By Art Lawler
The Athens Review
The ’Dogs are on fire. They make 70-yard runs look like shooting stars.
They’ve scored 125 points the last two weeks, and running back Justin Bersterman has emerged as one of the top players in the Cedar Creek area, again rushing for almost 300 yards, this time with five touchdowns thrown in.
This is the same team that was all but written off at 1-4 just three weeks ago?
You may not remember it, but Eustace Coach Doug Wendel, shortly after getting upended by 3A Ferris, declared his team’s option offense ready to explode.
After all, his coaches have been teaching those six plays to every football player in EISD for four years now. They’re starting to get the hang of it.
The ’Dogs dispatched Palmer, 64-28, for their second win in a row.
The ’Dogs used subs to mop up, and still couldn’t stop scoring.
Since Wendell declared his team’s offense ready for prime time, the ’Dogs have produced 1,005 rushing yards.
And this junior running back named Bersterman, he’ll knock your eyes out. Playing against teams similar in size and talent to Eustace, he gained 271 yards last week.
The 71-yarder this week wasn’t his longest run, either. He broke for 86 later in the game. Reserve back Tyler Folsom also scored.
Bersterman gained 287 yards Friday night. That’s on eight carries. That’s 36 yards a carry.
He went 71 the first time he touched the ball offensively, which was also the ’Dogs first offensive play.
He cruised around right end, shifted into high and outran everybody on the field. He did that five times, folks. They took away the quarterback, Jacob McCarter, was held to 21 yards and one touchdown. He also suffered a shoulder injury late in the third, forcing him to give way to John Bradburn, the slender Eustace sophomore. McCarter’s status is questionable.
But Bradburn scored, too, from 43 yards out on an option.
More bad news on a good night. Jacob Petillo played and apparently reinjured his hamstring. The reason we know that is because he was 10 yards ahead of everyone on the field on an apparent touchdown run when he tightened up and was run down.
More problems for worriers.
Palmer RB Allen Harden ran through these guys like they were gravy. He ran over, around and through the ’Dogs for 253 yards. On one play it looked like he ran through them twice.
No matter, the ’Dogs go to Grandview for their toughest District 6-2A opponent next week with a 2-0 district record. Want to bark about the Dogs now? The same ’Dogs who were 1-4 just two weeks ago? As the sign said on one of the placards, “Not in our Boneyard.”
Few experts will the Dogs a chance next week.
Art Lawler is a staff writer for the Athens Daily Review and the Review’s sister publication, the Cedar Creek Pilot in Gun Barrel City.