VAN — Carthage head coach Scott Surratt had talked earlier in the week about how running back Mason Courtney brought a toughness to the Bulldogs.
Friday night against the Van Vandals, the Bulldogs needed a big helping of the junior.
Courtney accounted for 227 yards of offense and scored twice as the Bulldogs had their hands full in getting a 21-7 win over the Vandals at Van Memorial Stadium.
The No. 2 Bulldogs are now 6-0 for the season and 1-0 in District 10-4A Division I. They will host Chapel Hill next Friday. The Vandals are now 4-2 for the season and 0-1 in district.
The Bulldogs had the ball four times in the first half, but only got the ball into the end zone on one of them.
The first ended in an interception as Kia Horton’s deep pass into the wind was picked off.
The Vandals didn’t move the ball, but did take advantage of the wind, with their punt rolling dead at the 5.
The Bulldogs seemed to be bogged down until Horton hit Courtney with a screen pass and several blockers, taking it 58 yards to the 5.
Courtney took it in from there on the next play to give Carthage the 7-0 lead and the score remained that way until the third quarter.
The Vandals took advantage of a second interception of Horton as Hunter Hutchins picked off the pass and returned it to the 17.
Marcus Orozco went over from the 2 to tie it with 5:43 left in the third quarter.
A 56-yard pass to Kelvontay Dixon got the Bulldogs going late in the third and Horton hooked up with Craig McNew for a 10-yard touchdown and a 14-7 lead.
With only a seven-point lead and heading into the final quarter, the Bulldogs got one more shot of Courtney.6
He raced 52 yards up the middle for his second score and the final lead for the Bulldogs.
Courtney finished with 135 yards rushing and caught three passes for 92 yards.
The Bulldogs had 377 yards of total offense — 166 rushing and 211 passing. The Vandals had just 124 yards of total offense with 54 on the ground and 70 through the air.