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Normal Lake Level is 322.00 feet above Mean Sea Level.
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  Bulldogs to face Farmers in bidistrict playoffs Friday
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer

EUSTACE–For the second straight year, the Eustace Bulldogs are in the Class 3A playoffs – never mind that they’ve dropped their last two regular season games to Wills Point and Van.
The Bulldogs (5-5) will face the District 13-3A champion Farmersville Farmers (7-3) in the bidistrict round of the playoffs at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Mesquite’s Hanby Stadium.
The big task for Eustace head coach Doug Wendel and his staff will be to make certain the Bulldogs aren’t discouraged by big losses to two physically superior teams by a combined score of 94-28.

Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
AT RIGHT: Eustace Bulldog linebacker Blake Ward (45) hits Van Vandal Tory Parsons (center, with ball) to cut short a potential long gain during Van's 40-7 win over the hosting Bulldogs Friday. Also shown are Bulldogs Jacob Petillo (21) and Michael Brown (33).

“I said last week that (Van’s) defense would set the tone, and that turned out to be true,” Wendel said. “I think we played better, and kept our composure better than we did last year.
“Van is a very good team that’s clicking at the right time,” he added. “Their defensive line dominated us, and we’re not used to that. They took away our base plays just by being physically superior.”
How superior? Well, Van runs the exact same defense that Canton runs. The Bulldogs ran up 68 points against Canton, but managed just seven against the Vandals, with the lone score coming on a 31-yard scamper by senior quarterback Chris Compton.
Van opened a 27-7 halftime lead, but Wendel chose to rest Compton in the second half, rather than risk him leading a passing attack against the Vandals.
“We didn’t feel confident we could block their D line passing,” Wendel said. “But then, nobody has.
“Hats off to Wills Point,” he added. “They’re the district champs, and they earned it – they beat Van – but I think Van’s the better team right now. That may not have been true three weeks ago.”
Turning to Farmersville, Wendel pointed out the Farmers were the Class 2A state champions two years ago, and went to the bidistrict round (where they lost to Kemp) last year.
The Farmers return nine starters on both sides of the ball from last year’s 6-5 team.
“They were undefeated in district, and I don’t care who you’re playing, that means they’re pretty good,” Wendel said. “They average 35 points a game running the football.
“They’re a physical, strong team with good size, and they don’t beat themselves,” he added.
During the season, the Farmers beat Lovejoy – a school twice their size – and played Wills Point within a single possession, at 28-21, Wendel pointed out.
With two running teams, Friday’s bidistrict matchup figures to be a pretty short game, with each team getting maybe eight or nine possessions.
“For us to win, we have to win the battle up front with our offensive line,” Wendel said. “Chris also has to play a great game. If he executes our offense like he should, I think we’ll have some success.”
Defensively, the Bulldogs have to line up properly against the Farmers, who run the ball out of multiple formations, ranging from the wishbone to a four-wideout spread.
“They run the ball from the spread,” Wendel said. “They throw about 10 times a game.
“Their offensive line is their strength,” he added. “Their center/noseguard (Michael Thompson, 6-4, 305) has committed to TCU, and they run behind him.”
The Farmers try to outflank defenses with formations, Wendel said.
“If we line up right, we should have people in position to make plays,” Wendel said. “I’ve been pleased with our effort on defense. I think we’re going to fly around and hit like we have been.”
It’s still uncertain whether the Bulldog offense will have outside threat Trevan Johnson back from a sprained knee, which kept him out of both the Wills Point and Van games.
“He’s been working out and jogging, but he hasn’t done any cutting,” Wendel said. “I don’t think he’ll play any defense, and he may not play the whole game.”
With a senior-laden team, the Bulldogs have a chance to make a statement with their first playoff win in quite some time.
“This is a big game,” Wendel said. “With a win, we can say that we’ve arrived, since we’ve continued to improve for three years in a row.
“It’s good to be working this week,” he added. “A lot of people aren’t.”
Directions to Hanby Stadium: From Eustace, take U.S. 175 northwest to I-635 (LBJ Freeway) and head north on LBJ. Take Exit 4 (Scyene Road) and turn right (east) on Scyene. The stadium will be on your right about a mile east of LBJ.

EHS girls move to quarterfinals
Monitor Staff Reports
MOUNT PLEASANT–Eustace’s Lady Bulldogs rallied to take a 3-1 area round victory over the District 16-3A Liberty-Eylau Lady Leopards Nov. 5 and advance to the Region II quarterfinal round for the second straight year.
As the District 14-3A champions and area champions, the Lady Bulldogs (29-10) were scheduled to play the 16-3A co-champion Lady Hawks for the right to advance to the Region II tournament at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Gladewater High School.
Pleasant Grove (who tied with Atlanta for the 16-3A crown) swept the Farmersville Lady Farmers 25-22, 25-23 and 25-23 in Gilmer Nov. 5 to advance to Tuesday night’s quarterfinals match.
At Mount Pleasant High School last Thursday night, the Lady Bulldogs dropped the first game to Liberty-Eylau, 25-23, but came back to win three straight, 25-21, 25-18 and 25-17 to secure the match.
Lady Bulldog senior Jenny McConathy and sophomore Catania Grant led the Eustace offense against the Lady Leopards, combining for 42 kills and 20 blocks.
McConathy had 23 kills and a whopping 14 blocks for the Lady Bulldogs, along with 16 digs on defense, two assists and two serving aces.
Grant finished with 19 kills and six blocks, along with 24 digs and one ace.
Juniors Allison Cass and Harmony Allen provided solid defensive support, combining for 60 digs.
Cass had 32 digs and notched nine kills, along with one assist and one ace, while Allen had 28 digs, eight kills, two assists and two aces.

Monitor File Photo
AT RIGHT: Eustace Lady Bulldog senior Kim Austin (7) sets for junior teammate Harmony Allen (4) during a home match earlier this season. The Lady Bulldogs were scheduled to meet the Pleasant Grove Lady Hawks in a Region II quarterfinals match at Gladewater High School Tuesday. Austin had 49 assists and Allen had eight kills and 28 digs in Eustace’s 3-1 area championship win against the Liberty-Eylau Lady Leopards Nov. 5.

Senior setter Kim Austin notched 49 assists and added two kills and five digs.
Vanessa Lopez had one kill and 12 digs, while Tori Bynum had seven digs, one block and one assist.
“It was a good team effort,” veteran Eustace coach Chuck Powers noted later. “They (Liberty-Eylau) were a wonderful team.”

Estill’s TD highlight of MHS season-ending loss
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer

MABANK–Aside from a defensive touchdown by a rarely-seen backup, there weren’t many bright spots for the Mabank Panthers in last Friday night’s season-ending 51-8 loss to the West Mesquite Wranglers.
Late in the contest, senior Jonathan “Big John” Estill, a young man who has courageously battled physical limitations to play varsity football, recovered a Wrangler fumble in the end zone for the Panthers’ only score of the evening, earning the praise of his teammates as the hero of the game.
“That was pretty neat for him,” Panther head coach Jimmy Cantrell said Monday. “He hasn’t gotten to play much at all.”
With the win, West Mesquite (7-3) tied Red Oak (who lost to Forney, 10-7) for the District 15-4A co-championship.
Forney and Red Oak will represent the district in the 4A Division I playoffs, with Forney (6-4) facing unbeaten (10-0) Waxahachie at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Midlothian High School, while Red Oak (7-3) will face Waco Midway (8-2) at 1 p.m. Saturday at Waco ISD Stadium.
West Mesquite heads to Division II, where the Wranglers will face Corsicana (5-5) at 7:30 p.m. Friday at DeSoto High School, while Terrell (8-2) will face Waco University (6-4) at 2 p.m. Saturday at Midlothian High School.
“I think Terrell and West may have the best chances to win,” Cantrell said.
Cantrell said the Wranglers obviously didn’t play like a team that had already clinched a playoff berth.
“I never thought I’d see somebody run up 300 yards on us in the first half,” Cantrell said. “It was kind of nightmarish.”
The Panthers were already missing a couple of key players in defensive lineman Spencer Endelman and linebacker Dustin Schultz (who returned to play in the second half), but lost senior center Dillon Bramblitt to a sprained knee early in the game.
“Our back-up center (Nolan Waits) was already out, but Caleb Atherton came in and did a great job at something he hasn’t done all year,” Cantrell said.
“I knew (West quarterback Trevone Boykin) was good, but he may be the best running quarterback we saw, even better than Blake (Branton) at Forney, now that we’ve played them both,” Cantrell said.
Looking back on the season, the Panthers were in every game, except against Forney and West Mesquite, Cantrell noted.
“Against Forney, we played good, though,” he added. “Against West, we never had a chance.
“Looking at the other games, we started as a big underdog, but people started giving us a little credit, taking Terrell into overtime and going down to the last play against Red Oak,” he said. “We could easily be practicing right now.”
The difference, of course, is those one or two guys who are faster than anybody else on the field, he said.
“All you can ask is for the kids to play hard, and they played hard all year,” Cantrell said.
The Panthers are losing a strong senior class, “but we’ve got some good kids coming back, a nucleus that we can build around,” he said.
Returnees include Bob Cron, Denny Smith (“a very nice surprise”), Peyton Owen, Caleb Atherton and his own son, Cameron Cantrell, he noted.
“Plus, we’ve got some kids who have shown us things on the junior varsity,” he said. “We won’t wait – we’ll start timing 40s tomorrow, and start hammering the weight room.”
Based on Mabank’s enrollment – 969 students – there’s a good chance the Panthers will drop back down to Class 3A again when the UIL announces realignments in February.
Cantrell said he has some 3A teams tentatively set for next season, including Wills Point, Quinlan Ford and nearby neighbor Kemp.
However, if the Panthers drop down, it’s very likely at least two of those teams – or maybe all three – might be district foes, instead of a pre-district opponent.
“We’ll just have to see,” Cantrell said. “We won’t know until they announce (alignments) who we’ll be playing.”



Upcoming games

Cross country

Nov. 14
State CC meet
(Old Settlers Park,
Round Rock)

Nov. 13
EHS vs Farmersville
bidistrict playoff
7:30 p.m. Hanby Stadium
(*district contest)



Girls basketball

Nov. 13
MHS @ Wills Point
KHS @ Palmer
EHS idle

Nov. 17
MHS idle
KHS vs Scurry-Rosser
EHS vs Grand Saline

Nov. 19-21
EHS @ Quinlan tourn.

Nov. 20
MHS vs Spring Hill
KHS @ Venus

Nov. 23
MHS vs Canton (TASO)
KHS @ Kaufman

Nov. 24
MHS @ Kerens
EHS vs Malakoff

Boys basketball

Nov. 14
EHS vs Troup, Grand Saline

Nov. 17
MHS vs Malakoff
KHS idle
EHS @ Sunnyvale

Nov. 20
MHS @ Lindale
KHS @ Forney North
EHS @ Grand Saline

Nov. 23
MHS TASO Classic
KHS vs Crandall
EHS vs Trinidad

Nov. 24
MHS TASO Classic
EHS vs Malakoff


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