(Orange, Texas)

Sports Headlines

December 6, 2013

Carthage fends off Mustangs, 28-14

BEAUMONT — Down 20-0 at the half, the West Orange-Stark Mustangs rallied back in the second half but couldn’t quite overcome costly mistakes as the Carthage Bulldogs went on to notch a 28-14 Class 3A Division I state quarterfinal victory at the Thomas Center Friday night.

The Mustangs (11-2) had trimmed the margin to 20-14 and looked for a possible go-ahead touchdown with 8:52 remaining but an interception in the end zone, the sixth of seven turnovers, proved too costly.

The Bulldogs (13-1) then closed out the game with a long touchdown drive, thanks to the running of tailback Tevin Pipkin.

Pipkin finished with 226 yards on 29 carries and scored two touchdowns.

“You just can’t beat a quality team like Carthage and turn the ball over that much,” said Mustang coach Cornel Thompson. “We had plenty of opportunities to win this game and the kids know that. One thing we can’t do is fault their effort. They really made a push there in the second half. I’m just so proud of the entire bunch. Many people didn’t believe we would reach this point but the kids always had confidence and knew they could do it. Four rounds in the playoffs for three straight years is a great accomplishment. We lost to the eventual state champion the last couple years so we’ll see how it turns out.”

The Bulldogs outgained the Mustangs 342-271 but WO-S defense made many key stoppages throughout the night to keep the team in it.

“Our defense played good in spots, especially keeping them out of the end zone there a few times in the first half,” said Thompson. “That Pipkin kid, behind that offensive line of theirs, they’re pretty darn tough when they get going downhill.”

Mustang quarterback Dillon Sterling-Cole completed 6-of-18 passes for 83 yards and was picked off three times. Chase Rutledge came in and completed 8-of-14 passes for 133 yards and he ran for 56 yards on 15 carries.

Mustang receiver Deionte Thompson had three catches for 64 yards while Dwain Boullard had three catches for 56 yards.

The Mustangs held Carthage quarterback Blake Bogenschultz to just 6-of-16 for 84 yards. Receiver O’Keeron Rutherford had four catches for 58 yards and a score.

Carthage sealed the game with a 15-play, 93-yard drive with Pipkin capping it with a three-yard bolt off left tackle with 1:34 remaining.

On the gutsiest call of the night, the Bulldogs went for it on fourth-and-12 from their own 17 and Bogenschultz kept the drive alive with a 17-yard gallop to the 34. Pipkin carried eight times for 73 yards on the march, including a 26-yard gainer to the WO-S 5. Bogenschultz connected with Rutherford on the two-point conversion pass.

“I thought we had a great chance and then their quarterback got loose on that big fourth-down play,” said Thompson. “Give them credit, that was a gutsy call.”

The Mustangs drove from their own 7 all the way down to the Bulldog 12 as Rutledge passed for 47 yards on the drive but he got picked off in the end zone by Terian Goree with 8:50 remaining.

WO-S pulled to within 20-14 with 3:17 left in the third as Rutledge led the Mustangs on a eight-play, 80-yard scoring drive.

Rutledge completed four passes for 81 yards, including a critical 54-yard gainer on a middle screen to Deionte Thompson that went to the Carthage 21. On the next play, Rutledge hooked up with a Caleb Collins on a 16-yard dart to the 1. And Rutledge capped it with a one-yard sneak.

On the previous series, Carthage looked like they were moving in for a score but Pipkin fumbled the ball going into the end zone on an 11-yard run and it was recovered by Tre Spencer in the end zone with 7:02 in the third.

The Mustangs opened up the second half with some fireworks when senior Thomarcus Fontenot brought back the opening kickoff 98 yards for the score. He caught the ball along the right side, cut back across the middle and finished it down the right sideline. Kicker Jack Dallas booted the extra-point as the Mustangs trailed 20-7 with 11:44 left in the third.

On the ensuing kickoff, the Mustangs’ Grant LaPoint-Teate fell on the loose ball as the tricky wind took over and WO-S had the ball at the Carthage 38. However, three plays later Sterling-Cole was picked off by Keldrean Strong at the Bulldog 27 and he returned it 10 yards as the Bulldogs took over.

Four costly turnovers hampered the Mustangs in the first half. The Mustang defense stood tall, limiting the Bulldogs to two field goals and another stop in the red zone in the first 24 minutes but Carthage still went into the locker room with a 20-0 cushion at the half.

The Bulldogs navigated 69 yards in six plays to go up 7-0 on the first series of the game.

Bogenschultz completed two passes to Rutherford that went for 34 yards of it and Pipkin eventually capped it off with a 31-yard touchdown scamper off left tackle with 9:43 left in the first quarter.

On the Mustangs’ first series, Sterling-Cole got picked off by Bulldog defensive back Trevor Cooper at the Mustang 16 with 8:48 in the first.

The Mustang defense held firm and the Bulldogs settled for a 35-yard field goal by kicker Jimmy Gonzalez with 7:16 in the first.

WO-S turned it over again on their next series as back Chase Rutledge fumbled it over to Carthage’s Tra’Kareon Leary at the Mustang 32 with 7:11 in the first.

Once again, the Mustang defense stood tall and held back the Bulldogs. However, Gonzalez showed his leg again, booting a 46-yard field goal with 5:15 in the first.

The Bulldogs drove from their own 30 all the way down to the Mustang 10 but Bogenschultz and Carthage were stopped by the Mustangs on a fourth-and-5 with an incomplete pass down the right side of the end zone with 4:51 in the half.

Carthage put together a 10-play, 68-yard touchdown drive to go up 20-0. Pipkin carried seven times for 33 yards and Bogenschultz finished it off with a 10-yard touchdown pass to O’Keeron Rutherford with 0:20 left in the half.

The Mustangs made a late threat as Sterling-Cole connected with receiver Dwain Boullard on gains of 22 and 24 on back-to-back passes to get down to the Bulldog 17. However, on the last play of the half, Sterling-Cole got picked off by Terian Goree in the end zone.

The Bulldogs outgained the Mustangs 216-91 in the first half. Pipkin darted for 128 yards on 18 carries. Bogenschultz was 6-of-13 for 84 yards with Rutherford hauling in four receptions for 58 yards.

Sterling-Cole was 6-of-17 for 83 yards with Boullard catching two passes for 46 yards.

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