Carthage Can Reach Sixth State Semifinal in Eight Years With Win Over Silsbee
CLASS 4A DIVISION I QUARTERFINAL
Carthage Bulldogs (10-3)
Silsbee Tigers (11-2)
7:30 p.m. Friday
TMF Rose Stadium, Tyler
- Carthage: Scott Surratt
- Silsbee: Bobby McGallion
- Carthage: def. Navasota, 55-48
- Silsbee: def. El Campo, 43-42
- Winner faces winner between Waco La Vega and China Spring, state semifinals
- TE/DE Jarrod McLin, Sr., 6-3, 215 (24 catches, 344 yards, 6 TDs; 103 tackles, 17 for loss, 3 sacks, 33 QB pressures, 1 INT, 7 PBUs, 2 fumble recoveries; committed to UTSA)
- QB Jarod Blissett, Sr., 6-1, 230 (231 of 384, 3,437 yards, 35 TDs, 9 INTs)
- WR Jakeldric Jackson, Sr., 5-9, 169 (76 catches, 1,321 yards, 14 TDs)
- RB Keaontay Ingram, Soph., 5-10, 175 (73 carries, 630 yards, 7 TDs; 13 catches, 185 yards, 2 TDs)
- WR Hunter Townsend, Soph., 5-11, 185 (42 catches, 656 yards, 5 TDs; 30 carries, 202 yards, 1 TD)
- LB Mykel Gates, Soph., 5-11, 215 (86 tackles, 3 for loss, 1 sack, 4 QB pressures, 1 INT, 2 PBUs, 2 forced fumbles, 1 recovery)
- DB Mekhi Colbert, Soph., 5-9, 165 (34 tackles, 1 for loss, 2 INTs, 4 PBUs, 1 forced fumble)
- DB Jordan Romero, Sr., 5-10, 165 (71 tackles, 1 INT, 6 PBUs)
- OL Patrick Hudson, Sr., 6-5, 330 (committed to Baylor)
- QB Dontre Thomas, Sr., 6-2, 190
- RB Adonis Thomas, Soph., 5-7, 180
- WR Kolten Mackey, Jr., 6-2, 180
- WR Kalon Barnes, Soph., 6-1, 165
- WR Tre'Darius Lowe, Soph., 5-9, 150
- DB Mason Murray, Soph., 5-11, 155
- DB Bruce Newton, Jr., 5-9, 165
Just the facts
- Carthage is 34-4 (.895) in the playoffs under head coach Scott Surratt. The last three losses have come by a combined 12 points.
- The Bulldogs defeated Silsbee in both the 2012 and 2013 playoffs, 50-21 and 49-6, respectively.
- Carthage is averaging 34.9 points and 431.4 yards per game -- 148.9 rushing and 282.5 passing.
- The Bulldogs' defense is allowing 22.0 points per game, and has forced 25 turnovers on the season -- 12 interceptions and 13 fumble recoveries.
- Carthage is 5-0 in fourth-round playoff games under Surratt.
- Silsbee is averaging 48.4 points per game.
- The Tigers' defense is allowing 31.4 points per game, 36.3 during the playoffs.
- The cumulative record of Silsbee's opponents this season is 71-74. (.490).
Key matchup: Carthage running game vs. Silsbee defensive front. For most of the season, the Carthage Bulldogs were relying on the arm of quarterback Jarod Blissett and a deep receiving corps led by one of East Texas' most productive pass-catchers in Jakeldric Jackson. But when Carthage has needed it the most, the running game has taken center stage in each of the Bulldogs' previous two playoff wins. In victories over previously unbeaten Stafford and Navasota, Carthage has had its biggest rushing outputs of the season, running for 198 yards in the area round defeat of Stafford and a season-best 321 in last week's upset of defending state champion Navasota. A week ago, the Bulldogs ran the ball more times (48) and scored more rushing touchdowns (five) that at any point all season. Their previous high in rushing attempts was 34, and Carthage had not run for more than two touchdowns in a game until last week.
The No. 1 catalyst for Carthage's reversal of fortunes in the backfield has been the emergence of sophomore running back Keaontay Ingram. He entered the second round of the playoffs with 43 carries for 264 yards and two touchdowns, but has carried the ball 30 times for 366 yards and five scores in Carthage's last two games. With the increased production from Ingram along with the steadiness of leading rusher Ravodney Hardy (166 carries, 901 yards, seven touchdowns), the Bulldogs have now a balanced offense capable of giving opposing defenses fits.
Defense has not necessarily been a strength for Silsbee this season. The Tigers enter this week allowing more than 30 points per game on average, and the numbers have spiked in the playoffs. Silsbee allowed 46 points and 554 yards (527) passing to Chapel Hill in the first round of the playoffs. And in last week's win over El Campo, Silsbee gave up 42 points and 424 total yards of offense. Silsbee will likely need to take away either the run or the pass from Carthage to come away with a win, and with the Bulldogs' passing game a more consistent element of its attack, the Tigers may ultimately have more success defending the run.
Don't be surprised if: Early adversity plays a big role in determining the outcome. Both Carthage and Silsbee come in on the heels of emotional victories. For Carthage, it was the thrill of knocking off a defending state champ riding a 28-game winning streak. Silsbee, meanwhile, won on the last play of the game and ensuing two-point conversion, 43-42, over El Campo. It would be only natural if both teams begin sloppily, and are faced with obstacles in the early stages of Friday night's game. History would favor Carthage, which is 5-0 all-time in the fourth round under head coach Scott Surratt, who's guided the Bulldogs to four state championships since 2008. The Bulldogs have also had Silsbee's number of late, knocking off the Tigers in convincing fashion during the 2012 and 2013 playoffs.