For a high school running back, breaking the 1,000-yard mark is an impressive accomplishment for a season. On Friday, two teams combined to break through that barrier in a single game.
Perhaps fittingly, only one pass was thrown by either team in the game ... and it was intercepted.
"As always, it starts with our offensive line," Eustace coach Doug Wendel told the Morning News. "They did a great job for us."
Over the course of the Eustace victory, eight different players carried the ball, while five of those rushers scored touchdowns. Amazingly, the team was racking up those numbers while running a modified offense after the second quarter, when starting quarterback Jacob McCarter left after suffering a shoulder injury.
Because Eustace runs the "flex bone" offense, McCarter plays a pivotal role in directing the team's different running plays. Despite that, the Bulldogs' backup quarterback, sophomore John Bradburn, filled in capably and, as reported by the Athens Review's Art Lawler, even scored a touchdown himself, on a quarterback option from 43 yards.
While there were plenty of players who helped rack up the yards, running back Justin Bersterman, wearing No. 44 in the photo above, had a particularly monstrous game for Eustace, picking up 287 yards and scoring five touchdowns. Those stats came a week after Bersterman gained more than 300 yards in another high-scoring performance, topping Sunnyvale (Texas) 61-41.
Of course, while there's plenty of cause to celebrate Eustace's rushing attack, any team that also gives up 476 rushing yards has some limitations on the defensive side of the ball. For his part, Wendel was hardly denying those issues.
"Well, neither [Eustace or Palmer] are the best defensive teams," the Eustace coach told the Morning News.
Meanwhile, both Cord Langthorn and Allen Harden rushed for more than 200 yards for Palmer, with Langthorn adding three touchdowns. In most games that would make a running back a school hero. On Friday, Langthorn was simply left as a particularly hard-luck loser.
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