Bulldogs now 4-3, Yellowjackets fall to 0-7
By Erik Walsh
Monitor Sports Editor
EUSTACE–The Eustace Bulldogs helped make it a happy homecoming with a 34-6 victory over the visiting Kemp Yellowjackets Oct. 17.
The win lifted Eustace’s overall record back to the winning side (4-3 overall, 1-1 in District 11-3A) and kept Kemp winless (0-7, 0-2).
The win came the same way the majority of good Eustace games go: with a strong running attack and savvy clock management. Two Bulldogs, Keenan Hargest and Quentin Parks, rushed for more than 100 yards in the victory.
Eustace got an early score from a 37-yard run by Hargest to go up 7-0 in the first quarter (PAT good).
The Bulldog’s defense was too much for Kemp, suffocating their run and not giving any openings to the pass.
Eustace kept eating up the clock and after a long offensive drive increased the score to 14-0 with a 1-yard touchdown run by Zach Hughes (PAT good).
The second quarter included two more Eustace touchdowns and a slew of Kemp penalties.
Parks got in on the scoring for Eustace with a 5-yard run (PAT good) midway through the second quarter for a score of 21-0.
Kemp nearly got on the scoreboard twice in the second quarter, but had two touchdowns thwarted by penalties. The first came on an interception by Calbert Hukill. Hukill picked off a Eustace pass on the 50-yard line and returned it for a score. A chop block penalty nullified the touchdown.
Just a few snaps later, the ’Jackets scored a touchdown, but that too was called back for a receiver being past the line of scrimmage when Hukill attempted a pass to a wide open receiver. Despite their near touchdowns, Kemp was unable to score and the game remained 21-0.
The Bulldogs threw a rare touchdown pass in the final moments of the second quarter to bring the homecoming crowd to their feet and roar with delight. The big pass was made possible after a Kemp pass interference call moved the chains to the Kemp 35-yard line with just 12 seconds remaining until halftime. Eustace quarterback James East avoided the Kemp pass rush and launched the ball deep, finding receiver Colton Summerall for the 35-yard touchdown (PAT no good). Eustace led 27-0 after the big pass before halftime.
East was filling in for injured Bulldogs quarterback Brandon Morgan, who was out with a concussion. Morgan is expected back to play Oct. 24 against Westwood.
Scoring slowed down significantly after halftime, as the Bulldogs slowed down the game and chewed up the clock. Eustace scored their final touchdown of the night on their first possession of the second half with a 23-yard run by Parks.
Kemp prevented the shutout when Hukill connected with Elijah Gardner for a 60-yard bomb with 2:15 remaining in the third quarter for the game’s final points.
Eustace finished the game with 506 yards of total offense, including 170 rushing yards from Hargest, 105 from Parks and 73 from Rogers. East was one-for-four passing with 35 yards.
Kemp finished the night with 163 yards of total offense with Braxton Watters leading the way with 43 yards rushing on 10 attempts. Gardner had two catches for 83 yards while Hukill was 4-of-16 passing for 100 yards.
Kemp will host their homecoming celebrations tomorrow when the visiting Elkhart Elks come to town. Eustace travels to Westwood.
Eustace Head Coach Heath Ragle gave credit to the offensive line for the strong running performance.
“Our offensive line was excellent,” he said. “All the backs ran extremely well when they were called on. Hargest had a great first half and Rogers and Parks also ran well. Kemp played hard and competed.”
Kemp Head Coach Bandon Hankins has his sights set on the Homecoming game against Elkhart. “We need to stay focused and prepare for Elkhart,” Hankins said. “We are going to be ready for them.”