Special Teams Gaffes, Whitehouse Run Defense Too Much for Carthage, 29-27 [VIDEO]
CARTHAGE -- A safety on a muffed kickoff return and a botched PAT came back to haunt Class 3A's No. 8-ranked Carthage Bulldogs in Friday's game against Whitehouse.
Whitehouse quarterback Patrick Mahomes capitalized on the mistakes. The junior gunslinger accounted for 432 total yards and three touchdowns, and receiver Jake Parker covered a well-executed Carthage onside kick in the final minute to preserve a 29-27 Wildcat win at Bulldog Stadium, Carthage's third loss in 26 games there since it opened in 2008.
Mahomes, a 6-foot-3, 185-pound junior, completed 34 of 48 passes for 374 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions and ran 17 times for 58 yards and two first-half touchdowns. Whitehouse's defense held Carthage to 69 rushing yards and limited Bulldog junior tailback Tevin Pipkin, who played on an ankle he sprained last week, to 54 yards on 18 carries.
Whitehouse (5-0) took hardly any deep shots, instead taking what Carthage's zone defense gave the Wildcats underneath and in the flats.
"When we scouted them, we saw that their safeties were playing deep and we knew we would have to hit the inside receivers and let them get their yards," Mahomes said. "We drew up a few running plays, like when I ran those touchdowns, just for them.
"Our defense played a spectacular game. That's how they've been playing all season. It's great to see that we only scored 29 points and still won the football game."
Parker, a junior, caught seven passes for 113 yards, while junior Coleman Patterson grabbed a game-high 10 receptions for 94 yards. Texas Tech-bound senior receiver Dylan Cantrell caught six passes for 70 yards, and junior Jaylon Dews snagged five passes for 51 yards and a score.
Whitehouse coach Randy McFarlin praised both of his lines for their performance against larger Carthage fronts on both sides of the ball.
"I thought they were going to try to pound it at our undersized defensive front. Those guys just rose to the occasion and shut it down," McFarlin said. "They couldn't run the ball. I attribute it to our front seven. They executed the game plan. ... This is a huge win for our kids. We were undersized both sides of the ball. The kids hung in there and won the football game."
Whitehouse's defense, which got a first-half red-zone interception from sophomore Justin Dunning and a sack from senior Aaron Clemons, held Carthage (3-2) to eight points in the game's first 34 minutes. Carthage sophomore Bryian Bolton helped Whitehouse when he muffed a punt a couple of yards outside of the end zone after Destin Wilkins' 30-yard field goal gave the Wildcats a 17-8 third-quarter lead. Bolton picked up the ball and retreated to the end zone, where he kneeled, resulting in a safety and 19-8 score. Wilkins got a 24-yard field goal on the ensuing Whitehouse possession for a 14-point advantage with 2:53 left in the third quarter.
But Carthage fought back behind junior quarterback Blake Bogenschutz, who threw an 80-yard touchdown pass to junior Kolby Blissett a minute later to cut the deficit to 22-15. Mahomes' six-yard touchdown pass to Dews with 8:33 remaining in the game gave Whitehouse a 29-15 lead, but Carthage answered on Bogenschutz's 14-yard touchdown pass to senior fullback Payton Klysen with 5:59 left to cut the deficit to 29-21. Another key special teams error cost Carthage a point as a high snap erased the Bulldogs' opportunity at a PAT that would've cut Whitehouse's lead to seven points.
After forcing Whitehouse to punt -- an 11-yard boot to the Bulldog 41-yard line -- Carthage drove 59 yards in nine plays and less than two minutes to cut Whitehouse's lead to 29-27 on Trent Jackson's four-yard touchdown run with 35 seconds left. A third-and-15, 26-yard, wideout throwback pass from junior Tee Goree to Bogenschutz set up Jackson's run.
Whitehouse held on the two-point try, a Bogenschutz rollout to the right that was broken up in the end zone. Parker then elevated to snag Carthage junior Jimmy Gonzalez's perfectly-placed onside kick to preserve the two-point lead.
"Offensively we didn't play well enough to win. We've won too many ball games around here to have any moral victories," said Carthage coach Scott Surratt."Our effort was great. We didn't execute very well offensively most of the night. ... You've got to give their defense credit. Obviously Pipkin wasn't full speed, but the doctors told us we weren't going to hurt him any worse. We've got to have (safety Bryian) Bolton on defense (instead of subbing him in at tailback). Later in the year you'll see Bolton get quite a few carries. They handled our offensive line better than we wanted to. We've just got to be more physical."
Bogenschutz, who was frequently pressured and rarely had the opportunity to get comfortable in the pocket, missed a few throws, but still completed 20 of 42 passes for a season-high 321 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception. Blissett had three grabs for 117 yards, while 6-foot-5 junior Okeeron Rutherford caught seven balls for 107 yards and a first-half touchdown. Goree caught six passes for 64 yards.
Carthage's Texas A&M-committed senior defensive tackle Isaiah Golden had three first-half tackles for loss, including a sack that forced a fumble. Senior linebacker D.K. Calloway combined with senior Gregg Graves and junior Tra'Kareon Leary on sacks and also broke up two passes. Jackson, Carthage's starting senior middle linebacker, and senior cornerback Dominic Collins each picked off Mahomes in the game's first 25 1/2 minutes.
Whitehouse took a 14-0 lead in the game's first 16 1/2 minutes on Mahomes' two touchdown runs (14, 3). Bogenschutz hit Rutherford on a six-yard, fourth-down fade with 5.9 seconds left in the first half, and Jackson added a two-point run for a 14-8 Whitehouse halftime lead.
Carthage concludes non-district play at Rusk (4-1) next week. Whitehouse is off before opening District 16-4A play Oct. 12 at home vs. Lindale (1-4).
Whitehouse 29, No. 8 Carthage 27
Bulldog Stadium, Carthage
Whitehouse -- 6 8 8 7 -- 29
Carthage -- 0 8 7 12 -- 27
WH -- Patrick Mahomes 14 run (kick failed) -- 0:37.5
WH -- Mahomes 3 run (Mahomes pass to Coleman Patterson) -- 7:52
CAR -- Okeeron Rutherford 6 pass from Blake Bogenschutz (Trent Jackson run) -- 0:05.9
WH -- Destin Wilkins 30 field goal -- 5:01
WH -- Safety -- 4:56
WH -- Wilkins 24 field goal -- 2:53
CAR -- Kolby Blissett 80 pass from Bogenschutz (Jimmy Gonzalez kick) -- 1:55
WH -- Jaylon Dews 6 pass from Mahomes (Wilkins kick) -- 8:33
CAR -- Payton Klysen 14 pass from Bogenschutz (5:59)
CAR -- Trent Jackson 4 run (pass failed) -- 0:35
First downs 23 20
Rush yards-Att. 25-75 24-69
Pass yards 374 347
Comp.-Att.-Int. 34-48-2 21-43-1
Penalties 9-70 10-68
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 0-0
Punts-Avg. 3-23.3 4-35.0
Rushing -- Whitehouse: Patrick Mahomes 17-58, Vincent Dunning, 5-29, Zen'Derrion Haskins 1-(-2), TEAM 2-(-10). Carthage: Tevin Pipkin 18-54, Tee Goree 1-9, Trent Jackson 2-6, Blake Bogenschutz 4-0.
Passing -- Whitehouse: Patrick Mahomes 34-48-2 374. Carthage: Blake Bogenschutz 20-42-1 321, Tee Goree 1-1-0 21.
Receiving -- Whitehouse: Coleman Patterson 10-94, Jake Parker 7-113, Dylan Cantrell 6-70, Jaylon Dews 5-51, Vincent Dunning 4-30, Zen'Derrion Haskins 2-16. Carthage: Okeeron Rutherford 7-107, Tee Goree 6-64, Kolby Blissett 3-117, Tevin Pipkin 2-10, Blake Bogenschutz 1-26, Payton Klysen 1-14, Major Harris 1-9.