Whitehouse Wildcats (2-0)

vs.

No. 5 Carthage Bulldogs (2-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday
At Bulldog Stadium, Carthage

 

Coaches

  • Whitehouse: Adam Cook
  • Carthage: Scott Surratt

 

Last week

 

Next week

  • Whitehouse: at Sulphur Springs, Sept. 16
  • Carthage: vs. Gilmer, Sept. 17

 

Playmakers

Whitehouse

  • QB Tanner Roach, Sr., 6-0, 170 (25 of 41, 280 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs; 13 carries, 98 yards, 2 TDs)
  • WR Zach Parker, Sr., 6-1, 185 (13 catches, 145 yards, 2 TDs)
  • RB Clayton Cook, Jr., 5-9, 175 (18 carries, 189 yards, 2 TDs)
  • LB Braylon Shackelford, Sr., 5-8, 192 (27 tackles, 3 for loss, 1 sack)
  • LB Isaac Little, Sr., 6-0, 195 (25 tackles, 6 for loss, 2 sacks, 2 INTs)
  • CB Javier Neal, Jr., 5-10, 155 (9 tackles, 2 INTs, 1 forced fumble)
  • DE Khyree Key, Sr., 6-2, 243 (15 tackles, 5 for loss, 2 sacks, 1 forced fumble)
  • WR Cameron Cantrell, Soph., 6-0, 160 (4 catches, 44 yards)

 

Carthage

  • RB Keaontay Ingram, Jr., 5-11, 198 (25 carries, 185 yards, 2 TDs; 8 catches, 48 yards)
  • QB Kason Davis, Sr., 6-2, 180 (31 of 42, 437 yards, 5 TDs, 0 INTs)
  • LB Mykel Gates, Jr., 6-0, 215 (17 tackles, 1 for loss)
  • CB Mekhi Colbert, Jr., 5-10, 180 (8 tackles, 1 PBU, 1 forced fumble)
  • CB Nic Moore, Sr., 5-11, 150 (11 tackles, 1 PBU)
  • WR Dee Bowens, Jr., 5-7, 140 (9 catches, 124 yards, 2 TDs)
  • WR Roderic Calloway, Sr., 6-3, 180 (6 catches, 181 yards, 2 TDs)
  • DE Tre Gatlin, Sr., 6-6, 250 (12 tackles, 1 for loss, 2 QB pressures, 1 PBU)

 

Just the facts

  • Carthage and Whitehouse met in both 2012 and 2013, with Whitehouse winning each time (29-27, 63-39).
  • The 2013 meeting featured Carthage (No. 1 in 4A) and Whitehouse (No. 3 in 5A).
  • Whitehouse's two wins this season already match its total from 2015.
  • The Wildcats have allowed just 22 points and forced seven turnovers in two games.
  • Whitehouse is 17-1 in non-district games since 2012.
  • Carthage put up 442 yards of offense in last week's win over Liberty-Eylau.
  • Since Bulldog Stadium opened in 2008, Carthage in 35-6 in home games.
  • Carthage's last 3-0 start to a season came in 2013.

 

Whitehouse DE Khyree Key. (Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)

Key matchup: Carthage rushing attack vs. Whitehouse defensive front. The Bulldogs' offense is at its best with balance, and that's exactly what it was in last week's win over Liberty-Eylau. Carthage put up 153 yards rushing and 289 passing in the victory, and it was the first 100-yard game since the 2015 playoffs for Bulldogs junior running back Keaontay Ingram. One of the best pure runners in all of East Texas, Ingram ran 25 times for 185 yards and two touchdowns vs. L-E, which set the tone for a solid all-around performance from the Carthage offense. Senior quarterback Kason Davis did his part, too, throwing for nearly 300 yards and four touchdowns. And if that type of production continues, Carthage will be difficult for most defenses to handle.

Whitehouse's defense, which struggled mightily in 2015, has looked strong through this season's first two games. The Wildcats have allowed an average of 276 yards per game (105.5 rushing), while forcing seven turnovers. Whitehouse, which has surrendered only 22 points in two weeks, has been especially good up front. Coming into Friday's game, the Wildcats have made 27 stops behind the line of scrimmage, including eight sacks. So far, it appears the decision to move senior Khyree Key from linebacker to defensive end is paying big dividends for the Whitehouse defense. Linebackers Braylon Shackelford and Isaac Little have also stepped up, preventing opposing ball carriers from reaching the third level.

Carthage DE Tre Gatlin. (Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)

Don't be surprised if: A low-scoring affair develops. Long known for having very productive offenses, Whitehouse and Carthage will bring much-improved defenses into this week's meeting. Both teams have quality players at all three levels. Key has done an outstanding job thus far as an edge rusher for Whitehouse, while Carthage senior defensive end Tre Gatlin (at 6-foot-6) is difficult for offensive tackles to get leverage on. Carthage's linebacking corps is being led by junior Mykel Gates, one of the area's top overall defenders, while Shackelford and Little are sure-tackling players in the middle for Whitehouse. The secondary for each team could end up deciding the outcome. Carthage relies on its cornerback duo of junior Mekhil Colbert and Nic Moore, while the Wildcats' shut-down CB Javier Neal is off to a strong start to 2016 with two interceptions.