LUFKIN — Carthage defeated Palestine 30-27 in the bi-district round of the Class 3A Division I playoffs and staved off a fourth-quarter comeback by the Wildcats at Abe Martin Stadium on Friday.
Tevin Pipkin led the Bulldogs with 171 yards rushing on 29 carries. Blake Bogenschutz completed 12 of 23 passes for 139 yards. Five of those passes went to Tee Goree for 32 yards.
Gee Clark led Palestine through the air with 234 yards on 16 completions. Paul Barksdale caught five passes for 75 yards.
The fourth quarter began with Carthage at the Wildcats 21 and after a pass inference call against Palestine, Carthage was poised to extend its lead. But on third-and-goal from the 2, the Wildcats intercepted a pass to keep it 30-20.
After the turnover, the two teams traded punts and Palestine was able to put together a seven-play scoring drive. Clark hit Jordan Anthony for a 16-yard touchdown to draw the Wildcats within three with 4:13 to play.
To makes things worse for the Bulldogs, they fumbled their next offensive snap and gave Palestine the ball 39 yards from pay dirt. The Wildcats, however, lost 5 yards on first down and followed it up with a false start. Then after a 14-yard pass to Barksdale, Clark was sacked on third-and-6 by D.K Callaway for a 13-yard loss.
Clark managed to find Jadarius Beasley over the middle on fourth-and-19, but Beasley was tackled 3-yards short of the first down to turn the ball over to Carthage.
The Bulldogs then ran out the clock.
Carthage received the ball to open the contest and eventually downed the Wildcats at their own 7 with a punt. Palestine, however, fumbled the snap on their first play and the Bulldogs' D'Vodney Brooks recovered the ball in the end zone for the game's first score.
The Wildcats faced a fourth-and-two on their next possession from their own 31 and rolled the dice for a first down. But a fumbled snap resulted in a four yard loss and a turnover on downs.
Carthage took over from the 27 and in four plays scored on a 12-yard pass to Kolby Blissett from Bogenschutz.
The Bulldogs forced Palestine to punt on the ensuing possession and steadily moved the chains and found themselves with first and goal from the 8. But after a 6-yard run by Pipkin, Carthage stalled and fumbled the snap on fourth-and-goal from inside the 1.
The Wildcats recovered ball, but on their second play were called for a hold in the end zone, which resulted in a safety.
Palestine, however, caught another break on the Bulldogs' next possession. The snap on Carthage's punt attempt sailed over the head of Jimmy Gonzalez who fell on the ball at the Bulldogs 24.
The Wildcats took advantage this time scored on a 1-yard run by Jarrell Owens. The 2-point conversion failed and left Palestine behind 16-6 with 6:34 left in the second quarter.
But the Bulldogs kept the door open for Palestine by fumbling the kickoff and setting the Wildcats up at the 27. An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty moved Palestine to the 13, but on fourth-and-1 from the 4, the Wildcats fumbled the ball into the end zone for a touchback for the Bulldogs.
Carthage, still leading 16-6, took over with five minutes to play in the second half and managed to eat four minutes with an 11-play drive that ended with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Goree from Bogenschutz.
But once again the Wildcats refused to go away and in three plays scored on an 18-yard pass from Clark to Sheldon Watson to make the score 23-13 at halftime.
The two teams traded scores in the third quarter, a 7-yard run by Isaiah Golden for Carthage and a 42-yard pass to Barksdale for Palestine, to set the game up for the final quarter.
Daingerfield 58, Eustace 0
BULLARD —Troy Stuard returned the opening kickoff 72 yards for a score, setting the tone for Daingerfield's 58-0 victory against Eustace in the Class 2A Division I bi-district playoffs Friday night at Herrington Stadium.
The Tigers also scored on special teams in the second quarter, this time a 32-yard Calvin Bryant punt return.
Keris Alexander finished 8 of 10 for 163 yards and two touchdowns for Daingerfield (8-3), which is set to meet Callisburg (9-1) in the area round at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Mesquite Memorial Stadium.
Adam Carson finished with 23 carries for 101 yards to lead Eustace, which completed the season 5-6.
Edgewood 75, Tom Bean 21
PRINCETON —Edgewood scored early and often to dismantle Tom Bean 75-21 in a Class 2A Division II bi-district playoff Friday night at Princeton High School's Jackie Hendrix Stadium.
The Bulldogs raced out to a 35-7 lead in the first quarter en route to finishing the night with almost 700 total yards, 608 yards coming on the ground.
The rushing output was led by Carlos Bolton and Jacob Sharff, who stepped off 284 yards and four touchdowns and 180 yards and three scores, respectively, on only eight combined attempts.
Edgewood (10-1) advances to meet Nocona (10-0) in the area round, set for 6 p.m. Friday at Lewisville's Max Goldsmith Stadium.
Tom Bean finished the season 5-6.
White Oak 52, Anahuac 14
DIBOLL — The White Oak Roughnecks dispatched the Anahuac Panthers 52-14 in their first playoff win since 1998.
White Oak improved to 9-2 and will meet Grandview next week in an area playoff.
The Roughnecks owned the Panthers in the first half, scoring four times in the first quarter.
Scoring was shared equally by everyone on the Roughnecks offense. Hunter Owens ran 12 times for 107 yards and two TDs. Dylan Gale passed for two touchdowns and ran for another, throwing for 139 yards. Jansen McCurdy caught three passes for 143 yards and two touchdowns to go along with a kickoff return for a score. Darion Barr also scored one touchdown and a two-point conversion plus gained 74 yards on eight carries.
Tanner Sharp kicked six of six PATs.
Leverett's Chapel 50, Apple Springs 46
CUSHING — The Leverett's Chapel Lions defeated the Apple Springs Eagles 50-46 on Friday in a six-man bi-district playoff.
The Lions (9-2) will play Abbott next Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Scurry-Rosser. Abbott knocked Leverett's Chapel out of the playoffs last year.
Lions quarterback Clay White rushed for 25 times for 260 yards. White had TDs from the 22, 40, 27 and 32 yards. White was 7 of 14 for 92 yards passing. He threw three touchdown passes: to Brady George from the 3, Paco Chavez from the 24 and Jessie Harris from the 37.
Leading defensive players for the Lions were Felipe Amaro with five assisted tackles and one sack, Mark Overman with six unassisted tackles, ten assisted and two sacks and Colby Shaw with two unassisted tackles, six assisted tackles and one sack.
The Lions had 363 total yards while holding the Eagles to 281. Leverett's Chapel rushed for 271 yards while Apple Springs had 179 yards on the ground.
For the Eagles, Josh Suggs ran 31 times for 154 yards and five touchdowns. Julian Davis scored on his only carrier from 62 yards out.