EUSTACE — The Eustace Bulldogs secured their fifth consecutive playoff appearance Friday night, but made it on the opposite side of the scoreboard in a 28-21 loss to the Lone Oak Buffaloes.
With the win, Eustace finishes the regular season at 5-5 overall and 4-2 in District 7-2A, Division I play. Lone Oak improved to 7-3 overall and 4-2 in district play.
Second-year coach Brian Herman said the the Bulldogs are scheduled to open the playoffs next week against the Daingerfield Tigers at Bullard Brook Hill. The date and time are to be determined.
“That is what I told the kids is that it is a weird feeling when you lose you last regular season game and your senior day and yet still have something to be excited about,” Herman said. “It is a very strange feeling and I can't explain it.”
Lone Oak opened up the scoring in the first quarter when Trent Sikes was able to get past the Bulldogs' defense and snag a 24-yard reception from quarterback Kyle Crow. Cody Hardin booted the PAT good with 7:13 remaining.
Eustace then put together an impressive 16-play, 69-yard drive on its next possession as Jesus Barcenas barreled his way in from a yard out. The Bulldogs managed to convert two fourth down plays to keep the drive alive.
Lone Oak speedster Tyler Tolleson then gave the Buffaloes a 21-7 lead midway through the third quarter scoring on runs of three and 10 yards. On Tolleson's second score, Lone Oak went for two and converted as Crow found Shawn Cooper with 5:32 remaining in the third quarter.
The Bulldogs' were able to tighten the score up once again as senior running back Tyler Folsom found an opening in the heart of the Lone Oak defense and rumbled 59 yards to paydirt. Folsom finished with 18 carries for 135 yards in his final home game of his career.