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 Lake Info

Normal Lake Level is 322.00 feet above Mean Sea Level.
Current level for Cedar Creek Lake is: 320.68
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  Bulldogs head to Ferris Friday
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer

EUSTACE–A strong start and improvement on defense – along with a homecoming win – were definite high points of Friday’s game against Quitman for Eustace Bulldogs head coach Doug Wendel.
“We started off hot, marching downfield and scoring on our first two possessions and forcing three-and-outs on their first three possessions,” Wendel said Monday.
“I was a bit disappointed that we didn’t close out (the third possession) at the end of the first quarter, and go up by three scores,” he added.
In addition to the Bulldogs’ usual strong running game, Friday’s win included a pass reception for a touchdown, courtesy of a halfback throw from Trevan Johnson to senior Zach Keeling.
The game was the first for Keeling since suffering a broken rib early on. “He (Keeling) hasn’t been able to practice or scrimmage, and he was a little rusty,” Wendel said.
“I was disappointed in our performance during the third quarter,” Wendel added. “We had three turnovers, two on special teams, and three unacceptable penalties.”
Despite that, Wendel said he was pleased with the Bulldogs’ tenacity, coming from behind with a game-winning drive in the last six minutes of the contest, which included converting a third down and converting a fourth down.
“After that, Trevan took over on defense (recovering a fumble and returning it for an insurance touchdown),” Wendel added. “The ball was on the ground because of a monster hit by (defensive end) Ryan Compton.”
Now 2-2 on the season, the Bulldogs will go on the road Friday for their final non-district contest, as they travel to Ferris for a matchup against a former district foe.
With nine seniors returning on offense, the Yellowjackets’ Wing-T strongly resembles Eustace’s veer option, and their sophomore quarterback, Ryan Kidwell, “looks a lot like (Bulldog QB) Chris Compton did last year,” Wendel said.
“They’re scoring a lot of points, but they’re giving up lots of points,” he added. “Their last two games have gone down to the last minute, and of course, all four of ours have, so we can expect a close game.”
Wendel is a coach who wants to win every game, even if it’s the last pre-district contest and essentially meaningless, “but we’re not as focused on Ferris as we are on getting better,” he said.
Next week (Oct. 3) is an open date, so the Bulldogs have two weeks to prepare for the District 14-3A opener on the road against Mineola Oct. 10.
“The best part is that we’re healthier now than at any time since we put pads on back in August,” Wendel said. “We know we’ve got to shore up a lot of things before we start district.”
Special teams have been a weakness for the Bulldogs, and will be a focus in practice during the next couple of weeks.
“I just want us to perfect what we do,” Wendel said. “With a healthy team, we’re going to be a tough outing in district. Teams will not be able to take us lightly.”

Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Eustace Bulldogs James Harris (80) and Colton Knight (88) sack Quitman
Bulldogs quarterback Danny Thigpen for a big loss during Eustace's 41-32
homecoming victory Friday.

Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Eustace High School homecoming queen nominees, duchesses and escorts pose
for pictures following pre-game crowning ceremonies Friday. Pictured are
(from left) duchess Ariel Gilbert (escorted by dad Scotty Gilbert), duchess Molly
Stanley (dad Terry Michell), duchess Haley Cravey (dad Shannon Cravey), queen
nominee Jessica McConathy (dad Mike McConathy Jr.), homecoming queen Brandi
Hilliard (dad Dan Hilliard), queen nominee Felischa Baczkiewicz (dads Jeff Leech,
left, and Anthony Baczkiewicz), queen nominee Victoria Sanchez (dad Jeff Sanchez)
and duchess Rachael Sandell (grandfather Jr. Ely).

Panthers taking week off after loss
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer

MABANK–Heading into a bye week, the Mabank Panthers will be looking to fine-tune before the District 15-4A opener at home against Terrell next Friday, Oct. 3.
The Panthers go into this Friday’s bye at 2-2, following last Friday night’s hard-fought 17-16 loss to the hosting Van Vandals.
“It was a good game,” Panther head coach Jimmy Cantrell said Monday. “They’re a good football team – they’re physical. It was a good test for us.
“The only thing we could have asked for would have been to win the game,” he added.
The Panthers certainly had their chances, in every phase of the game, Cantrell pointed out.
“The kids played hard. We just had too many missed opportunities, five of them,” he said. “Any one of the five would have tied the game, and any one of four would have won it.”
Those opportunities included a dropped sure touchdown pass, but the worst was fumbling the ball at the Van 1.
“That was a killer,” Cantrell said. “We missed an extra point and we missed a field goal (which was inches short).”
Defensively, the Panthers allowed the Vandals to convert a fourth-and-four situation on the game-winning 11-play field goal drive.
“That was a huge, huge play,” Cantrell said. “Of course, both teams had mistakes and turnovers.”
Both the Vandals (four fumbles) and the Panthers (two fumbles, two picks) suffered turnovers, as momentum swung back and forth several times during the exciting contest.
“They shut our passing game down pretty good, so Kolton (Browning) ran the ball on them (30 carries, 155 yards, one TD),” Cantrell said. “We’re still looking for a running back.”
Terrell begins district play Friday night at home against West Mesquite, and the Panther coaches will take advantage of the bye week to see both future foes in person.
“Terrell is 1-3, and they lost to Bishop Lynch (23-0) Friday night,” Cantrell said. “They’re have talent, and they’re going to have (more) speed. We’re going to have to take care of business.”
Even with last week’s loss, Cantrell remained upbeat – after all, the Panthers are pretty healthy, relatively speaking, and they’ve had a pretty good pre-district run.
“We’re eight points away from 4-0,” Cantrell pointed out. “We had one come-from-behind victory, we had one game where we didn’t play well (a 21-14 loss to Athens), and one where we played well and lost.
“We’ve got to develop a running game, and we will be working on it. We’re doing everything we can to find a solution,” he added.

’Jackets looking to build on success against Palmer
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer

KEMP–After seeing a number of missed opportunities in the first three games, the Kemp Yellowjackets finally put together four good quarters Friday night, and the result was their first victory of the season.
The key to Friday’s 24-20 win over the visiting Rains Wildcats was the improving play of the offensive line, Kemp head coach Greg Anderson pointed out.
“Any time you have two guys both rush for over 100 yards, you know the offensive line is having a good game,” Anderson said.
That line includes junior right tackle Terrence Sistrunk, freshman right guard James Forrest, senior center Daylon Olivarez, senior left guard Trent King, senior left tackle Chaz White and sophomore tight end Ryan Emfinger.
Senior Josh Carr (23 carries, 110 yards, two TDs) pounded the ball up the middle against the Wildcats, and senior Korey Henderson (16 carries, 112 yards) repeatedly gashed them on counter traps.
“(Carr) and Korey fed off each other,” Anderson said.
The Wildcat defense would adjust to stop the counter, and Carr would bust free up the middle. When they adjusted to stop Carr, the counter was open, and that went on all night, Anderson explained.
“I thought (junior quarterback) Jeremy Quick did a good job managing the game,” he added. “What most folks don’t know is that Jeremy was sicker than a dog before the game. I wasn’t sure he would even play.”
The key play in the contest came on the final Kemp drive. With time running out, the ’Jackets converted on fourth-and-22 when Quick threw deep to senior James Trim for a 32-yard gain and a first down inside the Wildcat 10.
That kind of play can be a tipping point for a football team during a season.
“Everything worked. We had great protection, and Jeremy put the ball where it had to be,” Anderson said. “James went up between two defenders. He took a shot, but he held on.”
At that point, everybody in the stadium – including the Wildcats – knew the ’Jackets were going to score and take the lead, and the Wildcats began using their time outs to save a little clock for themselves, Anderson said.
“Our efforts were geared toward putting the ball in before the clock actually ran out,” he added.
The ’Jackets always finish practice with a two-minute drill, and Anderson said he always tells them that situation may be the difference in winning or losing a game.
“I’m really pleased with the composure of the kids,” Anderson said. “They never panicked, even when we were out of time outs. That’s one of the things that makes you feel good as a coach.”
Carr then sealed the victory when he recorded back-to-back sacks for 17 yards in losses, eliminating any chance the Wildcats might pull off a big play to win the game.
“That was certainly enjoyable to watch,” Anderson said. “We were in a prevent defense, and turned Josh loose to rush the passer.”
Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine and the U.S. Armed Forces notified Anderson Monday that the ’Jackets were named the Class 3A “Army Strong Team of the Week” for their come-from-behind win against Rains.
Anderson said he hoped the ’Jackets would build on that success in Kemp’s final non-district game Friday night, when they travel to Palmer to face the Bulldogs.
“I believe they (Palmer) are 1-2,” he said. “They were open last Friday, and were here in the stands watching us.”
A pre-season pick to finish second in District 15-2A behind Grandview, Palmer defeated Italy and lost to Hico and Lone Oak, “so they’ve played some pretty good competition,” Anderson said.
“They’ve got three really good skill kids, two running backs (Allen Hardin and Kyle Toumbs) and a wide receiver (T.J. Barnes). They all have decent speed, so we’ll have to contain those three kids,” he said.
“To me, this is a good way to end non-district,” Anderson added. “We’ll be seeing somebody with quality skill kids that we’ll have to defend.”
Defensively, the Bulldogs use a 4-2-5 scheme, and stunt linebackers on just about every play.
“That’s pretty risky, but they try to put pressure on the offense and force them into mistakes,” Anderson said.
“They have two guys on their offensive and defensive lines who are bigger than anybody else we’ll see (Chris Rhodes at 6-3, 264, and Brock Reeves at 6-3, 271). They run behind them, and flop them to either side,” Anderson added.
Going into Friday’s road trip and next week’s open date, the ’Jackets expect to get back some players who have been banged up, which should help when Kemp opens District 14-3A play on the road Oct. 10 against perhaps the district’s best team, the unbeaten Van Vandals.
“Our thing this week will be to try and build on last Friday night, and continue to get better up front and defensively,” Anderson said.

Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Kemp Yellowjackets Josh Carr (mostly hidden), Brandon Smith (35) and John
Kilgore (49) sack Rains Wildcat quarterback Taylor Marshall for a big loss
early in the third quarter of Kemp's come-from-behind 24-20 victory Friday.

Monitor Photo/Pearl Cantrell
Kemp High School football sweetheart nominees and their escorts meet the crowd
during pre-game ceremonies Friday. Pictured are (from left) sweethearts and escorts
Beth Chalmers (Mike Morgan and player James Trim), Heather Kinney (Scott Kinney
and player Jeremy Quick), Michelle Ritterbach (Jon Ritterbach and player Korey
Henderson) and Football Sweetheart Brianna Powell (Curtis Powell and player Josh Carr).

Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Spencer Smith (left) and Brittany Roberts were named
as the Kemp High School Band Beau and Sweetheart
during halftime of the Kemp vs. Rains football game Friday.



Upcoming games


Sept. 26
MHS open
KHS @ Palmer
EHS @ Ferris

Oct. 3
MHS vs Terrell*
KHS open
EHS open

*district contest

Sept. 26
MHS bye
KHS @ Mineola*
EHS vs Wills Point*

Sept. 30
MHS vs Forney*
KHS vs Wills Point*
EHS @ Canton*

Oct. 3
MHS vs Terrell*
KHS vs Canton*
EHS @ Van*

*district contest
Cross Country

Sept. 27
MHS @ Ennis
KHS @ Ennis
EHS @ Flower Mound

*District contest


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