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Adam Cervenka @acerv022
September 2, 2016
 

On Friday night the #9 Carthage Bulldogs will visit the #25 Liberty-Eylau Leopards in a early season 4A Top 25 matchup. The Leopards are coming off a tough game in which they lost to the #19 Gilmer Buckeyes in a shootout 61-55.

Between quarterbacks Decorian Phillips and Isaiah Cross, the Leopard’s passing attack struggled, throwing for 96 yards, three interceptions and just one touchdown. Though the passing game didn’t thrive, the running game shined for Liberty-Eylau. Running backs Kevin Florence, rushed for 171 yards, and Kameron Levingston, rushed for 119, led a Leopard rushing attack that was able to total 385 yards and seven touchdowns on 49 carries. Though they had a phenomenal game on the ground, Liberty-Eylau inability to produce a decent passing offense could hurt them against the strong front seven of Carthage.

Carthage is bringing back a lot of experience up the middle in the form of senior defensive end Tre Gatlin and junior linebacker Mykel Gates. If Carthage is able to bottle up the Liberty-Eylau running game, they also have experience in the secondary where they have returning junior Mekhi Colbert and senior Nic Moore at the cornerback positions. Though their game got cancelled in the first half last week, the Bulldogs showed signs of good play on the offensive side.

While the running game was held in check, quarterback Kason Davis went 8-9 for 148 yards and a touchdown. Carthage, having only played a quarter and a half last week, is sure to be fresh for this upcoming matchup; however, they will have to travel Texarkana where the Leopard’s haven’t lost since 2014. This game will certainly be a competitive one, but if Liberty-Eylau wants a shot at beating this top 10 team, they will have to be more consistent both on defense and through the air.

*Rankings are based on TexasHSFootball Power Rankings