CARTHAGE, Texas, Feb. 5, 2014 -- The Carthage High School football team has finished No. 57 nationally for the 2013 season. The announcement was made by MaxPreps, a California-based company that ranks more than 16,000 high school varsity football teams.
Once-beaten Carthage (15-1) toppled Kilgore, 34-23, on Dec. 20 to garner the Texas Class 3A Division I state championship. It was the school's first state title since 2010 and their fourth over the past six seasons. Carthage is one of 50 schools being honored on the ninth annual MaxPreps Tour of Champions presented by the Army National Guard.
"In partnership with the Army National Guard, MaxPreps is delighted to honor Carthage as one of fifty schools on the 2013 Football Tour of Champions," said Andy Beal, Founder and President. "We're proud to include Carthage into this elite group of teams in the country."
"It's an honor to be ranked nationally in the top one hundred and that's pretty special," said Carthage athletic director and head football coach Scott Surratt, who completed his seventh season.
The Bulldogs lone loss was a 63-39 whipping at the hands of Whitehouse on Sept. 23. But the team regrouped to set a team single-season scoring record with 721 points, averaging 45 per game.
Senior quarterback Blake Bogenschutz, who will move on to play for UT-San Antonio, completed 231-of-393 pass attempts for 4,003 yards and 57 touchdowns. He also ran for 446 yards and seven scores in Carthage's multiple set offense. Bogenshutz set a number of records along the way as his 4,003 yards and 57 touchdowns were both school single-season marks while his career numbers rank among the best in the state. His 9,577 yards places him 11th all time in the Lone Star state, his 117 touchdown passes ranks him fifth against all classifications and his 57 TDs this season is the fifth best single-season performance for Texas high school quarterbacks.
Terian Groee and O'Keerion Rutherford, a pair of seniors, were Bogenschutz' primary targets. Groee, who will play for North Texas in Denton, caught 89 passes for 1,744 yards and 28 TDs while Rutherford made 64 catches for 1,048 yards and 17 TDs. Senior tailback Tevin Pipkin was the team's leading rusher with 2,113 yards on 241 carries and 23 TDs.
Senior tackle Mario McCain was a force with 144 tackles including 25 for loss and added 12 quarterback sacks, caused a pair of fumbles and recovered one. Senior placekicker Jimmy Gonzalez connected on 8-of-9 field goals attempts including a school record 46 yards. He was also successful on 78-of-82 (.951) point after touchdown tries.
Texas Army National Guard Staff Sergeant Tommy Brown presented Coach Surratt and the team with the Army National Guard national ranking trophy during a pep rally Wednesday afternoon. The team also received a banner for their accomplishment.
"For over 375 years, the men and women of the National Guard have come to the aid of their neighbors during times of need," said Major Mark Burns. "As Citizen-Soldiers who serve part-time, we live and serve in more than 3,500 communities throughout the country. It is our privilege to honor and recognize nationally ranked football teams with the Army National Guard national ranking trophy which includes the Minuteman statue, a symbol of the National Guard."