PREVIEW: No. 1 Carthage Faces Stout Whitehouse Defense
No. 1 Carthage Bulldogs (2-0)
Whitehouse Wildcats (2-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Wildcat Stadium, Whitehouse
- Carthage: Scott Surratt
- Whitehouse: Adam Cook
- Carthage: def. Liberty-Eylau, 48-38
- Whitehouse: def. Chapel Hill, 28-14
- Carthage: at Gilmer, Sept. 23
- Whitehouse: vs. Sulphur Springs, Sept. 22
- RB Keaontay Ingram, Sr., 6-0, 200 (24 carries, 217 yards, 3 TDs; 3 catches, 23 yards; committed to Texas)
- WR Dewaylon Ingram, Sr., 6-1, 160 (10 catches, 120 yards, 3 TDs)
- LB Mykel Gates, Sr., 5-11, 225 (26 tackles, 5 for loss, 1 sack, 2 PBUs)
- WR/DB Mekhi Colbert, Sr., 5-8, 180 (5 catches, 77 yards, 1 TD; 4 tackles, 1 PBU, 1 QB pressure)
- LB Ahmad Brown, Sr., 6-0, 225 (22 tackles, 3 for loss)
- QB Gunner Capps, Jr., 5-11, 170 (26 of 44, 372 yards, 6 TDs, 2 INTs)
- DL Quinton Owens, Soph. (14 tackles, 1 for loss, 1 QB pressure, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 defensive TD)
- WR Dee Bowens, Sr., 5-7, 140 (5 catches, 128 yards, 2 TDs)
- DL Christian Owens, Sr., 6-3, 260 (14 tackles, 8 for loss, 1 sack, 3 QB pressures)
- DL Trevor Lawrence, Sr., 6-5, 245 (14 tackles, 3 for loss, 1 fumble recovery; committed to Texas State)
- WR Cameron Cantrell, Jr., 6-1, 175 (16 catches, 129 yards, 2 TDs; committed to Texas Tech)
- RB Clayton Cook, Sr., 5-9, 175 (41 carries, 209 yards, 5 TDs)
- DL Mitchell Melrose, Sr., 6-5, 250 (3 tackles, 2 for loss, 1 sack, 1 QB pressure)
- DL Darius Trimble, Jr., 5-11, 250 (17 tackles, 4 for loss, 1 forced fumble)
- WR/DB Javier Neal, Sr., 5-10, 155 (2 catches, 32 yards, 0 TDs; 4 tackles, 1 INT, 1 PBU)
- LB KJ McDade, Sr., 5-9, 182 (13 tackles, 5 for loss, 1 sack, 2 QB pressures, 2 forced fumbles)
Just the facts
- Carthage and Whitehouse have met in 2012, 2013, and 2016. Whitehouse won the first two (29-27, 63-39), while Carthage won last year, 23-13.
- The 2013 meeting featured Carthage (No. 1 in 4A) and Whitehouse (No. 3 in 5A).
- Carthage is currently riding a 12-game winning streak, dating back to last season.
- The Bulldogs have averaged 172.5 yards rushing and 186 passing yards in their two wins.
- Carthage is in the middle of a tough stretch of games. After Friday's game against Whitehouse, the Bulldogs travel to No. 2 Gilmer, then face Henderson and Kilgore in back-to-back weeks to begin district play.
- Whitehouse has not begun a season 3-0 since 2014.
- The Wildcats are averaging 301 yards per game on the season -- 131 rushing and 170 passing.
- Following Friday's game, Whitehouse closes non-district with games against Sulphur Springs (2-0) and Kennedale (No. 7 in 4A).
Key matchup: Carthage rushing attack vs. Whitehouse defensive front. Armed with arguably the most talented running back in the state, Keaontay Ingram, Carthage will attempt to establish its running game early against Whitehouse. Ingram, following an impressive 137-yard and two-touchdown effort in a Week 1 rout of Gladewater, was held in check vs. Liberty-Eylau last week. Ingram managed to find the end zone but was limited to less than 100 yards for the first time in 14 games.
Ingram carried the ball 19 times for 80 yards last week, and did not play for much of the second half. Carthage managed to pull away in the fourth quarter, but it might not be as fortunate this week against a Whitehouse defense that's as stingy up front as any unit in East Texas.
The four-man defensive line of seniors Trevor Lawrence, Christian Owens, and Mitchell Melrose, and junior Darius Trimble have been a handful for opposing offensive linemen so far this season. The foursome has combined for 17 tackles for loss in Whitehouse's two wins over Hallsville and Chapel Hill. Aside from two runs of 58 and 98 yards by Chapel Hill quarterback Khalan Griffin last week, Whitehouse held the Bulldogs' rushing offense to only 47 rushing yards on 34 attempts.
Don't be surprised if: Carthage and Whitehouse engage in a low-scoring affair. Without a doubt, the Bulldogs' offense will be facing its toughest challenge in the early going. Whitehouse was the only team to hold Ingram to less than 100 yards last season, limiting the star running back to 57 yards on 17 carries. If Ingram is unable to get on track again, it will up to junior quarterback Gunner Capps and a talented Carthage receiving corps to pick up the slack.
Whitehouse has had its issues on offense through two games, and it might not get any easier against a Carthage defense that is exceptional at all three levels. Sophomores Quinton Owens and Desmund Hicks have complimented the senior duo of Darrian Ingram and Montario Wilson nicely on the defensive line, while the linebacking trio of Mykel Gates, Ahmad Brown, and Jose DeJulian is as good as it gets at the 4A level. The secondary is strong as well with cornerback Mekhi Colbert leading the way.