RUSK -- Blake Bogenschutz threw three consecutive incompletions on Carthage's first possession of Friday night's game at Rusk.

What a tease.

Bogenschutz completed all but four of his remaining 17 pass attempts, including six touchdown passes to fuel Carthage's 54-14 rout of Rusk at Eagle Stadium.

The 6-foot, 182-pound quarterback's six TD throws tie Anthony Morgan's single-game school record set in the Bulldogs' 47-22 Class 3A Division II state championship win against Coldspring-Oakhurst in Dec. 2010.

Carthage QB Blake Bogenschutz. (Christopher Vinn,
Carthage QB Blake Bogenschutz. (Christopher Vinn,

Bogenschutz finished 13 of 20 for 293 yards, completing two touchdown passes apiece to his top three receivers: 6-foot-2 junior Tee Goree, 6-foot-5 junior Okeeron Rutherford, and 5-foot-9 junior Kolby Blissett. Goree had four catches for 164 yards, Rutherford added four grabs for 42 yards, and Blissett had two catches for 53 yards.

Goree's 37-yard touchdown grab 91 seconds into the game -- not the Bulldogs' game-opening three-and-out -- was a harbinger of the rest of the night.

"I wasn't throwing the ball good," Bogenschutz said of the first possession. "It was coming out of my hand weird. I came over to the sideline and threw it a little bit, and we got on fire. Once we get on fire, you better be ready for us."

"I think that (37-yard TD to Goree) got everybody pumped up. Before the game it seemed like everybody was dead, like we weren't ready to play or something. But it takes one big play and then we start clicking."

Goree's other touchdown was a 68-yard catch-and-run that started in the right flat in front of the Carthage bench. About 15 yards downfield, Goree ran through an arm tackle before sprinting into the end zone. Blissett, who caught a third-and-long, on-the-run throw from Bogenschutz and broke a tackle for a 47-yard second-quarter touchdown, gave Bogenschutz his sixth TD toss of the game on a six-yard throw with 1:41 left in the third. That put Carthage ahed 48-14.

Bogenschutz and Carthage's first-team offense did not play in the fourth quarter.

Rutherford's touchdown grabs covered 16 and four yards, respectively. Fifty-three of Carthage's points came from non-seniors: 47 from juniors, six from sophomore Bryian Bolton, who had seven carries for 43 yards and a touchdown, plus his fourth interception of the season from his safety spot. Reserve junior quarterback William Rittenberry ran for a four-yard touchdown with 3:39 left in the game for the Bulldogs' 40-point victory margin.

Goree, who has 34 catches for more than 600 yards and eight touchdowns, agreed with his quarterback about the Bulldogs' change in demeanor after the first score.

"The intensity wasn't high at the beginning," Goree said. "Once we started getting going, we started popping on everything."

Carthage (4-2) outgained Rusk 468-334. Rusk (4-2) often moved the ball, but struggled holding onto it. Carthage benefited from five Eagle turnovers. Senior defensive tackle Isaiah Golden had two tackles for loss and forced two fumbles, while senior Gregg Graves recovered two fumbles. Senior linebacker Trent Jackson and junior end Mario McCain each forced a fumble.

Junior Tevin Pipkin led Carthage with 80 yards on 12 carries.

Rusk QB Kody Stanley. (Christopher Vinn,
Rusk QB Kody Stanley. (Christopher Vinn,

Rusk played without standout senior Chaston Bennett, who had 934 rushing yards, nine touchdowns, and a team-high 54 tackles in the Eagles' first five games. Bennett watched the game from the sidelines in street clothes with a boot on his right foot.

Senior quarterback Kody Stanley led Rusk with 27 carries for 122 yards and a touchdown. He completed 5 of 10 passes for 87 yards and an interception. Sophomore tailback D.J. Glenn had a breakout game with 86 yards on nine carries, including a fourth-and-long, 44-yard touchdown run that cut Carthage's lead to 34-14 early in the third quarter.

Rusk's Kadarius Neal caught three passes for 69 yards.

A muffed punt after Carthage's initial three-and-out led to the first Bogenschutz-to-Goree hookup. Carthage scored the game's first 20 points, then added two touchdowns in a 37-second span during the first half's final minute thanks a Rusk fumble and D.K. Calloway recovery for a 34-7 halftime advantage.

Bogenschutz enters next week's District 20-3A opener against Huntington with more than 1,300 passing yards, 18 touchdowns, and four interceptions. Rusk starts District 19-3A play at home as well against Fairfield.

Kolby Blissett scores one of six touchdowns on Blake Bogenschutz passes in Carthage's 54-14 win at Rusk on Friday. (Bud Worley,
Kolby Blissett scores one of six touchdowns on Blake Bogenschutz passes in Carthage's 54-14 win at Rusk on Friday. (Bud Worley,

Carthage 54, Rusk 14
Eagle Stadium, Rusk
Carthage -- 7 27 14 6 -- 54
Rusk -- 0 7 7 0 -- 14

First quarter
CAR -- Tee Goree 37 pass from Blake Bogenschutz (Jimmy Gonzalez kick) -- 10:29
Second quarter
CAR -- Bryian Bolton 4 run (Gonzalez kick) -- 10:46
CAR -- Okeeron Rutherford 16 pass from Bogenschutz (kick failed) -- 4:18
RUSK -- Kody Stanley 3 run (Chris Sanchez kick) -- 1:08
CAR -- Kolby Blissett 47 pass from Bogenschutz (Gonzalez kick) -- 0:43
CAR -- Rutherford 4 pass from Bogenschutz (Gonzalez kick) -- 0:06
Third quarter
RUSK -- D.J. Gleen 44 run (Sanchez kick) -- 4:30
CAR -- Goree 68 pass from Bogenschutz (Gonzalez kick) -- 4:06
CAR -- Blissett 6 pass from Bogenschutz (Dakota Tutt kick) -- 1:41
Fourth quarter
CAR -- William Rittenberry 4 run (kick failed) -- 3:39

CAR                                                    RUSK
First downs                       14                  13
Rush Yards-Att.            30-170           47-247
Pass Yards                       298                 87
Total Yards                       468                334
Comp.-Att.-Int.        14-21-0 298       5-10-1 87
Penalties-Yards                3-30              4-40
Fumbles-Lost                     2-1               6-4
Punts-Avg.                        2-34.0          2-32.5

Rushing -- Carthage: Tevin Pipkin 12-80, Bryian Bolton 7-43, Derontay Brown 6-41, William Rittenberry 3-12, Blake Bogenschutz 2-(-6). Rusk: Kody Stanley 27-122, D.J. Glenn 9-86, Ray Foreman 5-26, Vijay Stingley 4-11, David Overstreet 1-4, TEAM 1-(-2).
Passing -- Carthage: Blake Bogenschutz 13-20-0 293, William Rittenberry 1-1-0 5. Rusk: Kody Stanley 5-10-1 87.
Receiving -- Carthage: Tee Goree 4-164, Okeeron Rutherford 4-42, Kolby Blissett 2-53, Tevin Pipkin 1-15, Payton Klysen 1-11, Major Harris 1-8, Tyler Musgrove 1-5. Rusk: Kadarius Neal 3-69, Ray Foreman 1-16, D.J. Glenn 1-2.

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