Surprising Nacogdoches Rolls into Friday’s Showdown at No. 1 Carthage
Nacogdoches Dragons (2-0)
No. 1 Carthage Bulldogs (3-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Bulldog Stadium, Carthage
- Nacogdoches: Bobby Reyes
- Carthage: Scott Surratt
- Nacogdoches: vs. Hallsville
- Carthage: at Whitehouse
- C Jacob Bragg, Sr., 6-4, 311 (committed to Kansas)
- DE Greg Roberts, Sr., 6-5, 200 (committed to Baylor; 7 tackles, 3 for loss, 1 sack, 3 forced fumbles)
- S Brandon Jones, Soph., 6-0, 185 (20 tackles, 1 for loss, 1 INT, 2 PBUs, 1 def. TD)
- QB Hunter McClellan, Jr., 6-1, 165 (26 of 47, 445 yards, 5 TDs, 1 INT; 12 carries, 119 yards, 1 TD)
- MLB Brian Scott, Sr., 6-1, 215 (26 tackles, 2 for loss, 2 PBUs, 1 def. TD)
- WR L.J. Barnes, Sr., 5-11, 165 (11 catches, 152 yards, 3 TDs)
- RB Coronado Tolbert (32 carries, 129 yards)
- WR Sam Morgan (8 catches, 127 yards, 1 TD)
- CB Jamar Woodard, Sr., 5-9, 160 (7 tackles, 4 PBUs, 1 kick block)
- QB Blake Bogenschutz, Sr., 6-1, 180 (committed to UTSA; 50 of 86, 1,012 yards, 11 TDs, 1 INT; 16 carries, 52 yards, 1 TD)
- WR/FS Terian "Tee" Goree, Sr., 6-2, 170 (23 catches, 496 yards, 9 TDs; 12 tackles, 2 INTs)
- RB Tevin Pipkin, Sr., 5-10, 165 (52 carries, 380 yards, 4 TDs; 4 catches, 85 yards)
- WR O'Keeron Rutherford, Sr., 6-5, 181 (12 catches, 214 yards)
- OL/DL Mario McCain, Sr., 6-0, 220 (23 tackles, 7 for loss, 1 sack, 2 forced fumbles, 1 recovery, 9 QB pressures)
- OLB D'vodney Brooks, Sr., 6-3, 205 (31 tackles, 2 for loss, 2 forced fumbles)
- RB/SS Bryian Bolton, Jr., 5-10, 175 (17 carries, 144 yards, 1 TD; 1 receiving TD; 14 tackles, 2 PBUs)
- OT Adrian Goodacre, Sr., 6-4, 318 (committed to ULL)
- DE Jarrod McLin, Soph., 6-3, 220 (18 tackles, 1 for loss, 1 recovery, 14 QB pressures)
- TE Marquise Guinn, Soph., 6-4, 220 (5 catches, 100 yards, 1 TD)
Just the facts
- Carthage holds a 16-12 advantage over Nacogdoches in the all-time series.
- Carthage won last year's meeting 44-20 at Dragon Stadium.
- Nacogdoches joins Chapel Hill as the only schools that have beaten Carthage more than once during Scott Surratt's tenure with the Bulldogs, who are 3-2 vs. the Dragons in that span.
- Carthage averages 46.3 points per game and yields 22.3.
- Nacogdoches averages 31.5 points per game and allows 19.0.
- Carthage senior receiver Terian "Tee" Goree averages 21.6 yards per catch.
- Goree holds seven D-I FBS offers: Colorado State, Louisiana Tech, Memphis, North Texas, ULL, ULM, and UTSA.
- Nacogdoches senior center Jacob Bragg committed to Kansas after receiving offers from the Jayhawks, Louisiana Tech, Oregon State, and ULM.
- Nacogdoches senior defensive end Greg Roberts is the son of former Oklahoma standout Greg Roberts, Sr., who won the Outland Trophy in 1978 before heading to the NFL.
- Nacogdoches' 2-0 start marks the first time the Dragons have won back-to-back games since beating Carthage 41-20 and Pine Tree 35-10 in the third and fourth games of the 2010 season.
- Carthage averages 554.6 total yards per game and allows 402.7. The Bulldogs force 3.3 turnovers per game.
- Nacogdoches averages 366.0 total yards per game and forced 3.0 turnovers per game.
Key matchup: Line play on both sides of the ball, according to Carthage head coach Scott Surratt.
Some of East Texas' top linemen will be on display Friday night at Bulldog Stadium. Nacogdoches features Kansas-bound center Jacob Bragg, a 6-foot-4, 311-pound mauler who anchors the Dragons' offensive front. Bragg and company face an undersized, but athletic Carthage defensive line that includes four-year varsity starter Mario McCain and an emerging star in 6-foot-3, 220-pound sophomore Jarrod McLin, who has 14 quarterback pressures in his first three varsity contests.
When Carthage has the ball, it will be interesting to see if Nacogdoches senior defensive end Greg Roberts, who is committed to Baylor, lines up in front of ULL-committed left tackle Adrian Goodacre, a 6-foot-4, 318-pound road grader who protects the blind side of UTSA-bound quarterback Blake Bogenschutz, Carthage's third-year starter. The 6-foot-5, 200-pound Roberts is dangerous off the edge as a speed rusher. He leads East Texas in forced fumbles with three in only two games.
Carthage overmatched a very good defensive line from Chapel Hill a week ago, allowing the Surratt's offense to rack up 573 total yards and 52 points in a 30-point victory. Carhthage will need a similar performance against a capable Nacogdoches front -- backed up by leading tackler Brain Scott, the Dragons' veteran middle linebacker -- to avoid its third loss to Nacogdoches in six seasons.
Don't be surprised if: Nacogdoches proves that its four-point home win against longtime antagonist Lufkin wasn't a fluke. While Carthage has won three of the last five meetings with Nacogdoches, the Dragons have given the Bulldogs plenty of trouble, beating Carthage in 2008 and 2010, the first and third years of Carthage's three-peat championship seasons.
A star was born last week when promising sophomore safety Brandon Jones returned an interception 95 yards for the go-ahead touchdown halfway through the fourth quarter of Nacogdoches' upset of Lufkin, but the Dragons must get another big game from him and their secondary this week. After facing KeKe Coutee, Jamal Jeffery, and Terry Mark a week ago, the challenge doesn't get much easier. Nacogdoches needs Jones, cornerback Jamar Woodard, and the rest of the Dragons' defensive backs to have a strong performance as they match up with East Texas' leading receiver -- Carthage's Terian "Tee" Goree -- and one of the region's biggest targets, 6-foot-5 1/2-inch O'Keeron Rutherford.
If Carthage protects Bogenschutz from Roberts and company, chances are the Bulldogs will find open passing lanes for Goree, Rutherford, and 6-foot-4 sophomore tight end Marquise Guinn. If that's that case, Nacogdoches better be solid against the run because beating Carthage is very difficult if the Dawgs have both phases of their offense clicking.