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Turnovers bite Bulldogs in opener

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Eustace falls to Blooming Grove to start 2020
 

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EUSTACE–The Eustace Bulldogs came close but fell just short in their 2020 season opener at home against the Blooming Grove Lions Aug. 28.
Turnovers would prove costly for the Bulldogs as they were edged by the Lions 17-14 at Bulldog Stadium. Eustace ended the night with six fumbles and four interceptions against Blooming Grove.
It wasn’t just Eustace though that struggled with holding onto the ball as after the Bulldogs threw an interception early in the first quarter, the Lions followed that up with a fumble on the next play to set up Eustace on the 43-yard line after a fumble recovery from Cody Byrd. 
The Bulldogs would put together a 4:18 drive before Paxton Schwartz punched the ball into the endzone from the two-yard line to put Eustace ahead 7-0 with just over four minutes remaining in the first quarter.
In almost a mirror image of the first quarter, the Bulldogs threw an interception at their own 47-yard line, followed by a 43-yard run by the Lions to put them first-and-goal from the Bulldogs’ four-yard line. On the very next play, the Bulldogs’ defense came up huge as defensive back Christian Case came up with the interception for Eustace in the endzone for a touchback. 
Entering the second half, it was more of the same as a Eustace bad snap and another interception set up the Lions on the Eustace 16-yard line.
The Lions would push across from the one-yard line for their first score of the game. Eustace would remain ahead 7-6 after an extra point attempt from the Lions rang off the right upright. 
After taking over on a Eustace fumble late in the third quarter, the Lions made the Bulldogs pay early in the fourth quarter with a two-yard rushing touchdown to take their first lead of the game, 14-7 after a successful two-point conversion. 
The Eustace offense put together an impressive drive after the Lions took the lead with a 37-yard catch by Cade Adair setting up the Bulldogs on the three-yard line. Jake Haney would take the ball in for a touchdown as the Bulldogs knotted the game, 14-14. 
After a huge stop by the Eustace defense, the Lions were forced to punt the ball away. On the ensuing punt, the Bulldogs struggled to handle the ball as they turned it over on their own six-yard line. 
The Bulldogs kept the Lions out of the endzone, but not off the scoreboard as they nailed a 24-yard field goal with 4:53 remaining to seal the victory. 
Case finished the night with 11 receptions for 98 yards for the Bulldogs. Adair added three catches for 66 yards against the Lions. 
The loss drops the Bulldogs to 0-1 to begin the season. Eustace returns to the field Friday, Sept. 4 against Lone Oak with kickoff at 7:30 p.m.