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2013 Carthage - Beast of the East


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Ten interesting facts:

1.  CHS had an experienced team in 2013, with 16 or 17 returning starters determined to take care of what they considered to be some unfinished business from 2012.  The Bulldogs had uncharacteristically blown a fourth-quarter lead in the prior year's semifinal game against El Campo, depriving themselves of a fourth appearance in five years in the state championship game. 

2.  CHS headed into its final non-district game of the season with a perfect 4-0 record.  Three of the four wins had come against 4A teams. Likewise, 3 of the 4 wins had come against teams that would make the playoffs at the end of the regular season.

3.  The final non-district game was against undefeated Whitehouse, led by star QB Patrick Mahomes (recognize that name?).  When the Bulldogs scored early in the third quarter, they led 39-28.  But the Wiidcats, whose only loss of the season came to Mesquite Poteet 65-60 in the third round of the Class 4A playoffs, scored the final 35 points of the game to take a 63-39 win over the Bulldogs, who ran out of gas in the 2nd half against the larger school.

4. CHS won its 7th consecutive district championship since Coach Scott Surratt's arrival in Panola County, going undefeated in the 5 district game.  Jasper went down 41-26 in the district championship game.  The margin of victory for the Bulldogs in the other 4 district games ranged between 37 and 52 points.

5.  After defeating Mexia 49-6 in bi-district, CHS faced the defending state champions from Navasota in round 2.  In cold, rainy weather in Corsicana, only the Bulldogs seemed to enjoy themselves.  By limiting the eventual Class 3A Defensive Player of the Year, DL Jordan Wells, to only 1 or 2 tackles, the Bulldogs took a convincing 44-14 win.

6.  The 3rd-round opponent was a frequent Bulldog opponent in November, the Silsbee Tigers.  The Bulldogs beat them badly that day, 49-6 (though not as badly as in some future years).

7.  The regional championship game was aqainst West Orange-Stark on a cold and WINDY night in Beaumont.  The 28-14 Bulldog win wasn't decided until the 2nd half.  As CHS literally had a punt blown back behind the line of scrimmage in the 1st half, Coach Surratt decided to go for it on 4th and long from that same spot deep in the Bulldogs' end of the field in the 2nd half.  Senior QB Blake "Bogie" Bogenschutz used his great wheels to scramble for just enough yardage, setting the Bulldogs in motion for a long-scoring drive and a regional championship for the 5th time in the past 6 years. (Might this explain why Coach Surratt so seldom elects to punt?)

8.  La Grange came into the semifinal game undefeated, but in yet another night of miserable weather, CHS easily prevailed 51-22.  Bulldog fans got the opportunity to see a long touchdown run by a Leopards' freshman RB.  Since that night, there have been other opportunities to watch J.K. Dobbins on TV as he has run the ball for Ohio State and the Baltimore Ravens.

9. The state championship game, or "Bulldog Bowl", pitted two long-time rivals.  Kilgore and Carthage played before almost 18,000 fans in AT&T Stadium to determine which was the best 3A team in East Texas...and the entire state.  Being a one-dimensional team, Kilgore found itself in exactly the situation it wanted to avoid, trailing by 3 scores after 3 quarters. Although the determined Kilgore team scored twice in the 4th quarter, that wasn't enough.  CHS won its 4th state championship in the past 6 years, as the final score was 34-23.

10.  The Texas Sportswriters' Association named Coach Surratt as Co-Coach of the Year in Class 3A.  That group named 5 CHS Bulldogs as All-State, 4 of them First Team.  They were QB Bogenschutz (3-year starter who threw for over 4,000 yards and 57 touchdowns in his senior campaign; named the Co-Offensive Player of the Year in 3A; also named Offensive MVP in the 3A state championship game, in which he rushed for 100 yards to go along with his 185 yards passing; was voted team captain at UTSA as a redshirt freshman before his football career ended prematurely due to concussions); senior WR Terrian "Tee" Goree (also started in the secondary; scored 2 rushing touchdowns in the state championship game as Coach Surratt opened up his playbook for the season finale; was a medalist in the 400 meter dash at the State Track Meet in Austin; started at both North Texas and SFA during his college career); senior OL Griffin Bankhead (weighed nearly as much as the combined high-school weight of his two uncles, who were CHS teammates of this author); senior DL Mario McCain (defensive MVP in the state championship game; a 4-year starter, who started as a freshman for the 2010 state champions); OL Adrian Goodacre (a Second Team All-Stater, he played collegiately at the University of Louisianan at Lafayette).

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Upon further reflection, I believe the CHS lead after scoring against Whitehouse early in the third quarter was 39-21. Thus, Patrick Mahomes et al. scored the game’s final 42 points in handing the Bulldogs their only loss of the season.

This is my final answer.

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