Rushing Attack + Defense Fuel Carthage’s 50-21 Regional Championship Rout of Silsbee
LUFKIN -- Carthage coach Scott Surratt said he wanted to be "hard-headed" and run the ball against a Silsbee defense that had stopped most of its opponents on the ground.
Forty-four rushes and 312 yards later, call Carthage stubborn.
The Bulldogs owned the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, jumping to a four-score third-quarter lead en route to a 50-21 rout of Silsbee in Friday's Class 3A Division I Region III final at Abe Martin Stadium.
Carthage (11-2), which is 24-2 in the playoffs under Surratt, plays El Campo (13-0) at 7:30 p.m. Friday (Dec. 7) at Lamar University's Provost Umphrey Stadium in Beaumont in a 3A Division I state semifinal. The winner plays Stephenville (12-1) or Kilgore (11-1) in the 3A Division I state championship Dec. 14 in Arlington's Cowboys Stadium.
Junior tailback Tevin Pipkin eclipsed the 100-yard mark in the second quarter and finished with 193 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries. Senior Trent Jackson, who starts at middle linebacker and plays tailback in Carthage's jumbo package, carried four times for 47 yards and two touchdowns, the second of which covered 32 yards on a fourth-and-2 play that saw the 6-foot, 215-pounder burst through a huge hole and stiff-arm a defender on the way to the end zone.
Carthage outgained Silsbee 493-243, including a first-half advantage of 360-63 that fueled the Bulldogs' 29-7 halftime lead.
But four Carthage turnovers allowed Silsbee to hang around, scoring twice in the third to cut Carthage's lead to 36-21 before sophomore safety Bryian Bolton returned an interception 14 yards for a touchdown and 43-21 lead early in the fourth. The interception was Bolton's eighth of the season, which ties him for the school's single-season record with Anthony Williams (1991) and Jason Teague (2005).
Carthage has won its last two games by a cumulative score of 106-42 despite turning the ball over eight times. That includes five red-zone turnovers, three of which occurred in Friday's regional championship against Silsbee (10-3). Those giveaways, combined with two special teams gaffes that helped Silsbee's return game bring back popup kickoffs deep into Carthage territory, allowed the Tigers to briefly get back into the game after falling behind 36-7 early in the third.
Carthage's defense shut down Silsbee junior QB Patrick Reed, who entered the game with more than 2,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards. Reed was 11 of 23 for 123 yards and two interceptions and was limited to 55 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. Floyd Spearman ran six times for 25 yards and two scores, but Carthage held Silsbee to 105 yards on 29 rushes.
Carthage's K'Aelin Ware and Lane Pearce each had a sack, while Keldrean Strong, Jackson, Mario McCain, and Gregg Graves each had a tackle for loss. Tee Goree had a first-half interception to accompany his team-high four catches for 106 yards.
Carthage QB Blake Bogenschutz completed 11 of 22 passes for 181 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions, but threw incompletions on his final six pass attempts. Nevertheless, his two TD tosses give him 37 for the season, which is the third-best single-season total in school history behind Anthony Morgan's total of 41, which he accomplished in back-to-back seasons in 2009-10.
Bogenschutz hit 6-foot-5 Okeeron Rutherford on a nine-yard second quarter touchdown for Rutherford's eighth TD grab of the year. Rutherford caught three balls for 33 yards. Bogenschutz' second TD pass covered 14 yards to Kolby Blissett with eight seconds left in the first half for a 29-7 advantage.
Silsbee's Zayon Jackson caught a game-high seven passes for 73 yards. Tiger linebacker Colby LeBlanc and defensive back Ladavian Barnes each had an interception.
Class 3A Division I Region III
Carthage 50, Silsbee 21
John Outlaw Memorial Field at Abe Martin Stadium
Silsbee -- 7 0 14 0 -- 21
Carthage -- 7 22 7 14 -- 50
CAR -- Trent Jackson 2 run (Jimmy Gonzalez kick) -- 7:40
SIL -- Floyd Spearman 22 run (kick good) -- 6:52
CAR -- Okeeron Rutherford 9 pass from Blake Bogenschutz (Gonzalez kick) -- 10:39
CAR -- Jackson 32 run (Jackson run) -- 2:51
CAR -- Kolby Blissett 14 pass from Bogenschutz (Gonzalez kick) -- 0:08
CAR -- Tevin Pipkin 2 run (Gonzalez kick) -- 7:09
SIL -- Spearman 1 run (kick good) -- 6:10
SIL -- Patrick Reed 16 run (kick good) -- 1:26
CAR -- Bryian Bolton 14 interception return (Gonzalez kick) -- 9:23
CAR -- Pipkin 4 run (Gonzalez kick) -- 4:48
First downs 10 18
Total yards 243 493
Rushes-Yards 29-105 44-312
Pass Yards 138 181
Comp.-Att.-Int. 12-25-2 11-22-2
Penalties-Yards 10-66 6-51
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 2-2
Punts-Avg. 6-45.5 3-41.0
Rushing -- Silsbee: Patrick Reed 13-55, Floyd Spearman 6-25, Johnathan Rodgers 2-21, Zayon Jackson 2-6, Yancy Brydson 2-5, Kendrick Scott 3-(-2), TEAM 1-(-5). Carthage: Tevin Pipkin 27-193, Trent Jackson 4-47, Blake Bogenschutz 4-31, Bryian Bolton 3-29, Tee Goree 1-5, Christian Allison 4-4, William Rittenberry 1-3.
Passing -- Silsbee: Patrick Reed 11-23-2 123, Kendrick Scott 1-2-0 15. Carthage: Blake Bogenschutz 11-22-2 181.
Receiving -- Silsbee: Zayon Jackson 7-73, Kris Elers 2-29, Jordan Holmes 1-7, Kendrick Scott 1-3, Yancy Brydson 1-3. Carthage: Tee Goree 4-106, Okeeron Rutherford 3-33, Tevin Pipkin 1-23, Kolby Blissett 1-14, Major Harris 1-4, Payton Klysen 1-1.