There’s only one surefire way to keep a potent offense in check.
Keep it off the field.
Eustace, with a consistent and bruising run game, ruled the time of possession and held off Grace Community for a 35-29 victory Friday at Clyde-Perkins Stadium.
The Bulldogs (2-0) ran the ball 78 times for 384 yards, led by Tyler Folsom’s 181 yards and three touchdowns. Blake Ward added 103 yards for Eustace as the duo carried it 49 times.
The Cougars (1-1) averaged 8.2 yards a play – 3.3 more than Eustace – but didn’t see the ball enough. Grace fell behind 20-7 at halftime after holding the ball for two minutes in the opening 24 due to two turnovers at the start of drives.
In the first half, Eustace had scoring drives of 6:56 and 12:01 sandwiched around a quick, six-play, 2:34 drive following an interception by John Bradburn. The Bulldogs called 45 plays in the first half to seven for the Cougars.
Grace mounted a rally in the second half, finally putting a stop to the Eustace ground game and shutting the Bulldogs out in the third by forcing two punts and a turnover on downs. But Folsom broke free for a 49-yard touchdown early in the fourth to put Eustace ahead 28-14.
The Cougars pulled to within 28-21 on Keaton Yeatts’ 29-yard reception from Blake White, but senior leader Grant Childress was injured on the ensuing kickoff and did not return. The Bulldogs responded with a five-minute scoring drive to go up by 14 with 2:09 to play.
White found Statler Lewis for a score with 34 seconds left, but the onside kick attempt was pounced on by Tyler McWilliams to secure Eustace’s victory.
White completed 14 of 26 passes for 195 yards and two scores to go with a rushing touchdown to lead the Cougars, who were plagued by dropped passes and missed open receivers. Garrett Newman led all receivers with four catches for 52 yards for Grace.
Childress took the first play from scrimmage 69 yards for a score, motioning right from his receiver position, taking the handoff around the corner and bursting past the Eustace defense. Newman ensured Childress scored on the play by sprinting past Childress and blocking the last defender at the 20.
Eustace then dominated the remainder of the half, racking up 220 yards to Grace’s 15 after that point.
The Bulldogs’ 12-minute drive spanned from the 0:23 in the first to 0:22 in the second quarter. Eustace began at its own 9 and marched 91 yards in 22 plays, with only one play going for more than 12 yards.
Folsom’s 5-yard score capped the drive.
Eustace 35, Grace Community 29
At Clyde-Perkins Stadium
Eustace 14 6 0 15 — 35
Grace 7 0 7 15 — 29
GRA—Grant Childress 69 run (Keaton Yeatts kick), 11:40.
EUS—Tyler Folsom 13 run (Kyle Purselley kick), 4:44.
EUS—Blake Ward 4 run (Purselley kick), 2:04.
EUS—Folsom 5 run (kick fail), 0:22.
GRA—Blake White 9 run (Yeatts kick), 5:32.
EUS—Folsom 49 run (Jacob McCarter run), 8:51.
GRA—Keaton Yeatts 29 pass from White (Yeatts kick), 7:29.
EUS—Jacob McCarter (Purselley kick), 2:09.
GRA—Statler Lewis 6 pass from White (Gabe Lucio pass from Hayden Walker), 0:34.
First Downs 26 16
Rushes-Yards 78-384 11-121
Passing Yards 0 206
Comp.-Att.-Int. 0-1-0 15-29-1
Punts-Avg. 2-30.0 1-36
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 2-2
Penalties-Yards 4-30 3-30
RUSHING—Eustace, Tyler Folsom 25-181, Blake Ward 24-103, Jacob McCarter 12-70, Josh Dunn 7-28, Adam Carson 1-7, Jordan Foote 9-(-5). Grace, Grant Childress 3-82, Blake White 7-36, Kade Clayton 1-3.
PASSING—Eustace, Foote 0-1-0—0. Grace, White 14-26-1—195, Garrett Newman 1-3-0—11.
RECEIVING—Grace, Newman 4-52, Statler Lewis 4-29, Kade Clayton 3-54, Grant Childress 2-37, Keaton Yeatts 2-34.