Dakota Messer during Kilgore’s Saturday state semifinal win in Corsicana. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)
Class 3A Division I
State Championship

Carthage Bulldogs (14-1)

vs.

Kilgore Bulldogs (14-0)

12 p.m. Friday

AT&T Stadium, Arlington

 

Coaches
  • Carthage: Scott Surratt
  • Kilgore: Mike Wood

 

Road to Arlington

Carthage

 

Kilgore

 

Carthage’s Keldrean Strong makes a move as La Grange’s Ryan Scott defends during a 51-22 CHS state semifinal victory in Mansfield. (Bud Worley, ETSN.fm)

Playmakers

Carthage

  • QB Blake Bogenschutz, Sr., 6-1, 180 (committed to UTSA; 222 of 374, 3,805 yards, 55 TDs, 3 INTs; 86 carries, 346 yards, 7 TDs)
  • RB Tevin Pipkin, Sr., 5-10, 165 (224 carries, 1,995 yards, 20 TDs; 17 catches, 257 yards, 2 TDs)
  • WR/S Terian “Tee” Goree, Sr., 6-2, 170 (committed to North Texas; 86 catches, 1,689 yards, 28 TDs; 43 tackles, 6 INTs)
  • WR O’Keeron Rutherford, Sr., 6-5, 181 (committed to North Texas; 61 catches, 965 yards, 15 TDs)
  • OT/DT Mario McCain, Sr., 6-0, 220 (119 tackles, 22 for loss, 10 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery, 27 pressures)
  • OG Adrian Goodacre, Sr., 6-4, 318 (committed to ULL)
  • OG Griffin Bankhead, Sr., 6-3, 301
  • C Cade Clinton, Sr., 6-3, 230
  • OT Dillon Husar, Sr., 6-0, 230
  • MLB James Marshall, Sr., 6-0, 190 (124 tackles, 9 for loss, 1 sack, 5 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries)
  • WR/CB Keldrean Strong, Sr., 6-0, 155 (19 catches, 334 yards, 3 TDs; 43 tackles, 3 INTs, 10 pass breakups)
  • OLB Tra Leary, Sr., 5-9, 165 (105 tackles, 10 for loss, 1 sack, 1 INT, 4 fumble recoveries)
  • OLB Christian Allison, Sr., 5-9, 165 (102 tackles, 10 for loss, 1 sack, 1 INT, 1 forced fumble, 3 fumble recoveries)
  • TE/DE Jarrod McLin, Soph., 6-3, 220 (69 tackles, 8 for loss, 4 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 3 fumble recoveries, 22 pressures)
  • RB/S Bryian Bolton, Jr., 5-10, 170 (66 tackles, 2 INTs)
  • DT Javontay Brown, Sr., 5-9, 190 (82 tackles, 14 for loss, 4 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, 14 pressures)
  • TE Marquise Guinn, Soph., 6-4, 220 (24 catches, 304 yards, 3 TDs)
  • CB Trevor Cooper, Sr., 6-3, 180 (44 tackles, 3 INTs, 9 pass breakups)
  • OLB D’vodney Brooks, Sr., 6-3, 205 (81 tackles, 7 for loss, 2 INTs, 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery)
  • DL Christopher Howard, Jr., 5-10, 190 (57 tackles, 9 for loss, 4 sacks, 1 fumble recovery, 11 pressures)
  • WR/DB Jakeldric Jackson, Soph., 5-9, 155 (12 catches, 144 yards, 1 TD; 1 INT)

 

Kilgore

  • DT LaDarrin Anthony, Sr., 6-0, 257 (92 tackles, 22 for loss, 12 1/2 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 1 punt block, 39 hurries)
  • DE D.Q. Scott, Sr., 6-1, 252 (80 tackles, 18 for loss, 11 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 32 hurries)
  • RB Kevrin Justice, Jr., 5-10, 170 (197 carries, 1,872 yards, 34 TDs)
  • RB Davieonta “JuJu” Brown, Sr., 5-10, 175 (169 carries, 1,305 yards, 19 TDs)
  • QB Benny Colbert, Sr., 5-10, 170 (35 of 62, 752 yards, 10 TDs, 3 INTs; 95 carries, 708 yards, 6 TDs)
  • WR/DB Aaron Foy, Sr., 5-11, 165 (21 carries, 368 yards, 2 TDs; 13 catches, 394 yards, 5 TDs; 34 tackles, 2 sacks, 4 INTs, 1 kick block, 8 pass breakups)
  • OG Clay Wiley, Sr., 6-2, 285
  • DE Caleb Wood, Sr. (68 tackles, 12 for loss, 9 1/2 sacks, 1 punt block, 14 hurries)
  • LB/S Jake Brantley, Sr., 5-10, 190 (126 tackles, 11 for loss, 2 sacks, 4 INTs, 2 forced fumbles, 5 fumble recoveries)
  • LB Kris Haynes, Jr. (123 tackles, 8 for loss, 3 1/2 sacks, 1 INT, 2 forced fumbles)
  • OT Blake Guthrie, Jr., 6-1, 250
  • DB Stefun Tatum, Sr., 6-2, 178 (71 tackles, 1 INT, 3 fumble recoveries, 9 pass breakups)
  • DB Jeffrey Sanders, Sr. (82 tackles, 5 INTs, 6 pass breakups)
  • DB Joseph Shepherd, Sr. (35 tackles, 2 INTs, 9 pass breakups)
  • DE/LB Chad Bornes, Sr. (50 tackles, 12 for loss, 8 sacks, 18 hurries)
  • C Nolan Grush, Sr., 6-0, 200
  • WR Nick Orange, Jr., 6-3, 180 (17 catches, 246 yards, 2 TDs)
  • TE Jarod Wood, Jr., 6-3, 180 (6 catches, 191 yards, 4 TDs)
  • LB Mason Shelton, Soph. (95 tackles, 1 kick block)
  • DT Jacobe Wafer, Jr. (42 tackles, 4 sacks, 1 forced fumble)
  • FB Jack Johnston, Sr. (4 rush TDs)

 

Kilgore’s backfield trio of (from left) quarterback Benny Colbert and running backs Davieonta “JuJu” Brown and Kevrin Justice help the Bulldogs average almost 350 rushing yards per game. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Just the facts

  • Carthage and Kilgore have played 48 times.
  • Kilgore leads the all-time series 27-21.
  • Carthage led the series 20-17 from 1951-94 before Kilgore won 10 consecutive meetings from 1995-2008, ending in Carthage’s 29-17 win in 2009, which was the last time these teams met.
  • Carthage has played only three teams more than Kilgore: Henderson (70), Center (68), and Jacksonville (58).
  • Carthage is in its fifth state championship appearance.
  • Carthage lost the 1991 Class 4A state championship 35-16 to College Station A&M Consolidated.
  • Carthage won three consecutive Class 3A Division II state championships from 2008-10.
  • Kilgore is in its second state championship game.
  • Kilgore beat Dallas Lincoln 33-27 in two overtimes in the 2004 Class 4A Division II title game.
  • These teams started the year against each other in a mid-August scrimmage.
  • Carthage and Kilgore both played Chapel Hill this season.
  • Carthage won 52-22 at home vs. Chapel Hill on Sept. 13.
  • Kilgore won 42-25 at home vs. Chapel Hill on Oct. 25, then beat Chapel Hill 59-19 in the 3A Division I Region II championship Dec. 6 in Tyler.
  • Carthage averages 45.8 points per game and allows 18.7.
  • Kilgore averages points 44.8 points per game and yields 13.6.
  • Carthage averages 485.1 total yards: 260.0 passing, 225.1 rushing.
  • Kilgore averages 416.7 total yards: 345.8 rushing, 70.9 passing.
  • Carthage allows 287.6 total yards per game: 152.3 rushing, 135.3 passing.
  • Kilgore allows 244.3 total yards per game: 160.8 passing, 83.5 rushing.
  • Carthage, which bases from a multiple/pro offense, averages 32.4 rushes and 27.0 pass attempts per game.
  • Kilgore, which bases from the I-formation, averages 41.4 rushes and 5.9 pass attempts per game.
  • Carthage has scored 687 points this season. The program’s single-season record is 703 in 2008. Carthage scored 689 points in 2010.
  • Carthage has won 10 consecutive games.
  • In that span, Carthage has outscored its opponents 465-110.
  • Kilgore’s closest game was its 34-29 home victory against Gilmer on Nov. 8 that clinched the “District of Doom” championship.
  • Carthage has outscored five playoff opponents 221-62.
  • Kilgore has outscored five playoff opponents 229-67.
  • Both teams play a four-man front base defense.
  • Carthage’s defense has 45 takeaways: 21 interceptions, 24 fumble recoveries.
  • Kilgore’s defense has 33 takeaways: 18 interceptions, 13 fumble recoveries.
  • Carthage has recorded 28 sacks.
  • Kilgore has recorded 53 sacks.
  • Carthage head coach Scott Surratt, who previously served as Texas High’s offensive coordinator, is 87-15 since arriving at Carthage in 2007.
  • Kilgore’s Mike Wood is 37-14 since taking over the head coaching position in 2010. He served as Kilgore’s defensive coordinator from 1996-2009.
  • Surratt enters Friday’s state championship game with a 29-3 playoff record.
  • Wood enters Friday with an 11-2 playoff record.
  • Carthage senior receiver Tee Goree eclipsed the 3,000-yard career receiving mark last week. In the process, he broke Jalen Claiborne’s school career record of 3,020. Goree has 3,023 entering Friday’s game.
  • Goree needs one touchdown catch to tie him for fourth in single-season state history with 29.
  • Senior quarterback Blake Bogenschutz, who has set almost all of Carthage’s passing records, needs one touchdown pass to tie him for fifth in single-season state history with 56.
  • According to Google Maps, Carthage and Kilgore are 42.7 miles away from each other.
  • Kilgore turned in an enrollment figure of 1,026 in October on UIL snapshot day for February’s biennial realignment.
  • Carthage submitted a figure of 723 for snapshot day.
  • With the bottom of the new Class 4A Division I being 686 students, there’s a good chance Carthage and Kilgore could be placed together in a 4A D-I district come February.

 

Carthage OL Adrian Goodacre. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Key matchup: Carthage’s offensive line vs. Kilgore’s defensive line. This is about as good as a line-play matchup gets, football fans.

Carthage’s multiple-formation pro-style offense makes the most of its playmakers at every skill position, but the engine is a physical, experienced offensive line that boasts a pair of 300-pound guards in Griffin Bankhead and Adrian Goodacre and a 59-game varsity starter in left tackle Mario McCain, the only player on Carthage’s roster who started on the 2010 state championship team. McCain played on the right side back then, but now protects senior quarterback Blake Bogenschutz’ blind side.

Carthage OT/DT Mario McCain. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

That offensive line has laid waste to every playoff opponent Carthage has faced, whether via the run or pass. Carthage put 337 rushing yards on defending 3A Division II state champion Navasota, only to three weeks later throw for 395 yards against undefeated La Grange.

Carthage needs its best game of the season out of that offensive front, which faces what is likely the best defensive line it has seen in 2013.

Kilgore DT LaDarrin Anthony. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Kilgore allows fewer than 250 total yards per game and that starts up front, where senior standouts LaDarrin Anthony and D.Q. Scott lead the charge from their tackle and end positions, respectively. That duo has combined for 40 tackles for loss and 23 1/2 sacks, while senior end Caleb Wood and senior linebacker/end Chad Bornes have combined for 17 1/2 sacks.

Carthage absolutely must protect Bogenschutz. He’s thrown only three interceptions this year and needs two touchdown passes to move to fourth in single-season state history. At the same time, Kilgore cannot allow Carthage’s offensive front to tilt the field and turn Friday afternoon into a showcase for senior tailback Tevin Pipkin, who is five yards away from the sixth 2,000-yard rushing season in Carthage history.

One way or the other, Anthony and company must take away one of the two phases of Carthage’s potent offense. Easier said than done. But Kilgore has the personnel to potentially achieve that, which would go a long way in slowing Carthage’s attack and keeping it off the field to give Kilgore’s ground game the opportunity to dictate the tempo.

Kilgore head coach Mike Wood (center) will coach his sons — junior tight end Jared Wood (left) and senior defensive end Caleb Wood — in Friday’s Class 3A Division I state championship game against Carthage. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

They Said It

  • Carthage coach Scott Surratt speaks on key matchups …
    • “I think there’s a lot of key matchups: our O-line against their D-line, their O-line against our D-line, our receivers against their DBs, our running game against their run defense, our run defense against their run offense. There’s so many keys, but always a big key is whoever wins the trenches. Whoever wins that and is the most physical is probably going to win this game Friday.”
  • Kilgore coach Mike Wood on Carthage’s defensive front …
    • “They’re so athletic and they’ve gotten so much better than when we played them back in August when we scrimmaged them. The athleticism that they have and the speed that they have on defense is something we’re certainly going to have to deal with. Those guys fly around to the football and you’re usually going to see four or five of them on a tackle.”
  • Wood on Kilgore’s offensive line …
    • “They’re the ones that spend as much time in meetings as anybody. And they do more communications on the field, and certainly blocking schemes and different things. That group needs to be a real close-knit group.”
  • Carthage senior quarterback Blake Bogenschutz on Kilgore …
    • “Kilgore is a great team. You can’t say enough about them. They have great coaches and they really execute their game plans. They’re really sound defensively and they really pound it on offense. They’re well-coached. I think as long as we take care of the ball, don’t let them control the clock too much, and score every time we get the ball, we should be all right.”
  • Wood on coaching sons Jarod and Caleb in the state championship …
    • “It is special coaching my own sons. Of course, I’ve got a lot of sons on this team — the group of kids that they grew up with, the ones I’ve seen come up through little league. To see these kids grow and prosper on the field and to get a chance to go play on that stage, it’s something that’s really special. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime deal.”

 

Head coach Scott Surratt leads a Dec. 2012 practice at Carthage’s Bulldog Stadium. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)
Keys to the game

Carthage

  • (1) Protect senior quarterback Blake Bogenschutz
  • (2) Limit Kilgore’s big plays in the running game
  • (3) Take care of the ball

 

Kilgore

  • (1) Control the clock and dictate tempo
  • (2) Stop the run
  • (3) Force turnovers

 

Don’t be surprised if: This game lives up to all the hype being poured upon it during the past several days.

Like Carthage coach Scott Surratt said, there are so many potential key matchups in this game. However, the marquee unit-vs.-unit battle could be Carthage’s offensive line vs. Kilgore’s defensive line. The success of either team very likely hinges on the performance of its respective unit in that particular matchup.

Kilgore DE D.Q. Scott. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Kilgore averages almost four sacks per game thanks to the dynamic duo of L.D. Anthony and D.Q. Scott, plus quality pass rushers who complement them in Caleb Wood and Chad Bornes. Carthage’s prolific offense starts at the line of scrimmage, where CHS has won every matchup in the postseason.

Can Kilgore pressure Blake Bogenschutz? Even if Kilgore doesn’t sack him a few times, can it make him uncomfortable enough to rush his throws and get the Carthage offense off rhythm?

If the O-line successfully protects Bogenschutz, Carthage fans probably like their chances for a fourth state championship in six years. But Kilgore has what is probably the best defense Carthage has seen this year. Can Kilgore snag a couple of takeaways and keep the ball away from the Carthage offense, shortening the game and giving Kilgore’s vaunted rushing attack more snaps to dictate the tempo?

These are the questions that will be answered Friday afternoon at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

Carthage. Kilgore. State championship.

East Texas … buckle up.

Carthage’s Tevin Pipkin cuts behind a Dillon Husar (78) block during the Bulldogs’ 51-22 state semifinal win vs. La Grange in Mansfield. (Bud Worley, ETSN.fm)

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