The Athens Review
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.
Lone Oak then looked to have a touchdown on their following drive as Kason Freelen rumbled his way to the one-yard line. Eustace defensive back Steven Stine tackled Freelen and stripped the ball away from him as the ball went out of bounds.
Eustace found a way to eat up some major time on the clock as they went on one of its patented 15-play, 72-yard drive as Barcenas scored his second touchdown of the game from a yard out to tie the game at 21-21 with 5:01 remaining in the contest.
Lone Oak wrapped up the scoring on their next drive as Tolleson scored his third touchdown of the game from two yards out for the 28-21 lead.
Bulldogs' senior running back Jalen Seahorn led the way with 20-carries for 147 yards. Eustace outgained Lone Oak 367-to-362 yards of total offense.
Lone Oak 28, Eustace 21
Lone Oak 7 6 8 7 — 28
Eustace 0 7 7 7 — 21
LO— Trent Sikes 24 from Kyle Crow (Cody Hardin kick), 7:13
E — Jesus Barcenas 1 run (Kyle Purselley kick), 10:01
LO — Ty Tolleson 3 run (kick failed), 0:44
LO — Tolleson 10 run (Shawn Cooper from Crow), 5:32
E — Tyler Folson 59 run (Purselley kick), 5:23
E — Barcenas 1 run (Purselley kick), 5:01
LO — Tolleson 2 run (Hardin kick), 3:41
First downs 21 17
Rush-yards 26-158 63-367
Passing yards 204 0
C-A-I 12-25-1 0-0-0
Fumbles-lost 1-1 3-2
Punts-avg. 3-35.6 4-27.5
Penalties-yards 2-15 12-103
Rushing — Lone Oak: Ty Tolleson 13-101; Kason Freelen 4-10; Trent Sikes 2-10; Kyle Crow 7-37. Eustace: Tyler Folsom 18-135; Steven Stine 1-9; Ryan Brown 2-0; Jalen Seahorn 20-147; Adam Carson 1-5; Nathan Denson 5-13; Jesus Barcenas 11-59; John Bradburn 5-minus 1.
Passing — Lone Oak: Kyle Crow 12-23-1-204; Team 0-2. Eustace: none.
Receiving — Lone Oak: Kason Freelen 5-101; Ty Tolleson 3-34; Jordan Ryan 1-3; Trent Sikes 2-51; Jace Hart 1-15. Eustace: none.