PREVIEW: Carthage Faces Familiar Foe in Silsbee on Friday
CLASS 4A DIVISION I
REGION III SEMIFINAL
Silsbee Tigers (7-4)
Carthage Bulldogs (12-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Abe Martin Stadium, Lufkin
- Silsbee: Randy Smith
- Carthage: Scott Surratt
- Silsbee: def. Bay City, 52-21
- Carthage: def. Brazosport, 45-21
- Winner faces either Kilgore or Henderson, regional championship
- WR Kalon Barnes, Sr., 6-2, 175 (664 yards, 7 TDs; committed to Baylor)
- RB Dralyn Taylor, Soph. (971 yards, 13 TDs)
- RB Chris Martin, Soph. (829 yards, 11 TDs)
- QB Jacob Collins, Sr., 6-2, 205 (102 of 171, 1,484 yards, 13 TDs, 5 INTs)
- DL Jonathan Hageon, Sr., 5-11, 250
- DB Aaron Sells, Jr., 5-9, 175
- WR Tre' Lowe, Sr., 5-9, 160 (543 yards, 6 TDs)
- LB Adonis Thomas, Sr., 5-9, 205
- RB Keaontay Ingram, Sr., 6-0, 200 (173 carries, 1,692 yards, 28 TDs; 19 catches, 170 yards, 1 TD; committed to Texas)
- WR Dewaylon Ingram, Sr., 6-1, 170 (49 catches, 887 yards, 12 TDs; committed to Sam Houston State)
- LB Mykel Gates, Sr., 5-11, 230 (119 tackles, 16 for loss, 2 sacks, 5 QB pressures, 3 PBUs, 1 forced fumble, 2 recoveries, 2 defensive TDs)
- WR/DB Mekhi Colbert, Sr., 5-9, 190 (39 catches, 618 yards, 4 TDs; 13 carries, 180 yards; 23 tackles, 1 for loss, 4 INTs, 6 PBUs)
- QB Gunner Capps, Jr., 5-11, 170 (171 of 273, 2,783 yards, 35 TDs, 6 INTs)
- WR Dee Bowens, Sr., 5-7, 140 (46 catches, 947 yards, 16 TDs; 6 carries, 28 yards)
- LB Ahmad Brown, Sr., 6-0, 230 (116 tackles, 20 for loss, 3 sacks, 3 QB pressures, 1 PBU, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery)
- DB Jacorey Ware, Jr., 6-0, 155 (23 tackles, 8 INTs, 6 PBUs, 1 fumble recovery, 2 defensive TDs)
Just the facts
- Carthage is riding a 22-game winning streak. The Bulldogs are 7-1 all-time in third-round playoff games under head coach Scott Surratt.
- This is the third consecutive year Carthage and Silsbee have met in the playoffs, and the fifth time in six seasons. Carthage is 4-0 in those games.
- Carthage is averaging 45.9 points and 451.1 yards per game -- 215.4 rushing and 235.7 passing.
- Carthage senior running back Keaontay Ingram has rushed for 4,554 yards and 67 touchdowns in his career.
- Carthage is allowing 19.3 points per game, and has forced 29 turnovers -- 16 interceptions and 13 fumbles. The Bulldogs also have seven defensive touchdowns and 22 sacks as a team.
- Silsbee is averaging 36 points per game.
- Silsbee has won six consecutive games after beginning the year 1-4.
- Silsbee is allowing 30.1 points per game.
Key matchup: Carthage passing attack vs. Silsbee secondary. Obviously, Carthage is blessed to have one of the top running back in the nation with senior Keaontay Ingram, a University of Texas commit. He gets most of the attention when it comes to the top-ranked Bulldogs, and for good reason. Ingram enters Friday's regional semifinal against Silsbee with almost 1,700 yards and 28 touchdowns. But quietly, Carthage also possesses a deadly passing game.
Junior quarterback Gunner Capps has thrived in his first season behind center, piloting an offense that averages nearly 46 points per game. Capps has thrown for more than 2,800 yards and 35 touchdowns in 12 games, and he is complimented by one of the top receiving corps in the state at the 4A level.
Headlining the star-studded trio of pass catchers is senior and Sam Houston State commit Dewaylon Ingram, who has a team-best 49 catches for 887 yards and 12 touchdowns. The big-play threat out of the group is fellow senior Dee Bowens, who has 46 receptions for a team-leading 947 yards and 16 TD's. Rounding out the threesome is senior Mekhi Colbert, an impact player on defense who has 39 receptions for 618 yards and four scores.
Teams have tried to take away Keaontay Ingram and the running game this season, but at their own peril. Undoubtedly, Silsbee's plan of attack on the defensive side of the ball will be the same, which will put the pressure on the back end of the unit to keep Carthage's collection of receivers in check. If the Tigers are unsuccessful on that mission, it could be another big night Carthage, which is looking for its 23rd consecutive win.
Don't be surprised if: Silsbee makes a point to establish its running game. The sophomore duo of Dralyn Taylor and Chris Martin have been vital to the Tigers' midseason turnaround. After beginning the year by losing four of its first five games, Silsbee turned their young backs loose on opposing defenses and haven't looked back since. Silsbee is on a six-game winning streak, thanks in large part to Taylor and Martin, who have combined to run for 1,800 yards and 24 touchdowns on the season.
The best way to keep Carthage's powerful offense from taking over the game is to keep it on the sidelines. And the most practical way to accomplish that is to milk the clock with long scoring drives led by Silsbee's two-headed monster out of the backfield.