PREVIEW: Carthage + Marshall Meet For First Time Since 1981
No. 1 Carthage Bulldogs (2-0)
Marshall Mavericks (1-1)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Maverick Stadium, Marshall
- Carthage: Scott Surratt
- Marshall: Claude Mathis
- Carthage: at Gilmer, Sept. 21
- Marshall: idle
Players to watch
- QB Gunner Capps, Sr., 6-1, 195 (29 of 50, 347 yards, 5 TDs, 3 INTs)
- WR Kelvontay DIxon, Jr., 6-0, 170 (11 catches, 125 yards; 1 carry, 6 yards)
- OL Ty'kieast Crawford, Jr., 6-6, 310 (committed to Baylor)
- OL Kevion Booty, Sr., 6-2, 270
- DB Ja'Corey Ware, Sr., 6-0, 170 (6 tackles, 2 INTs)
- DE Quinton Owens, Jr., 6-3, 200 (11 tackles, 2 for loss, 1 sack, 1 QB pressure, 1 forced fumble)
- RB Tucker Smith, Sr., 5-11, 180 (32 carries, 218 yards; 4 catches, 78 yards, X TDs)
- LB Rayvon Ingram, Jr., 5-10, 205 (17 tackles, 4 for loss, 2 sacks, 2 QB pressures)
- QB JJ Green, Jr., 6-4, 176 (26 of 53, 497 yards, 6 TDs, 2 INTs; 12 carries, 76 yards, TD)
- WR Tahj Washington, Sr., 5-11, 168 (10 catches, 172 yards, TD; 3 carries, 8 yards)
- WR De'Kendrick Bender, Sr., 6-2, 196 (6 catches, 159 yards, 3 TDs)
- WR Savion Williams, Jr., 6-5, 203 (4 catches, 85 yards, 2 TDs)
- OL Christian Hood, Sr., 6-1, 294
- LB Brevin Randle, Sr., 6-2, 221
- RB Treylin Lewis, Sr., 5-10, 178 (24 carries, 90 yards; 1 catch, 14 yards)
- DB Champ Mathis, Sr., 5-10, 189
Just the facts
- Carthage and Marshall, which are separated by just 28 miles on Highway 59, have not met since 1981.
- Marshall won the last meeting, 42-8.
- Carthage has averaged 51.5 points and 399.5 yards in its first two games.
- Bulldogs running back Tucker Smith has accounted for 37 percent of his team's total yardage.
- Carthage enters Friday's game on a 28-game winning streak.
- Marshall has averaged 28 points and 361.5 yards in its first two games.
- Mavericks quarterback JJ Green has accounted for all seven of Marshall's touchdowns in 2018.
- Marshall opens District 9-5A Division II play Sept. 28 at Lindale.
Key matchup: Marshall passing attack vs. Carthage secondary. After a strong 2018 debut, Marshall quarterback JJ Green struggled in a Week 2 loss to Longview. Green completed just 11 of 30 attempts for 179 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions against the Lobos. The good thing for Green and the Mavericks: Longview will undoubtedly be the best team they face the rest of the season. The Lobos are a legitimate state championship contender at the Class 6A level. The expectation is that Green and his trio of dynamic receivers will return to form this week against Carthage. Seniors Tahj Washington and De'Kendrick Bender and junior Savion Williams all have Division I offers, and will be a challenge for Carthage's secondary this week.
Two-time defending champion Carthage graduated several playmakers from its defense, and the Bulldogs' defense will get their biggest test to date in 2018 with Marshall's explosive passing attack. There's no doubt Carthage's defensive linemen Quinton Owens, DJ Hicks, and Felipe Ponce will need to get to pressure on Green this week. But more importantly, Carthage's defensive secondary must keep Marshall's receives in front of them and prevent the big plays in the passing game. Bulldogs senior cornerback Ja'Corey Ware will be a key player. He intercepted eight passes a year ago, and has two through two weeks in 2018.
Don't be surprised if: Green has to make plays with his legs. Marshall's dynamic dual-threat quarterback is more than capable of carrying his team's rushing attack, and he might need to do just that Friday night. Carthage has one of the best pass-rushing combos in East Texas with Owens and Hicks, and if the Bulldogs' secondary does a good job of locking up the Mavericks' downfield weapons, Green will need to make plays with his feet. Green has Marshall's only rushing touchdown this season, and as a sophomore he rushed for 535 yards and four scores. If Green has success extending drives on the run, expect Carthage to counter by using one of its linebackers to spy, which could free up one his receivers.