CARTHAGE — Carthage sophomore quarterback Blake Bogenschutz enjoyed a night to remember, leading the Bulldogs to a 42-21 upset of third-ranked Henderson on Friday night at Bulldog Stadium in this district showdown between the two long-time rivals.

Two high school football heavyweights battled it out as the three-time defending Class 3A Division II champion Bulldogs knocked off the defending 3A Division I state champions, snapping the Lions’ impressive 13-game winning streak.

Bogenschutz threw for 253 yards and two touchdowns and was on the receiving end of a Tasker Shannon scoring pass to lead the way as Carthage improved to 2-1 in district play (5-3 overall). 

The loss was the Lions’ first of the season (7-1) and drops Henderson to 2-1 against district foes.

Henderson’s last loss was against Gilmer in Week 9 of last season. The Lions had won 13 straight games going into Friday’s matchup against the Bulldogs, who were coming off a 39-36 loss to Gilmer the week before. 

Carthage rolled up 511 yards of total offense, getting 232 of it on the ground. 

Another sophomore, Tevin Pipkin, led all rushers with 236 yards, including a 71-yard touchdown run to open the scoring.

The Bulldogs’ Trent Jackson added scoring runs of 2 and 3 yards for Carthage.

Henderson quarterback Del Barnes threw for two touchdowns, completing 15 of 21 passes for 206 yards. His scoring strikes covered 47 and 28 yards, both to wide receiver Patrick Brown. Jay O’Neal, who came into the contest with 611 yards rushing, added 66 on 14 carries and scored the Lions’ other touchdown on a 7-yard run.

The Lions, who visit Gilmer on Friday, finished with 309 yards of total offense.

Trailing 28-14 at halftime, Henderson took the second half kickoff and drove 62 yards with the scoring play coming on a 28-yard Barnes to Patrick Brown completion with 9:55 remaining in the third quarter to pull to within seven, 28-21.

The Lions wouldn’t get any closer, though, as the Carthage defense rose up and made the big plays and the Bulldogs added a couple of touchdowns down the stretch on a 46-yard Bogenschutz completion to Edward Pope and a 15-yard scoring pass from Bogenschutz to Clint Cage to wrap up the scoring with 6:33 left in the contest.

The Lions won the coin toss and deferred to the second half. Carthage didn’t waste the opportunity to get on the scoreboard as Pipkin, one of the two sophomores starting in the Bulldog backfield, broke free on a 71-yard touchdown run with 10:10 left in the first quarter. The scoring play, which wrapped up a four-play, 92-yard drive, came on an audible call from Bogenschutz. 

Jimmy Gonzales added the extra point and Carthage led 7-0.

Henderson answered on its first drive of the evening with a tying touchdown coming on a 7-yard O’Neal run with 7:04 left in the opening period. William Mann’s PAT knotted the score. The Lions, though, were helped on the 10-play, 74-yard march by a pass interference call on the Bulldogs.

Carthage scored its second touchdown on its second possession of the contest with Jackson going in from 2 yards out with 3:25 remaining in the first quarter. 

The scoring play finished off  an 8-play, 71-yard march, giving the Bulldogs a 14-7 lead after Gonzales converted his second of six extra points in the game.

The Bulldogs, who improved to  20-1 at Bulldog Stadium with this victory, after losing earlier this year against No. 1 Chapel Hill, extended their lead against Henderson to two touchdowns, scoring on their third possession. 

Carthage used a little trickery on a 26-yard reverse pass completion from Tasker Shannon to Bogenschutz for the touchdown.

Henderson responded, though, quickly in three plays, marching 71 yards.

The scoring play was a 47-yard Barnes completion to Patrick Brown with 8:37 left in the second quarter, trimming the deficit to seven, 21-14.

Carthage would score again using its jumbo package with Jackson scoring his second TD of the night on a 3-yard run with just over two minutes remaining in the first half.

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