Posted by : September 25, 2014| On :
By Erik Walsh
Monitor Sports Editor
EUSTACE–The Eustace Lady Bulldogs defeated the Malakoff Lady Tigers in five sets to claim their first victory in district play (1-2).
Eustace came out of the gate strong, winning their first two matches 25-10 and 25-23 to take the early lead two games to zero.
Malakoff fought back and won game three, 25-15 and a close game four, 25-23, before the Lady Bulldogs put the nail in the coffin and won game five, 15-6.
Abra Roberts led Eustace with seven aces and 24 assists; Kasey Lopez added 14 kills, and an assist, and Marshalla Padgett paced the team with three digs. Grace Holcombe added six aces, two kills, one assist and two digs; Taylor Peebles had six aces, 11kills; Makenzie Abbott had two aces and three kills; Michelle Gomez had seven kills and nine assists; and Ashley Purselley added one ace, one kill and five assists.
The Lady ’Dogs set their goals on a winning record when they face district opponent Frankston Sept. 26 at home.
Posted by : September 21, 2014| On :
By Erik Walsh
Monitor Sports Editor
EUSTACE–The Lady Bulldogs volleyball team dropped to 0-2 in district play after losing a close five game match to Mildred Sept. 16 in Eustace.
Eustace lost the first game 17-25, but came back to win the next two 26-24 and 25-18. The Lady ’Dogs put themselves in position to win the match, but Mildred squeezed out a game four victory 22-25. Midlred’s close win forced a fifth game, Eustace fell 9-15 and walked away with a loss.
The Lady Bulldogs return to action Sept. 23 when West Rusk comes to Eustace.
Taylor Peebles led Eustace with five aces while contributing four kills, one assist and one dig. Kasey Lopez was the team leader in kills with nine and added two aces. Marshalla Padgett led the Lady ’Dogs in blocks and digs with three apiece. Abra Roberts was the head of the pack in assists with 15, while adding four aces and one dig. Also contributing for Eustace was Ashley Purselley with four assists and one dig, Eva Barcenas with two digs, Grace Holcombe with two aces and three kills, Michelle Gomez with eight kills, one block and six assists, McKenzie Abbott with three kills, three aces and one dig and Whitney Boerner added one assist.
Head Coach Chuck Powers said the next three games for Eustace are crucial to the success of the season.
“Our upcoming games are must wins,” he said. “We need to find a way to win them. The games are all on our home court and if we don’t win, we will be too far behind to compete in district. But I know they can do it. District scores are very close and everyone is beating everybody. Even the zero win schools are very competitive in their losses.”
The Lady Bulldogs will need to be at their best to make the playoffs. Powers says the team is playing close, competitive games, but falling just a bit short.
“The game was a very good game, but we lost it,” he said. “It was hard fought, but we let it slip away at the end. We’ve been having trouble finishing games all year.”
Posted by : September 18, 2014| On :
By Darrell Johnston
The Monitor Corespondent
MABANK–In a showdown of two teams in search of their first victory, the Eustace Bulldogs reigned supreme over the Mabank Panthers. From the opening drive’s great defense, until the final second ticked off the clock, it was Eustace’s night.
Mabank got the ball first and had a quick three and out drive. This came after back-to-back sacks by James Crow and Zach Hughes, leading the way for the Bulldogs defense. The running attack of Eustace started with a bang on their opening drive. The duo of Lance Rogers and Keenan Hargest took over. A nice scamper by Hargest was good for 31 yards and set up an easy one-yard dive in the end zone, also by Hargest. Gannon Kirkhart added the extra point and Eustace had an early 7-0 lead, midway through the first quarter. More of the same on the next Mabank drive, another three and out. The defense shut down Panthers running back Clay Carson and also would benefit from a dropped pass by Dalton Reeder.
It looked as if the Panthers defense would prevail on the next drive, though. The Bulldogs took a gamble, going for it on fourth and two from their own 33-yard line. It worked out for them as Lance Rogers dashed up the middle for 11 yards, brought down by Colt Conway, probably saving a touchdown. On the very next play, Micah Stone bulldozed his way for a 44-yard gain. With just under two minutes left in the quarter, Rogers scored from four yards out to give the ’Dogs a 13-0 lead. The extra point was blocked as Mabank blew by the offensive line. The ensuing drive saw Mabank keep on with the running game, but getting nothing. Carson started with two runs of just a yard a piece. Then, they opened up the passing attack, led by quarterback Cody Thompson. He tossed a swing pass out to Carson that gained 11. He followed that up with connections of 13 and 10 yards, to Reeder and Peyton Lee, to finish the first quarter.
The second began with an unsuccessful run by Carson, then Thompson got taken down to the turf for a loss of six, a sack from Quentin Parks. Rogers dropped a would-be interception that set up a fourth and 16 for the hometown Panthers. On an incredible play, Thompson looked as if he would get sacked for a big loss, but instead got away and fired a 20-yard pass down the sideline, caught by Conway for a big first down. The Mabank faithful roared in approval at the great effort, which set up a five-yard touchdown for Carson. After the extra point, the Panthers had clawed their way back in the contest, trailing 13-7. The drive took thirteen plays and almost five minutes. Mabank needed its defense to step up in a big way, but the ground and pound style of the Bulldogs wore them down. They matched the previous drive, taking thirteen plays and ending with another run to pay dirt by Hargest, this was from six yards out. Hargest then plowed his way in the end zone again, for the two-point conversion. The score stood at 21-7. Mabank shot themselves in the foot on the next drive as Thompson’s pass was deflected into the arms of C.J. Daniels for an interception, a crucial turnover. This led to Hargest scoring his third touchdown of the first half, this one of the nine-yard variety. After a failed conversion, the half time score was 27-7 in favor of the Bulldogs.
The beginning of the second half started, looking like the Lance Rogers show. He ran for 62 yards on the opening drive, including a 48-yard touchdown sprint down the sideline that bamboozled the Panthers defense. Conway came in and blocked the kick from Kirkhart, but the Panthers were down, 33-7. On a cold and windy evening, the Mabank offense needed to warm up. The next drive, however, saw the good, the bad, and the ugly from the Panthers. Thompson completed five passes for fifty yards, with great blocks from Carson and Lee. Carson also had a nice run of 16 yards and a Mabank first down. But, the bad came in the form of two penalties, one for a false start, the other was for unsportsmanlike conduct. The latter proved to be the downfall of the drive and set up the ugly outcome. On fourth and goal, from the 2-yard line, on the seventeenth play, Carson got stopped for no gain. The Panthers took 6:05 off the clock and got nothing to show for it.
The fourth quarter began, already out of reach for the Panthers, as they trailed 33-7. But, that did not stop them from putting up a valiant effort. In fact, just 10 seconds into the quarter, they tricked the Bulldogs with a nice reverse run, handled by Reeder, for a 20-yard score. The added extra point would be the final point of the game for Mabank. The visiting Bulldogs would put 12 more points on the board, two rushing touchdowns by James East. The final would be 45-14, as the Bulldogs secured their first victory of the season. Eustace’s running game was relentless. They ran the ball 55 times for 419 yards and and seven touchdowns. Lance Rogers was the leading rusher, with 18 carries for 147 yards and two scores. This was the first time this year that Hargest had less than 200 yards rushing, but was still tremendous. He also ran 18 times, gaining 127 yards, with three trips to the end zone, his home away from home. East added seven touches for 61 yards and two touchdowns. Their defense was led by C.J. Daniels, who picked off two passes. As a unit, the Bulldogs had three sacks as well, pummeling the offensive line of the Panthers.
On the Mabank side, Thompson completed 12 of 23 passes for 128 yards. Reeder was the top rusher, with five attempts for 52 yards and a nice touchdown. He also added three receptions for 36 yards. Conway led all receivers with 53 yards on four catches. Nathan Henderson was the defensive specialist of the day, with key tackles and even a nice block at the line of scrimmage. Next week will be a tough challenge for the Bulldogs, as they face the Scurry-Rosser Wildcats, a team that was (12-1) last season. Also, the Mabank Panthers will look to avoid the sting from the Yellowjackets of Kemp, each still searching for their first win of the young season. What better way than to beat your rival? Last year when the two met, Mabank came out on top by a score of 24-17. Kemp has not forgotten and will be seeking revenge on their home turf.