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doom Bulldogs in bidistrict
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Reports
DALLASFor the third straight year, Eustaces appearance in the state football
playoffs was a brief one, as Pottsboros Cardinals took advantage of Bulldog mistakes
to run up a 37-13 victory in a bidistrict championship contest Nov. 11.
The Bulldogs, who suffered a major rash of injuries during the season, finished at 3-8,
while the Cardinals improved to 10-1 and have the dubious pleasure of playing the
defending Division II state champion Daingerfield Tigers (9-1) at 7:30 p.m. Friday in
Different people measure success in different ways, fourth-year Bulldog head
coach Doug Wendel said later.
For us to go (to the playoffs) three consecutive years is a big deal, he said.
I feel theres a sense of disappointment in a 3-8 record, and theres also
disappointment in losing a playoff game, so I think weve raised expectations.
Eustace Bulldog senior defensive lineman Colby McKenney (65) blasts Pottsboro quarterback
Tanner Frye as he tries to pass during the second quarter. Also shown is Bulldog senior
Taylor Brown (34).
Wendel pointed to one major mistake, a muffed punt that gave the Cardinals possession at
the Eustace 8 midway through the second quarter.
Even though we held them to just a field goal, you cant have things like that
happen, he said. We also had two fumbled snaps, and we turned the ball over
(interception on the Pottsboro 8) at the end of the half.
Mistakes are magnified in the playoffs, he said. There were several
plays that showed we were this close, but for us to take the next step, there are things
we need to do.
Bulldog fans at Dallas Wildcat-Ram Stadium were heartened when Eustace opened the
contest with a lengthy drive, moving 67 yards in 12 plays, only to see the drive stall
when senior Jacob Petillo (who had already put up runs of 19 and 14 yards in the march)
was stopped for a loss of one on fourth-and-one at the Cardinal 11.
During the march, sophomore quarterback John Bradburn hit two (thats right, two!)
passes, both to senior wideout Addison Scott, for gains of eight and 10 yards to secure
(In his final game, Scott caught six passes more than the total thrown in most of
Eustaces games this year for 65 yards.)
Still, the Bulldogs had worked hard to move the length of the field, and had nothing to
show for it.
Eustaces defense returned the favor, forcing the Cardinals to give up the ball on
downs when a fourth-and-five pass from Tanner Frye to Cody Bizzel came up two yards short
at the Bulldog 40.
During the march, Frye hit Bizzel for two key first downs, gaining nine and 11 yards, and
added an 11-yard run of his own.
The Bulldogs went three-and-out on their second possession, but senior Braden Strickland
put the Cardinals in a deep hole with a 57-yard punt that rolled to the Pottsboro 1.
For the first time this season, Strickland used a rugby-style running kick to get a good
roll, and it worked, as he averaged 46 yards on four punts, easily the best punting night
for the Bulldogs all year.
Four straight runs by Frye (19 carries, 93 yards, one touchdown) got the Cardinals out of
the hole and out to their 33, and on first-and-10, Frye found senior wideout Dakota Baugus
on the sideline for a 67-yard touchdown.
Junior Kevin Atterberry added the PAT kick to give the Cardinals a lead they never lost,
7-0, with less than 30 seconds gone in the second quarter.
Eustace came right back, with junior Justin Bersterman getting free on a crossbuck for 19
That would be his biggest run of the night, as the Cardinals had junior Tyler McAllister
shadow Bersterman wherever he went from then on. McAllister personally stopped Bersterman
on his next two carries for 13 yards in losses.
McAllisters first stop forced a Bulldog punt to the Pottsboro 16.
Instead of Frye, the Cardinals had senior running back Sam Thompson carry the ball, and
Thompson had back-to-back runs of 19 and 14 yards to put the Cardinals at midfield.
The Cardinals stalled there, however, and on fourth-and-10, Bizzel punted away.
Disaster struck when the Bulldogs muffed the punt, with Baugus recovering the bobble at
the Eustace 8.
As noted earlier, the Bulldogs forced the Cardinals to settle for a 21-yard Atterberry
field goal and a 10-0 lead with 6:20 left in the first half.
The Bulldogs managed one first down when Bradburn hit Scott for a seven-yard gain on
third-and-five, but they had to punt when a procedure penalty and a loss of four by
Bradburn on a busted play left them facing fourth-and-19 at their 38.
Stricklands 44-yard punt rolled out of bounds on the Pottsboro 14, but it took the
Cardinals just two plays to score.
On second-and-eight, Frye looked for Baugus on the Pottsboro sideline. Bersterman, who was
defending on the play, had his hand on the ball, but Baugus managed to gain control and
was gone up the sideline for an 84-yard touchdown.
Atterberrys PAT gave the Cardinals a 17-0 lead with 2:29 left in the first half.
It was time for some outside-the-box thinking, and Wendel dug way down deep in the
playbook for the old hook-and-lateral play.
The Bulldogs executed the play perfectly, as Bradburn hit Scott for a gain of 10, and
Scott lateraled the ball to a streaking Strickland on the Pottsboro sideline.
Strickland outran the shocked Cardinal defenders for a 58-yard touchdown. Kyle Purselley
added the PAT kick, and the Bulldogs were back in the game, 17-7, with 1:38 left in the
The Cardinals posted one first down, but were forced to punt after three straight
incompletions, and the Bulldogs got the ball back with 58 seconds left in the half.
Bradburn hit Scott for a gain of 16, and Bersterman got free from McAllister for 15 yards,
which had a 15-yard late-hit penalty tacked on.
The 30-yard play put the Bulldogs at the Pottsboro 23, but a fumbled snap left the
Bulldogs facing second-and-11.
Bradburn looked over for Scott again, but McAllister was there to pick off the pass at the
A personal-foul penalty backed the Cardinals up to their 4, but all they needed to do was
run off the final 12 seconds until halftime.
Pottsboro got the ball to open the second half, and Wendel gambled with an onside kick
attempt, which the Cardinals recovered at their 49.
In six plays, the Cardinals moved to the Bulldog 12, but Frye fumbled after a six-yard
run, with Bulldog sophomore Dillon Gragson recovering the bobble at the Eustace 6.
Unfortunately, the Bulldogs gave the ball right back on a fumbled snap, and the Cardinals
were back in business at the Bulldog 6.
Frye got the touchdown on the very next play, and Atterberrys PAT kick made it 24-7
with 9:23 left in the third quarter.
The Bulldogs went three-and-out on their ensuing possession, as a fumbled pitchout was
recovered by Bulldog Tyson Oliver for a loss of six.
McAllister fumbled the punt, but recovered his own bobble to set the Cardinals up at their
Pottsboro then put together another sustained drive, moving 65 yards in seven plays.
The key play in the march was a first-and-10 pass from Frye to Bizzel on a crossing route,
which Bizzel carried for 32 yards before being shoved out of bounds at the Bulldog 13.
On fourth-and-one at the Bulldog 4, Thompson crashed over for the touchdown. The Bulldogs
blocked Atterberrys point-after attempt, but the Cardinals were up 30-7 with 5:23
left in the third quarter.
The Bulldogs came back with another length-of-the-field drive, moving from their 36 to the
Pottsboro 9 in nine plays, converting two fourth-down situations along the way.
Petillo (28 carries, 171 yards) gained 26 yards on fourth-and-two at the 44, added a
10-yard run on the next play, and converted a fourth-and-two with a three-yard gain to the
On first-and-goal, Bradburn looked for Scott in the end zone, but Cardinal junior Nate
Taylor picked off the pass and returned the theft 102 yards up the Pottsboro sideline for
an apparent touchdown.
An illegal-block penalty wiped out the return, but once again, the Bulldogs had worked
very hard to get into scoring position, only to come away with no points and a lot less
time on the clock.
The Cardinals rubbed salt in the wound by taking eight plays to move 90 yards for their
final touchdown, helped along by a Bulldog personal-foul penalty on the first play. The
big play on the march was a 36-yard run by backup running back Ethan Short to the Bulldog
On second-and-10, Frye found Baugus on a fade route in the left corner of the end zone for
the touchdown, and backup kicker Samson Fuehrer added the PAT to give the Cardinals a 37-7
advantage with 8:37 to play.
The never-say-die Bulldogs came back with yet another length-of-the-field march, taking 10
plays to move 69 yards for their second touchdown.
Key plays in the march included runs of 16 and 15 yards by Petillo, a 14-yard pass from
Bradford to Scott, and a fourth-and-one conversion by Petillo, who gained five to put the
Bulldogs at the Cardinal 14.
On second-and-nine at the 13, Oliver got the touchdown on a crossbuck. The Bulldogs went
for two, but another fumbled snap cancelled the effort, ending the scoring with 4:10 to
I thought the kids played exceptionally hard probably the hardest weve
played all year, Wendel said later.
I didnt put Bradburn in a position to be successful, he added.
(Bradburn) played every down on both sides of the ball. When youre doing that,
and your opponent is not, that makes it very tough.
For us to be able to do what we want to do, weve got to be able to give our
kids a break, Wendel said. Of course, at the 2A and 3A level, thats
easier said than done.
Kemp girls crush Palmer
Monitor Staff Reports
KEMPA strong first half helped the Kemp Lady Yellowjackets blow past the visiting
Palmer Lady Bulldogs 63-36 in Kemps home opener Friday night.
Now 1-1 after falling on the road to hosting Italy 46-38 in their season opener Nov. 9,
the Lady Jackets were scheduled to visit Scurry-Rosser Tuesday night before taking a
break Friday night.
Monday, Nov. 22, the Kemp girls are scheduled to host the Eustace Lady Bulldogs, with a
4:30 p.m. freshman contest opening a three-game slate.
Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Kemp Lady Yellowjacket senior Michelle Ritterbach (23) brings the ball upcourt against
Palmer Lady Bulldog defender Cheyenne Lewis during the Lady Jackets 63-36
home-opening win Friday. Ritterbach finished with a game-high 27 points, plus 10 rebounds
and six steals before sitting out the fourth quarter.
Tuesday, Nov. 23, the Lady Jackets will face a third set of Lady Bulldogs when they
host Edgewood, again opening with a 4:30 p.m. freshman contest.
After the Thanksgiving break, the Lady Jackets will travel to Elkhart Tuesday, Nov.
30, with a 5 p.m. junior varsity contest opening a two-game slate.
Kemp coach Kent Smith said the lack of playing time was clearly evident at Italy.
Due to graduating five (seniors), I have five players on the varsity with no varsity
experience, Smith said.
One senior and a junior both played on the junior varsity last year, while one sophomore
played on the freshman team last year, and two freshmen are seeing their first action on
the varsity, Smith explained.
The first game went pretty much as I expected for those five, since I am trying to
play the freshmen and sophomore at point guard this year to replace (departed first-team
all-district guard) Brittany Simmons, he added.
Italy opened an 18-5 lead, and the Lady Jackets were never able to overcome that
early advantage, Smith reported.
It took a while for the girls to start hitting shots, he said. Michelle
(Ritterbach) was high point with 15, but she was cold for most of the first half,
finishing with four treys from the second quarter on.
Last years district Offensive Player of the Year as a junior, Ritterbach finished
with a double-double, adding 10 rebounds, while Brianna Powell finished with nine points,
all in the fourth quarter.
Senior post Shannon Shipp had five points and 14 rebounds, while junior post Kandace Rose
had four points and 10 rebounds.
On their home court where the Lady Jackets didnt lose a game last year
until the second-round showdown with unbeaten district champion Canton Kemp looked
much more comfortable against Palmer Friday night.
Kemps press forced the Lady Bulldogs into numerous turnovers early on, and the Lady
Jackets took advantage of the opportunities, opening a 18-9 lead in the first
When Kemp pulled off the press, Palmer switched to a zone defense to try and stop
penetration by Powell and freshman Jacquelyn Cooper, but that didnt work either, as
Ritterbach hit three straight treys in the second quarter on consecutive trips down the
That 25-8 second-quarter scoring edge put the Lady Jackets up by 26 at halftime,
43-17, and the pattern didnt change in the third quarter, with Kemp opening a
34-point lead, 58-24, going into the fourth quarter.
Ritterbach sat out the fourth quarter, finishing with 27 points, including 5-of-6 from
3-point range and 6-of-6 from the free throw line, along with 10 rebounds and six steals.
Powell finished with 14 points (going 7-of-12 at the charity stripe) and one trey, along
with five rebounds and three steals.
Rose had six points, 11 rebounds and two steals, while Shipp finished with five points,
nine rebounds and two steals. Cooper wound up with six points, three rebounds, two steals
and three assists.
MHS @ Spring Hill
MHS hosts TSAO Classic
KHS vs EHS
MHS hosts TSAO Classic
KHS vs Edgewood
MHS vs Martins Mill
KHS @ Elkhart
EHS vs Fruitvale
MHS @ Wills Point tourn.
KHS @ Scurry-Rosser tourn.
EHS hosts Roundball tourn.
MHS vs Lindale
EHS vs Mineola
MHS hosts TASO Classic
EHS vs Brownsboro
MHS hosts TASO Classic
EHS vs KHS
MHS @ Van
KHS vs Athens
EHS @ Scurry-Rosser
MHS hosts CCL Shoot-out
KHS @ Quinlan Ford tourn.
EHS @ Scurry-Rosser tourn.
MHS vs Sabine
KHS @ Scurry-Rosser
EHS vs Cross Roads