Whitehouse Wildcats (4-0)
vs.
No. 8 Carthage Bulldogs (3-1)

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

Coaches
Whitehouse: Randy McFarlin
Carthage: Scott Surratt

Last week
Whitehouse: def. Marshall, 60-14
Carthage: def. Nacogdoches, 44-21

Next week
Whitehouse: idle
Carthage: at Rusk

Playmakers
Whitehouse

  • QB Patrick Mahomes, Jr., 6-3, 185 (62 of 112, 1,101 yards, 12 TDs, 2 INTs; 22 carries, 111 yards, 3 TDs)
  • WR Dylan Cantrell, Sr., 6-3, 205 (22 catches, 458 yards, 7 TDs)
  • WR Jake Parker, Jr. (18 catches, 302 yards, 2 TDs)
  • FS Colby Campbell, Jr., 6-0, 185 (27 tackles, 1 forced fumble)
  • WR Jaylon Dews, Jr. (15 catches, 226 yards, 3 TDs)
  • DL Brannon Beaton, Sr., 6-2, 225 (17 tackles, 3 sacks)
  • WR Coleman Patterson, Jr. (12 catches, 209 yards, 3 TDs)
  • DE/LB Reggie Long, Jr., 6-0, 195 (21 tackles)
  • OL Keagan Smith, Jr., 6-1, 295
  • OL Hunter Conn, Sr., 6-5, 290

Carthage

  • DT Isaiah Golden, Sr., 6-2, 315 (26 tackles, 17 for loss, 3 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 7 QB pressures)
  • MLB Trent Jackson, Sr., 6-0, 215 (47 tackles, 6 for loss, 1 INT, 1 forced fumble, 2 recoveries, 4 PBUs)
  • LT/DE Mario McCain, Jr., 6-0, 240 (24 tackles, 14 for loss, 3 sacks, 5 forced fumbles, 2 recoveries, 5 QB pressures)
  • DE/LB Gregg Graves, Sr., 6-1, 200 (22 tackles, 11 for loss, 4 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 7 QB pressures)
  • QB Blake Bogenschutz, Jr., 6-0, 182 (52 of 99, 738 yards, 9 TDs, 3 INTs; 1 rush TD)
  • WR/DB Tee Goree, Jr., 6-2, 170 (24 catches, 417 yards, 6 TDs; 1 INT, 1 def. TD)
  • RB Tevin Pipkin, Jr., 5-10, 170 (58 carries, 449 yards, 4 TDs; doubtful for Friday's game, per coach Scott Surratt)
  • ATH Bryian Bolton, Soph., 5-10, 175 (7 carries, 66 yards, 1 TD; 23 tackles, 3 INTs, 2 PBUs)
  • CB Dominic Collins, Sr., 5-9, 170 (23 tackles, 2 for loss, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery, 1 def. TD)
  • OLB D.K. Calloway, Sr., 5-7, 170 (32 tackles, 2 for loss, 1 def. TD)

Just the facts

  • Whitehouse QB Patrick Mahomes has thrown for 580 yards, 6 TDs, and 1 INT in his last two games.
  • Carthage's four starting defensive linemen have combined for 42 tackles for loss, nine sacks, six forced fumbles, and 12 QB hits (those stats don't include Gregg Graves' 11 tackles for loss, four sacks, one forced fumble, and six QB hits).
  • Whitehouse's play selection is 54.5 percent pass and 45.5 percent run, but the Wildcats' total yardage (2,021) is 65.6 percent pass and 34.4 percent run.
  • Carthage's play selection is 50.7 percent pass and 49.3 percent run, but the Bulldogs' total yardage (1,344) is 57.7 percent pass and 42.3 percent run.
  • Whitehouse averages 42.3 points per game and allows 19.8.
  • A year ago, Whitehouse surrendered 51.0 points per game in its first four contests.
  • Carthage averages 35.5 points per game and allows 20.5.

Key matchup: Whitehouse's passing game vs. Carthage's secondary. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes has posted huge numbers in Whitehouse's first four games of the season, and his slew of receivers -- including Texas Tech-bound Dylan Cantrell, Jake Parker, Jaylon Dews, Coleman Patterson, etc. -- have been the main beneficiaries. Whitehouse has scored a lot of points against everyone it has played, and the Wildcats don't appear to be slowing down anytime soon. Carthage's secondary is its most inexperienced unit from a season ago with only one returning starter -- senior cornerback Dominic Collins. But the Bulldogs possess the equalizer up front in a dominant defensive line featuring Texas A&M-bound tackle Isaiah Golden that has overwhelmed its last three opponents to fuel the Dawgs' three-game winning streak. Carthage has held its last three foes to 16.0 points per game. The Bulldogs accumulated 29 tackles for loss and nine sacks in Nacogdoches' 78 snaps in a 44-21 Carthage win a week ago. But the defensive line cannot do everything, so the Bulldog secondary must step up its game if Carthage is to attempt to slow down Whitehouse's high-flying passing attack.

Chalk talk

  • Carthage coach Scott Surratt on Whitehouse: "Their team is the best team we've played so far, so we're going to have to up our game to play with them, and we're going to see where we are as a football team."
  • Surratt on the key for Carthage in Friday's game: "We have to limit big plays in the passing game. We know they're going to get some, but we've got to limit them. We've got to hit the quarterback (Patrick Mahomes). If he completes (passes), he's got to be getting up off the ground. We've got to put pressure on him. If he sits back there and gets time, he can throw with anybody."
  • Surratt on Carthage's offensive strategy: "We've got to be able to run the ball and control the tempo a little bit."

Don't be surprised if: This turns into the best game in East Texas this week. All the classic contrasts in style are here. There's Whitehouse's shotgun-exclusive, pass-happy spread offense, and Carthage's multiple-set, pro-style offense. Then there are two defenses succeeding in different ways. Whitehouse has held three of its four opponents to 18 points or fewer by playing solid defense with a bend-don't-break approach, while Carthage has accumulated staggering tackles for loss totals, forced 17 turnovers, and scored 20 points with its big-play defensive prowess. Both teams have talented junior quarterbacks in Whitehouse's Patrick Mahomes and Carthage's Blake Bogenschutz, as well as hefty offensive lines and big-play receivers -- Whitehouse's Dylan Cantrell and Carthage's Tee Goree. The running game could be a deciding factor, especially considering that Carthage junior tailback Tevin Pipkin is doubtful after spraining his ankle in last week's win at Nacogdoches. Bryian Bolton, D.K. Calloway, and Derontay Brown could be backfield options if Pipkin can't play. While Whitehouse doesn't run the ball a ton, the Wildcats' ability to occasionally keep Carthage's defensive line honest with a draw or a screen here or there could play a huge role in keeping Mahomes upright and not rattled. Just about every way you look at this game, it appears to be a great one.

Carthage defensive linemen Isaiah Golden and Mario McCain (62) force Nacogdoches quarterback Hunter McClellan to fumble in last week's 44-21 win. (Bud Worley, ETSN.fm)