WHITEHOUSE -- Three minutes into the second half, Class 3A's No. 1 team was rolling. A three-score lead had Carthage on the brink of an impressive road win against Class 4A's No. 3 squad.

Well, so much for that.

Whitehouse exploded in the game's final 21 minutes, forcing two of Carthage's four turnovers and scoring on six of its final seven possessions in a 43-point unanswered run to protect Wildcat Stadium's home turf in an eye-opening 63-39 comeback victory before a capacity crowd.

Carthage quarterback Blake Bogenschutz throws while being pressured by Whitehouse's Savian Lacy during their game Friday night in Whitehouse. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Whitehouse senior quarterback and Texas Tech commit Patrick Mahomes was virtually flawless outside of his first interception of the season. The 6-foot-3, 203-pound gunslinger gave Carthage fits with his arm and his feet, finishing 25 of 43 for 395 yards and seven touchdowns. Mahomes, who led the 'Cats with 84 yards on 11 carries, enters Whitehouse's bye week with a jaw-dropping 24 touchdown passes and only one interception in 204 pass attempts.

"We did make a statement. To know that we can be down to a great team like Carthage and come back and win like that kinda shows where we're at right now," Mahomes said. "Hopefully we can come out and beat teams like that in the playoffs."

Mahomes' performance stole the thunder from Carthage senior Blake Bogenschutz, who completed 25 of 44 passes for 405 yards, four touchdowns, and two interceptions in only the second 400-yard passing performance in Carthage history. Bogenschutz became Carthage's career passing yardage record-holder late in the first half and is two touchdown passes shy of the career mark in that category entering next week's home game against Rusk. He has almost 7,300 career yards and 82 touchdowns.

"I've watched him a while. UTSA's getting a great quarterback," Mahomes said of Bogenschutz. "He has great arm strength, puts the ball on time where it needs to be. He had a great performance and I give props to him."

Whitehouse's Jake Parker celebrates a big play with a coach during the Wildcats' 63-39 home win against Carthage. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Whitehouse (5-0) edged Carthage (4-1) in total yardage, 533-520, but the biggest difference in the game was the Wildcats' lone turnover to Carthage's four. Whitehouse got a three-score swing thanks to the turnover department. The Wildcats scored 14 points off their four takeaways and halted a Carthage drive that was well on its way to producing a touchdown when senior Jake Parker dove for an interception inside his own 10-yard line trailing 22-20 late in the first half.

After falling behind 39-20 three minutes into the third quarter, Mahomes completed 11 of 18 passes for 212 yards and four touchdowns. Whitehouse's 63 points were the most Carthage has allowed since a 64-35 loss to Kilgore in 1999.

"The kids, somewhere they dug down deep. The kids decided, 'Hey, we're gonna go get this.' That's what we needed, that kind of test before district," said Whitehouse head coach Adam Cook. "(Mahomes) was able to get some big third-downs runs. And then some of the yards after a catch, just the will. They wanted it, you could see in their eyes."

Carthage senior Jimmy Gonzalez drilled a 42-yard field goal to end the first half in a 25-20 Bulldog lead. Carthage got the ball to start the second half and capitalized as Bogenschutz hit 6-foot-5 1/2 senior receiver O'Keeron Rutherford for a 34-yard touchdown. Rutherford bulled his way over a Whitehouse defender inside the 10-yard line en route to the end zone for a 32-20 lead.

Whitehouse's Shemar Smith looks for room to run during the Wildcats' 63-39 win over Carthage on Friday night. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Carthage junior Christian Allison picked off Mahomes on the ensuing possession and Carthage stretched its lead to 39-20 on a four-yard touchdown strike to Rutherford, his third of the night. Rutherford finished with a career night of 11 catches for 176 yards.

At that point, Carthage had 397 total yards. After that, Whitehouse held the Bulldogs to 123 yards and forced two turnovers, scoring after the second, which was junior cornerback Nate Brook's interception and 37-yard return on the fourth quarter's first play. Mahomes found Nic Costlow on a 17-yard touchdown pass two plays later for a 49-39 lead less than a minute into the fourth.

Carthage head coach Scott Surratt said Whitehouse changed coverages once Carthage gained a 19-point lead, but the Bulldogs' inability to consistently run the ball was what doomed them. Whitehouse held Carthage to 115 rushing yards.

"They played Cover 2 on us and started walling our receivers and doubling our receivers. We've gotta run the football at that point. We struggled a little bit. We'd have a run here or there and but we just couldn't get it really going," Surratt said. "I think that was a big point in the game, that we couldn't control the line of scrimmage. Also they got pressure on us. ... They were trying to disguise (blitzes) but we're experienced enough on offense. Nothing fooled us, it's just we didn't pick up some stunts and twists and things in there. They did a good job making some adjustments and we didn't do a very good job of making them with them."

Whitehouse's Coleman Patterson celebrates during the Wildcats' 63-39 win over Carthage on Friday night. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Whitehouse got back in the game with Mahomes' 67-yard touchdown strike to sophomore Shemar Smith, who took a short pass and bolted outside, sprinting down the sideline for the score. After a Carthage punt, Whitehouse covered 84 yards in three plays as Mahomes hit Jaylon Dews for a 55-yard touchdown strike to cut Carthage's lead to 39-34 with 6:38 left in the third quarter.

A quick Carthage three-and-out ended in an incomplete fake-punt pass from the Dawgs' own 31-yard line. The play was there, but the receiver got turned around and couldn't make a play on the ball.

"That's a bad call by me," Surratt said. "It was wide open, obviously, but we just didn't execute it."

Whitehouse needed 27 seconds to take the lead. Mahomes delivered a 23-yard touchdown strike to Dews, who had four catches for 88 yards, with 4:58 left in the third for a 42-39 advantage after Vincent Dunning's two-point conversion.

That quick 22 points to take the lead took only 4:10 off the clock.

Carthage's Keldrean Strong returns a kickoff before a Whitehouse defender brings him down during Whitehouse's 63-39 home win Friday night. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

"I just went and talked to the defense and the offensive line and told them to keep fighting," said Mahomes of what he did when the 'Cats trailed 39-20. "I told the (defense), 'If you get us some stops and get us back in the game, we can win it still.'"

Mahomes' 17-yard touchdown Costlow gave Whitehouse a 49-39 advantage early in the fourth following Brook's 37-yard interception return, but Carthage still had a chance to win it. The Bulldogs drove almost 60 yards in 13 plays before stalling out inside Whitehouse's 5-yard line. A sack led to a 28-yard field goal attempt that was sabotaged by a botched snap, preserving Whitehouse's 49-39 lead with 6:58 remaining.

"The only great rhythm we had in the run game was early. That's very disappointing," Surratt said. "The most disappointing thing was we couldn't run the football better, and if we could've run the football better we could've gotten one-on-ones (with receivers) like we got early. You saw our talented wideouts. I don't think a whole lot of people are gonna cover them. But when you get to double-cover them because you don't run the ball well, it gets a lot tougher."

Whitehouse put the game away with touchdown drives of 76 and 30 yards after that. Dunning scored from 10 yards for a 17-point edge with four minutes left before Dominique Hollie's 20-yard touchdown gave the 'Cats their 63-39 lead with 2:13 to play.

Whitehouse's Patrick Mahomes fights for yardage during the Wildcats' 63-39 win over Carthage on Friday night. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Mahomes completed passes to nine receivers. Senior Ryan Cheatham had six grabs for 32 yards, while senior Coleman Patterson finished with a team-high 92 yards and two first-half touchdowns on five catches. Carthage senior wideout Terian "Tee" Goree caught eight passes for 154 yards and a touchdown, his East Texas-leading 13th, which came in the first quarter for a 15-0 Carthage lead.

Despite the off-night running the ball, Carthage senior tailback Tevin Pipkin eclipsed the century mark with 119 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries.

"We did a good job in coverage for the most part. We stopped them enough times to win the game. We knew they averaged 55 points," Surratt said. "Do I think we played good defense? No, but I think we stopped them enough that we're good enough offensively that we could've won the game and we just didn't get it done."

Carthage finishes its non-district schedule next week against Rusk at home. Whitehouse is off before starting District 16-4A play Oct. 11 at Lindale.

Carthage's Terian "Tee" Goree scores a first-quarter touchdown during the Bulldogs' 63-39 loss at Whitehouse on Friday night. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

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4A No. 3 Whitehouse 63, 3A No. 1 Carthage 39

Wildcat Stadium, Whitehouse

Carthage -- 15 10 14 0 -- 39
Whitehouse -- 13 7 22 21 -- 63
First Quarter
CAR--O'Keeron Rutherford 24 pass from Blake Bogenschutz (Jarod McLin run), 8:51.
CAR--Terian "Tee" Goree 35 pass from Bogenschutz (Jimmy Gonzalez kick), 5:51.
WHI--Tre' Staples 17 pass from Patrick Mahomes (Travis Blackburn kick), 4:18.
WHI--Coleman Patterson 41 pass from Mahomes (run failed), 3:31.
Second Quarter
CAR--Tevin Pipkin 2 run (Gonzalez kick), 7:32.
WHI--Patterson 22 pass from Mahomes (Blackburn kick), 5:13.
CAR--FG Gonzalez 42, :00.
Third Quarter
CAR--Rutherford 34 pass from Bogenschutz (Gonzalez kick), 10:31.
CAR--Rutherford 4 pass from Bogenschutz (Gonzalez kick), 9:08.
WHI--Shemar Smith 67 pass from Mahomes (Colby Crim kick), 8:21.
WHI--Jaylon Dews 55 pass from Mahomes (Blackburn kick), 6:38.
WHI--Dews 23 pass from Mahomes (Vincent Dunning run), 4:58.
Fourth Quarter
WHI--Nic Costlow 17 pass from Mahomes (Blackburn kick), 11:15.
WHI--Dunning 10 run (Blackburn kick), 4:00.
WHI--Dominique Hollie 20 run (Crim kick), 2:13.

                                        CAR              WHI
First Downs                            31                22
Total Yards                           520               533
Rushes-Yards                   42-115          20-138
Passing Yards                       405               395
Comp.-Att.-Int.                25-45-2         25-43-1
Punts-Avg.                        1-38.0           4-39.3
Fumbles-Lost                         2-2               2-0
Penalties-Yards                     6-36             8-78

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS
RUSHING--Carthage: Tevin Pipkin 24-119, Tredarion Jackson 4-16, Johnathan Brown 1-5, Terian "Tee" Goree 1-(-4), Blake Bogenschutz 11-(-8), Team 1-(-13). Whitehouse: Patrick Mahomes 11-84, Dominique Hollie 4-32, Vincent Dunning 3-16, Tre' Staples 1-4, Shemar Smith 1-2.
PASSING--Carthage: Bogenschutz 25-44-2--405, Gonzalez 0-1-0--0. Whitehouse: Mahomes 25-43-1--395.
RECEIVING--Carthage: O'Keeron Rutherford 11-176, Goree 8-154, Pipkin 4-19, Keldrean Strong 1-27, Marquise Guinn 1-9. Whitehouse: Ryan Cheatham 6-32, Coleman Patterson 5-92, Jaylon Dews 4-88, Jake Parker 4-59, Smith 2-71, Nic Costlow 1-17, Staples 1-17, Dunning 1-15, Drew Smith 1-4.