PREVIEW: Top-Ranked Carthage Meets Kilgore For District Lead
DISTRICT 9-4A DIVISION I
Kilgore Bulldogs (5-1, 2-0)
No. 1 Carthage Bulldogs (5-0, 1-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Bulldog Stadium, Carthage
- Kilgore: Mike Wood
- Carthage: Scott Surratt
- Kilgore: vs. Henderson, Oct. 20
- Carthage: at Center, Oct. 20
- WR Jonathan Shepherd, Sr., 6-3, 195 (6 catches, 288 yards, 5 TDs; committed to Oklahoma State)
- QB Patrick "Buddy" Jackson, Sr., 5-9, 160 (17 of 36, 411 yards, 7 TDs, 1 INT; 52 carries, 648 yards, 8 TDs)
- RB Javorie Hamilton, Sr., 5-9, 170 (74 carries, 566 yards, 7 TDs; 1 catch, 10 yards, 0 TDs)
- DL Demorrea Richardson, Sr., 6-0, 240 (23 tackles, 9 for loss, 7 sacks, 16 QB pressure, 1 blocked punt)
- RB Briant Mumphrey, Sr. (47 carries, 450 yards, 4 TDs; 4 catches, 31 yards, 1 TD)
- LB Nesba Brown, Jr. (80 tackles, 3 for loss, 2 QB pressures, 2 INTs, 1 blocked kick)
- LB Sebastian Mumphrey, Sr. (77 tackles, 5 for loss, 1 sack, 2 QB pressures, 1 INT, 1 fumble recovery)
- ATH Jaiden Zackery, Jr., 5-9, 170 (27 carries, 256 yards, 2 TDs; 1 catch, 8 yards, 0 TDs; 17 tackles)
- RB Keaontay Ingram, Sr., 6-0, 200 (85 carries, 686 yards, 8 TDs; 11 catches, 123 yards, 1 TD; committed to Texas)
- LB Mykel Gates, Sr., 5-11, 225 (63 tackles, 11 for loss, 2 sacks, 3 QB pressures, 3 PBUs, 1 forced fumble, 2 recoveries, 1 defensive TD)
- WR/DB Mekhi Colbert, Sr., 5-9, 190 (16 catches, 191 yards, 3 TDs; 5 carries, 58 yards, 1 TD; 8 tackles, 2 INTs, 2 PBUs, 1 QB pressure)
- WR Dewaylon Ingram, Sr., 6-1, 170 (24 catches, 315 yards, 6 TDs)
- QB Gunner Capps, Jr., 5-11, 170 (74 of 122, 1,165 yards, 16 TDs, 4 INTs)
- DL Quinton Owens, Soph., 6-4, 200 (28 tackles, 5 for loss, 2 sacks, 9 QB pressures, 3 PBUs, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 defensive TD)
- LB Ahmad Brown, Sr., 6-0, 225 (60 tackles, 11 for loss, 1 sack, 1 QB pressure, 1 forced fumble)
- WR Dee Bowens, Sr., 5-7, 140 (17 catches, 487 yards, 6 TDs)
Just the facts
- This is the 53rd all-time meeting between Kilgore and Carthage. Kilgore leads the series, 29-23.
- In last season's meeting, Kilgore took a 41-34 win.
- Kilgore is averaging 41 points and 462.5 yards per game -- 394 rushing and 68.5 passing.
- Kilgore has five ball carriers with at least 256 rushing on the season.
- Kilgore is allowing 28.3 points and 327.5 yards per game -- 148.7 rushing and 178.8 passing.
- Carthage is averaging 45.8 points and 428 yards per game -- 195 rushing and 233 passing.
- Carthage receiver Dee Bowens is averaging 28.6 yards per catch.
- Carthage's defense is allowing 22 points per game, and has scored four defensive touchdowns in five games.
Key matchup: Kilgore rushing attack vs. Carthage defensive front. Through the midway point of the regular season, there might not be a better running game in all of East Texas than the one Kilgore possesses. Not only does Kilgore average almost 400 rushing yards per game, it also is getting production from several different players. Quarterback Buddy Jackson leads the team with 648 yards to go with a remarkable 12.5 yards per carry average. But he certainly isn't alone.
Javorie Hamilton is the primary running back, but he'll split carries with a few others, like Briant Mumphrey, Jaiden Zackery, and Nick Hooper. In last week's 42-35 win over Chapel Hill, Kilgore rolled up 449 yards on the ground. Jackson led the way with 147 yards and two touchdowns, but he was followed closely by Mumphrey (119 yards, 1 TD) and Hamilton (84 yards).
What makes Kilgore's running game so dangerous is its ability to lull defenses to sleep, which is one of the reasons why it has so many big plays in the passing game. Kilgore averages just six passing attempts a week, but it comes into Friday's game with seven touchdown tosses in six games. Receiver and Oklahoma State commit Jonathan Shepherd has only six receptions on the year, but he's found the end zone on five of them, and is averaging a ridiculous 48 yards per catch.
Carthage's defense has been largely overshadowed by star running back Keaontay Ingram an offense averaging 45 points per game. Carthage has been especially stingy against the run. In its last three wins over Whitehouse, Gilmer, and Henderson, Carthage has surrendered a total of just 242 rushing yards, limiting those opponents to a measly 2.9 yards per attempt. If Carthage can have similar success against Kilgore's vaunted rushing attack, it could be a long night for Kilgore.
Don't be surprised if: Kilgore will be Carthage's toughest challenge to date this season. Beginning with its Week 2 matchup with Liberty-Eylau, Carthage embarked on a brutal five-game stretch against quality competition, and it has passed the test with flying colors through four weeks. Carthage outlasted Liberty-Eylau in the second half for a 48-38 win, controlled both sides of the ball in a 42-20 win at Class 5A Whitehouse, used an opportunistic defense to turn the tide in a 48-28 victory at Gilmer, and just last week, dominated its biggest rival -- Henderson -- from start to finish for an impressive road win to begin district.
Now comes Kilgore, which might be the toughest opponent Carthage will face until the playoffs. Kilgore can match Carthage's physicality at the line of scrimmage, and has dynamic playmakers at the skill positions as well. Kilgore also shouldn't be intimidated by Carthage, having defeated the eventual state champions during the regular season last year.