BEAUMONT - Carthage moved one step closer to another state football championship Friday and knocked a familiar foe from the ranks of the unbeaten with a 55-48 victory over Navasota, handing the Rattlers their second loss in the teams' last two meetings.
The Bulldogs moved into the 4A quarterfinals to play Silsbee next weekend at a site, date and time to be announced later.
Navasota, the defending state champs, had won 28 in a row since Carthage defeated the Rattlers 44-14 back in the second round of the playoffs in 2013.
"We made some mistakes, but when you do that you just have to keep playing," head coach Scott Surratt said. "We got after them unbelievably hard in the second half. We made a mistake or two, but we are rolling right now and we don't care who we play next because we are still alive and that's all that matters."
Keontay Ingram led the rushing attack for the Dogs with 198 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries. One of the scores was an 83-yard sprint that tied the game late in the third quarter. Ravodney Hardy rushed for 99 yards on 18 carries and a touchdown.
Quarterback Jarod Blissett completed 20 of 32 passes for 243 yards and three touchdowns.
Baylor verbal pledge Tren'Davian Dickson, one of the top receivers in the nation, was held to two catches in the first half, but the senior reminded fans he was still in the game with a 94-yard touchdown catch of the first play of the third quarter and Navasota led 41-27.
Then Carthage reeled off 28 unanswered points and took the lead for good on the first play of the fourth quarter when Hardy scored from the six to give his school a 48-41 lead.
The other Bulldog score came on a 6-yard pass from Blissett to Jarod McLin as Carthage assumed a 55-41 advantage with 4:51 left on the clock.
Navasota finally put an end to the Carthage scoring spree with a 6-yard run by Keyondrick Philio that capped a 68-yard drive.
The Rattlers later marched to the Carthage 10 before losing the ball on a fumble with 1:02 remaining, and the Bulldogs were able to run out the clock.
Blissett got Carthage on the scoreboard first with a 1-yard dive that ended a 7-play, 77-yard drive to open the game.
Navasota answered to two touchdowns to go in front 14-7 with 2:41 remaining in the first quarter.
The Bulldogs then found the end zone with a 19-yard TD pass from Blissett to Roderick Calloway with 10:11 to go in the second period. The conversion kicked sailed wide right, however, and the Rattlers led 14-13.
On their next offensive possession, the Dogs drove 62 yards to reclaim the lead on a 9-yard pass from Blissett to Hunter Townsend. The PAT again was no good yet Carthage was on top 19-14 with 7:08 remaining before halftime.
The Rattlers then went back in front when Deelore Richardson intercepted a Blissett aerial and returned it for a touchdown and a 20-19 advantage.
Navasota then recovered a short kick-off at the Carthage 33 and scored in four plays to increase the lead to 27-19.
After turning the Bulldogs away on a fourth-and-10 situation at the Carthage 31-yard line, the defending state champs scored on their fifth play from scrimmage and took a 34-19 lead.
Carthage quickly answered following the ensuing kickoff, driving 67 yards for another touchdown to cut the deficit to 34-27 at intermission.