Dawg Dynasty: Carthage Wins Fourth State Championship in Six Years with 34-23 Triumph Over Kilgore in 3A Division I Title Bout
ARLINGTON -- The ruler's back.
Behind a senior-laden offense and pestering defense, Carthage built an 18-point second-half lead, then finished off Kilgore with a last-minute Tevin Pipkin 24-yard touchdown run for a 34-23 Class 3A Division I state championship victory, its fourth crown in six years.
Pipkin, Carthage's career rushing leader, ran 18 times for 118 yards and the game-sealing touchdown, recording the sixth 2,000-yard rushing season in school history. He also had a 49-yard swing-pass reception to set up senior receiver Terian "Tee" Goree's 10-yard jet-sweep touchdown, which pushed Carthage's lead to 28-10 with 4:23 to play in the third quarter.
Bogenschutz, who broke almost all of Carthage's single-season and career passing marks during his career, was named state championship Offensive Most Valuable Player. The UTSA pledge completed 8 of 18 passes for 185 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception, while rushing 11 times for 100 yards. The combination of Pipkin and Bogenschutz helped Carthage gain 264 yards on 37 carries, which was 13 more yards on eight fewer attempts than run-oriented Kilgore.
"Blake's always been a great runner. We saved him. We have what we call a gold-ball rule, and this was definitely for a gold ball. Jasper in district was for a gold ball and he had over 100 yards," Surratt said. "We knew we were gonna run him a lot tonight. When you've got him and Pipkin in the backfield, that's a great tandem."
Carthage's offensive line, which included four two-year starting seniors plus 59-game starter Mario McCain, won the battle up front against a Kilgore defensive line they called the best they've seen in 2013.
That front-line success fueled Carthage's 455-301 total yardage edge.
"We knew that (LaDarrin Anthony) was one of their best players on the defensive line, if not the top player," said senior center Cade Clinton. "All week, we've been working, working, and working on the importance of getting him blocked and making sure we could get Tevin involved, because he does such a great job running it for us all the time. Mario, Adrian (Goodacre), Griffin (Bankhead), myself and Dillon (Husar), we all work together and make sure we get it done."
Leading 28-23 after a 13-0 Kilgore run, Carthage got the title-clinching drive it needed.
Bogenschutz recovered an onside kick from Kilgore, which was out of timeouts, then handed to Pipkin for a bruising 19-yard run to the Kilgore 33-yard line. Carthage probably could've sat on the ball to run out the clock, but Bogenschutz ran for seven yards before Pipkin broke loose on a run around the left side, bursting through an arm tackle inside the 15-yard line for a 24-yard touchdown to punctuate the state championship victory.
"He's not very big in size, but he's a great player," Surratt said of Pipkin, who finished his high school career with more than 5,400 rushing yards. "He's 165 pounds, but you saw how physical he is. He took over. What a great run to end the game for us."
"We came in at halftime and said, 'We're not coming out short this year,'" Bogenschutz said. "Kilgore's a great team. You've gotta give it to 'em. But it's all about battling in the second half. You can't say enough about the line and receivers. The defense did a great job holding Kevrin Justice because he's a great back. Kilgore's got a great team. We just came out on top."
Carthage finished the 2013 season with a 15-1 record, which tied the 1991 Class 4A state runner-up squad for the second-most victories in school history. The win gave seventh-year head coach Scott Surratt a 30-3 playoff record at Carthage, which is 88-15 in his tenure. Carthage is now in sole possession of second place in East Texas with four state championships, trailing only Daingerfield's six.
The loss was Kilgore's first and only of the year to finish 14-1. Fourth-year head coach Mike Wood led his team to the District 16-3A "District of Doom" championship, plus an impressive postseason run that included blowout regional final and state semifinal wins before falling to Carthage.
"It's been a great season," Wood said. "I feel for these seniors and this football team. We had such lofty goals going into this thing. They've accomplished so much, and there was a point in that ball game when a lot of teams would've shut down. And they battled back and got some stops defensively and got some points on the board, and had a chance to win it at the end."
Rutherford caught three passes for 79 yards and a touchdown to cross the 1,000-yard receiving mark. That gave Carthage two 1,000-yard receivers in the same season for the second time in school history. Rutherford and Goree, who caught three passes for 51 yards and ran six times for 44 yards and two touchdowns, join Jalen Claiborne and Cortlyn Ware (2010) in the Carthage 1,000-yard duo club.
Goree's six carries were only three less than he had in the previous 15 games.
"I was just reading my blocks," Goree said on his perimeter touchdown runs. "When (Tevin) runs the ball, we block for him. I got the ball and he was blocking for me. So I just followed my blocks into the end zone."
McCain anchored a Carthage defense that surrendered only 86 first-half rushing yards to a Kilgore team that entered the game averaging almost 350 per game on the ground.
McCain, who started four years on the offensive line and three on the defensive line, finished with three tackles, including one for loss, but had a much larger impact on the game than those statistics suggest. He disrupted Kilgore's interior blocking much of the game and received Defensive MVP honors to cap a career bookended by state championship rings. McCain started as a freshman on Carthage's 2010 D-II title team.
"My first state championship, I really didn't have a big role. I played right guard and all those linemen were seniors and they really were just telling me what to do and how to block," McCain said. "This time, with all my classmates, it's unbelievable. The feeling is just ... you can't even explain it."
Carthage junior safety Bryian Bolton finished with a game-high 13 tackles, while junior linebacker James Marshall had eight. Senior Stefun Tatum led Kilgore with 11 tackles, while linebacker Kris Haynes had 11 tackles and a fumble recovery.
Carthage held Kilgore scoreless twice (field-goal misses) in four red-zone possessions and helped the Dawgs survive a goal-line fumble that would have given them a 14-7 lead early in the second quarter.
"Our defensive plan was phenomenal. We really should've held them to around 17 points," Surratt said. "You can see how quick we are. We just had to get the right fits. We weren't fitting early. When we started fitting right, we made them earn everything they got, that's for sure."
Kilgore, which ran for 478 yards in last week's state semifinal blowout of Stephenville, finished with 251 yards on 45 carries, including junior Kevrin Justice's 21 totes for 94 yards and two touchdowns and senior Davieonta "JuJu" Brown's 10 carries for 72 yards. Senior quarterback Benny Colbert, who had 62 yards on 10 carries, got loose down the visitor sideline for a 32-yard touchdown run a minute into the fourth that cut Carthage's lead to 28-17.
The teams then exchanged punts. Kilgore, which had no timeouts, faced fourth-and-12 at the Carthage 34 and pinned CHS at its own 6-yard line with less than six minutes remaining. Three plays later, Kilgore's gamble to punt paid off as senior two-way standout Aaron Foy picked off Bogenschutz, who had not thrown an interception since Sept. 27.
That set up a short field that allowed Justice to score from one yard four plays later to cut Carthage's lead to 28-23. The two-point attempt was incomplete.
Bogenschutz' onside recovery led to the Bulldogs' second clutch, game-sealing drive in the last three games. Carthage drove 93 yards in 15 plays, all on the ground, to ice its 28-14 Region III championship win against West Orange-Stark.
Carthage led 14-10 at halftime on sophomore tight end Marquise Guinn's six-yard, game-opening touchdown catch and Goree's 13-yard jet sweep touchdown. Kilgore got one-yard first-quarter touchdown from Justice, then a 39-yard Christian Galvan field goal with no time left in the half to cut Carthage's lead to four points.
Carthage (15-1) built a 28-10 third-quarter lead on Bogenschutz' 51-yard touchdown strike to Rutherford and Goree's second jet-sweep touchdown run with 4:23 left in the third. Then came Kilgore's comeback that cut the Carthage lead to 28-23 with 3:40 remaining.
"That's what we do; we run the football. Regardless, we knew we were going to have to get some defensive stops," Wood said. "If we didn't get defensive stops it wasn't going to matter what we did. We got those stops and were able to get some runs, and bring it back to a five-point game."
The comeback ended when Pipkin sprinted to the south end zone with 50 seconds left to send the Carthage crowd into a frenzy.
"I'm speechless. I just went out there and told my coaches, 'Give me the ball,'" Pipkin said. "I just followed my blocks from my linemen and got the job done."
Carthage's state title means that all three starting quarterbacks Surratt has mentored at CHS have won at least one state championship: Bogenschutz (2013), Anthony Morgan (2009-10), and Si'Darius Blackshire.
The game marked the 49th time Carthage and Kilgore have met. Kilgore leads the series 27-22. Come February, the two schools could become district rivals in the new Class 4A Division I.
Class 3A Division I
Carthage 34, Kilgore 23
AT&T Stadium, Arlington
Kilgore -- 7 3 0 13 -- 23
Carthage -- 7 7 14 6 -- 34
CAR -- Marquise Guinn 6 pass from Blake Bogenschutz (Jimmy Gonzalez kick) -- 8:04
KIL -- Kevrin Justice 1 run (Christian Galvan kick) -- 1:21
CAR -- Terian "Tee" Goree 13 run (Gonzalez kick) -- 2:34
KIL -- Galvan 39 field goal -- 0:00
CAR -- O'Keeron Rutherford 51 pass from Bogenschutz (Gonzalez kick) -- 6:25
CAR -- Goree 10 run (Gonzalez kick) -- 4:23
KIL -- Benny Colbert 32 run (Galvan kick) -- 11:07
KIL -- Justice 1 run (pass failed) -- 3:40
CAR -- Tevin Pipkin 24 run (kick failed) -- 0:50
First downs 13 22
Total yards 301 451
Rushes-Yards 45-251 37-264
Passing yards 50 191
Comp.-Att.-Int. 6-9-0 9-19-1
Penalties-Yards 4-21 4-27
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 2-1
Punts-Avg. 3-37.7 1-36.0
RUSHING -- Kilgore: Kevrin Justice 21-94, Davieonta "JuJu" Brown 10-72, Benny Colbert 10-62, Aaron Foy 3-27, Xaviar Gaona 1-(-4). Carthage: Tevin Pipkin 18-118, Blake Bogenschutz 11-100, Terian "Tee" Goree 6-44, Mario McCain 2-2.
PASSING -- Kilgore: Benny Colbert 6-9-0 50. Carthage: Blake Bogenschutz 8-18-1 185, Terian "Tee" Goree 1-1-0 6.
RECEIVING -- Kilgore: Nick Orange 3-24, Kevrin Justice 1-17, Aaron Foy 1-5, William Colbert 1-4. Carthage: O'Keeron Rutherford 3-79, Terian "Tee" Goree 3-51, Tevin Pipkin 1-49, Blake Bogenschutz 1-6, Marquise Guinn 1-6.