Goats bring home 68-20 district win over Eustace
Groesbeck’s Big 3 were on a roll Friday night in a 68-20 district road win over Eustace.
Quarterback Allen Lewis threw four touchdown passes – three to Tyson Pringle in the first half – and ran for another three TDs. Ma’Quay Smith ran for almost 250 yards and three touchdowns.
Add those fireworks to a Goat defensive effort that shut out the Bulldogs in the second half and you have a great, albeit week delayed, district opener. The Goats’ first district game, homecoming nonetheless, was postponed last week due to its opponent’s COVID-19 scare.
Groesbeck had control for most of the game, with a few gaffes that allowed Eustace to have a little bit of hope.
The Goats mounted a seven-play, 65-yard drive to start the game, using a heavy dose of Smith, who ran for 19 yards. But it was a Lewis pass to Arturo Sotelo for a 36-yard gain that set the stage for Lewis’ first touchdown – a 10-yard run that put the Goats up 6-0 with 8:31 to play in the first quarter.
After forcing a Eustace punt, the Goats got down to business again. They mounted a 10-play drive that included a would-be touchdown brought back by a penalty. An interception at the 1 yard line and returned to the 32 ended the scoring opportunity.
Eustace took its only lead of the night three plays later on a perfectly placed pass from Paxton Schwartz to Christian Case for a 67-yard scoring play. The PAT made it 7-6 with 1:37 to play in the first quarter.
Groesbeck came back to tae the lead before the end of the first. Smith got the drive started with a 17-yard run. Then the first Lewis-to-Pringle connection from 38 yards out put the Goats back on top after the PAT by Juan Palomo. On the reception, Pringle niftly made two defenders miss.
The Groesbeck defense forced another Eustace punt, with Kenneth Bennett recording a tackle-for-loss and and a big hit by John Reed stopping a pass play for negative yardage.
Following a Sotelo 26-yard punt return, Lewis and Pringle hooked up for a 33-yard touchdown to put Groesbeck up 20-7.
The Groesbeck defense showed up again, with Zach Wilson recording a tackle-for-loss and Coker Holloway getting pressure on the quarterback and forcing a throw-away and forcing a punt.
It took the Goats just four plays to score again. Lewis ran for 16 yards and Smith added a 24-yard run before the third Lewis-Pringle TD – this one from the 13 – made it 27-7.
This is where the gaffes came in. An unsportsman-like penalty gave Eustace new life at the Goat 25 yard line. Then, with Schwartz all but sacked, he managed to escape and throw an off-balance pass to the 2 that was hauled in by Jake Haney. Schwartz scored on the next play to give Eustace a little life at 27-13 with 5:28 remaining in the half.
That life showed in the Eustace defense as it forced a Groesbeck punt. The snap sailed over the punter’s head and set the Bulldogs up at the Goat 10 yard line. Tow plays later Schwartz hit Christian Case for a 4-yard score, bringing the Bulldogs within a touchdown at 27-30 with 2:10 to play in the half.
However, with the way the Goat offense was clicking that was plenty of time left to extend the lead.
Lewis hit Smith in the flat for an 11-yard pass play, with Smith running out of bounds to stop the clock. Then Lewis hit Pringle for another 12 yards, with Pringle getting out of bounds to again stop the clock.
Three plays later, Lewis pitched the ball out to Smith, who took it 40 yards for a touchdown. After the PAT, Groesbeck led 33-20.
Eustace made a valiant attempt to close the score, but after getting to the Groesbeck 33 yard line, the Goat defense stiffened. Casen Crane put a big hit on a Eustace runner to stop him after a 2-yard gain. Then Aaron Tyus sacked the quarterback and forced a fumble on fourth-and-5 with 7 seconds left in the half.
The Groesbeck defense picked up where it left off, forcing a Eustace punt to start the third quarter.
The Groesbeck offense took just one play to extend the lead to 40-20. Lewis hit Brenden Morrow for a 67-yard touchdown pass play with less than a minute elapsed in the third quarter.
Smith scored his second touchdown of the game with 6:31 to play in the third, capping off an eight-play 71-yard drive with a 28-yard run.
With the game getting out of control, the Bulldogs made a mistake they couldn’t afford. Groesbeck was forced to punt, but the Eustace receiver muffed it and Groesbeck’s Seth Kirk recovered on the Eustace 4 yard line. Tow plays later Smith ran in from the 3 to put the Goats up 54-20 with 31 seconds left to play in the third quarter.
Eustace continued to make strides, but couldn’t finish off drives. Haney broke loose for what shoudl have bene a 41-yard score, but a penalty negated the play. The Bulldogs turned over the ball on downs soon after.
Groesbeck took a 61-20 lead two plays later. Smith gained 47 yards to the 7 yard line, and Lewis ran in from there on the next play.
On Groesbeck’s final drive, which started with 7:04 to play in the game, John Reed took control, gaining 39 yards to help keep the clock running. A 19-yard Allen Lewis pass to Anthony Lewis kept the drive alvie, as did another 11-yard pass between the two Lewises. Allen Lewis ran in from the 1 to finish off the scoring.