PITTSBURG — Carthage’s Jimmy Gonzalez got the Bulldogs to overtime with a 23-yard field goal tying the score at 16 all at the end of regulation.
Tevin Pipkin put the icing on a 200-plus yard rushing performance with an eight-yard scoring run as the state-ranked Bulldogs upended Pittsburg 23-16 Friday night at Pirate Stadium in a nail-biting District 16-3A opener.
Pittsburg, playing without its coach Robert Manley, whose father passed away earlier this week, capitalized on a blocked punt and good field position to build a 9-7 lead in the first quarter. The lead changed hands twice more and the three-time defending Class 3A, Division II state champions found themselves trailing 16-13 with 13 seconds remaining in the third period after Jacorian Smith scored for the second time in the contest on a 1 yard run. Daniel Silva, who had kicked a 19-yard field goal earlier in the contest, added the PAT.
Carthage, who improves to 4-2 overall with the win (1-0 in district), struggled at times in the fourth quarter, suffering an illegal motion penalty, which nullified a touchdown with eight minutes to play. That was followed by a Pittsburg pick of a Blake Bogenschutz pass by Carl Leonard.
The Bulldog defense responded as Greg Graves recorded one of his two sacks in the contest on Pittsburg quarterback Brad Lewis. Carthage missed an opportunity a little later as a trick play ended with a Bogenschutz incompletion on fourth down.
Again, the Bulldog defense held, giving Carthage another shot at either tying or winning the contest in the final moments. This time they would not fail … sending the game to overtime. The big play of the drive was a 21-yard Bogenschutz completion to Pipkin, who finished the night with 215 yards and the game-winning touchdown.
The Bulldogs won the toss and elected to get the football first. Pipkin raced 17 yards on the first play of OT and scored on the next. Gonzalez added the extra point.
Pittsburg’s offense, which wound up with 165 yards of total offense, could not make a first down or score. The big play for Carthage this time on defense came from Graves again as he sacked Lewis for the second time in the game.
Carthage rushed for 278 yards and Bogenschutz completed 9 of 23 passes for 86 yards, giving the Dogs’ 364 total yards for the game. Bogenschutz, only a sophomore, suffered one interception, though.
Carthage’s Edward Pope, a TCU commit, had five receptions for 34 yards. Pipkin had three catches out of the backfield for 37 yards.
Pittsburg’s Jacorian Smith rushed for 63 yards on 20 carries and scored on runs of 9 and 1 yard.