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2008 Carthage - 1st State Championship


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Ten interesting facts:

1. Senior RB Dwight Smith, who was named the Texas Sportswriters Association Class 3A Offensive Player of the Year, wasn’t even mentioned in Dave Campbell’s 2008 Texas Football magazine. He had spent his junior year in California.

2. CHS started the season 1-2, losing to Kilgore and Nacogdoches of District 14-4A.

3. In going through district play undefeated, CHS’s closest game was a 34-point win over Diboll in the district championship game in the final week of the regular season.

4. CHS didn’t score in the second half of its 62-20 bi-district win over Tatum.

5. Lorena, which fell to the Bulldogs 49-14 in the second round of the playoffs, had won only 1 game the prior season (6  fewer than in 2008).

6. CHS’s closest game in the playoffs was in the quarterfinals against Gilmer in a game played at SFA. The late Cortlyn Ware, then a sophomore, essentially iced the game with a late interception as the Bulldogs won 31-28 in an instant East Texas classic still talked about today.

7.  The Bulldogs’ first football state championship came when it defeated Celina 49-37 in the last high school football game ever played in Texas Stadium in Irving.

8. Senior QB Si Blackshire, who is now on the CHS coaching staff, showed what a warrior he was by playing most of the season with a torn ACL.

9. Videos of senior WR Joe Jones’s downfield blocking were used for years afterward by the CHS coaches as a model for the players. He played in the Texas High School Coaches’ All-Star game the following summer.

10. First team All-Staters included RB Smith (averaged nearly 12 yards a carry & scored 43 TDs), QB Blackshire (160-261, 2,726 yds, 36 TDS), junior DL Deshun Williams (111 tackles, 11 TFLs & 6 sacks) and junior OL Kendrick Henderson, 6-0, 264 (father Kemmy was one of the great CHS RBs during the Sleepy Reynolds era). Senior LB Caleb Pope, the  team’s leading tackler, was named Second Team All-State.

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What a team. We (Jax) played Carthage that year in Carthage the first year of the new stadium. Wasn’t close, Smith ran all over us. That was the beginning... 

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17 hours ago, Matt said:

What a team. We (Jax) played Carthage that year in Carthage the first year of the new stadium. Wasn’t close, Smith ran all over us. That was the beginning... 

Smith ran all over everyone. Smith would have run all over the 2020 Carthage defense too. He looked NFL ready at 18.

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1 hour ago, d0tc0m said:

Smith ran all over everyone. Smith would have run all over the 2020 Carthage defense too. He looked NFL ready at 18.

By the end of the season I’m not sure any of the Carthage teams since then could have stopped Smith and that offense. That team had a couple early losses (back when Carthage used to lose games early in the season), but by the end of the year they were something special to watch. Smith is still the best RB I have ever seen with my own eyes at the HS level, and I saw AP at Palestine. He was there and then just as quick he was gone. 1 year of unbelievable play. We should have seen him have play on Sundays. But it just wasn’t meant to be. There are still some highlight floating around on YouTube. Imagine Smith in this new social media age. People would be losing their minds watching his highlights.

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8 minutes ago, Crawford said:

 

Actually have this whole game. Pretty cool. 

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2 minutes ago, Eagleborn said:

Actually have this whole game. Pretty cool. 

Me too. 

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My go to Carthage historian Gabe Brooks tells me if he had to pick one Carthage team to win a game out of all the title teams he'd pick 2008.....Dwight Smith was an alien 

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I remember the Carthage game there was a delay because we lost our lights. We pulled off the win though. Matter in fact I was ripped to shreds right here on smoaky cause I predicted we would beat Carthage and lose to diboll unfortunately both happened.

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7 hours ago, nacdragon07 said:

I remember the Carthage game there was a delay because we lost our lights. We pulled off the win though. Matter in fact I was ripped to shreds right here on smoaky cause I predicted we would beat Carthage and lose to diboll unfortunately both happened.

Yep, y’all played well. That was back when we were good for at least one early season loss before getting in sync and reeling off 12 or 13 straight wins. 

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14 hours ago, MattStepp said:

My go to Carthage historian Gabe Brooks tells me if he had to pick one Carthage team to win a game out of all the title teams he'd pick 2008.....Dwight Smith was an alien 

Yeah, he really was. Celina had a very good team that year, despite some misleading early-season losses. Celina also had a long history of shutting down stud running backs (Chris Harris, Quan Cosby, Jessie Harrison, Shawnbrey McNeal, Ashton Whiteside, Will Clay, etc.). Smith really was the first one (exception for Terrence Purvey in 2003) that really did whatever he wanted to do, nearly every time he touched the football, against a championship-caliber Bobcats squad.

Crazy thing is, Celina had a chance late in the fourth to take the lead. The Bobcats had moved the ball pretty well against the Dawgs defense, especially in the second half. The defense got Carthage in a 4th-and-2 near midfield. Dawgs ran a fake toss sweep to the right and pitched back to Smith on the weak side. Our defensive back read it perfectly and had a chance to make the tackle in the backfield. He made a great attempt .... but Smith was a freaking grown man, and there was no way our 5'11, 165-pound DB was bringing him down on his own. Smith shucked him and ran about 50-yards for the back-breaking TD.

Smith for sure the best, most naturally gifted, polished HS RB/athlete I've ever personally watched.

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1 hour ago, d0tc0m said:

Yeah, he really was. Celina had a very good team that year, despite some misleading early-season losses. Celina also had a long history of shutting down stud running backs (Chris Harris, Quan Cosby, Jessie Harrison, Shawnbrey McNeal, Ashton Whiteside, Will Clay, etc.). Smith really was the first one (exception for Terrence Purvey in 2003) that really did whatever he wanted to do, nearly every time he touched the football, against a championship-caliber Bobcats squad.

Crazy thing is, Celina had a chance late in the fourth to take the lead. The Bobcats had moved the ball pretty well against the Dawgs defense, especially in the second half. The defense got Carthage in a 4th-and-2 near midfield. Dawgs ran a fake toss sweep to the right and pitched back to Smith on the weak side. Our defensive back read it perfectly and had a chance to make the tackle in the backfield. He made a great attempt .... but Smith was a freaking grown man, and there was no way our 5'11, 165-pound DB was bringing him down on his own. Smith shucked him and ran about 50-yards for the back-breaking TD.

Smith for sure the best, most naturally gifted, polished HS RB/athlete I've ever personally watched.

Indeed...😋👍

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1 hour ago, d0tc0m said:

Crazy thing is, Celina had a chance late in the fourth to take the lead. The Bobcats had moved the ball pretty well against the Dawgs defense, especially in the second half. The defense got Carthage in a 4th-and-2 near midfield. Dawgs ran a fake toss sweep to the right and pitched back to Smith on the weak side. Our defensive back read it perfectly and had a chance to make the tackle in the backfield. He made a great attempt .... but Smith was a freaking grown man, and there was no way our 5'11, 165-pound DB was bringing him down on his own. Smith shucked him and ran about 50-yards for the back-breaking TD.

0.52 second mark of the above highlights.

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1 hour ago, oldtownag said:

0.52 second mark of the above highlights.

Thanks, oldtown. Smith was literally the complete package. A perfect blend of size, strength, power, explosiveness, agility, and breakaway speed. If he’d have been just a few years younger, my hunch is he’d have played for Nick Saban.

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21 minutes ago, AllGoodNamesRGone said:

This is where greatness started. Had I known then what I know now. Time travel needs to hurry up and get invented like power lifter has suggested. Surratt and Preston are the key to all this. 

Maybe a change of Zipcodes could ease your pain..... Just join the WINNING TEAM & you will feel much better!😜🏆👌

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