Hughes Springs recorded its third consecutive shutout Friday in a 40-0 rout of Paul Pewitt. Middle linebacker Eric Berryhill was right in the middle of the defensive action.

Berryhill, a 5-foot-9, 175-pound senior, recorded 14 tackles, two for loss, one sack, and one quarterback pressure in the 40-point win, and he's the Dairy Queen Defensive Player of the Week.

"He's pretty consistent. He's our middle linebacker, so he obviously has to take care of things tackle to tackle," said Hughes Springs coach Chris Edwards, who has led the Mustangs to a 6-0 start. "When we get ready to blitz, he's the guy we bring. He plays above his head. He's a little undersized, but he's a kid who has a knack for finding the football."

During the last three weeks, Hughes Springs has outscored its opponents 135-0 in three consecutive District 9-2A Division II victories. Go back to Sept. 14 -- a 28-6 win at Redwater -- and Hughes Springs has won its last four games by a cumulative score of 163-6.

Obviously, defense has been at the core of the Mustangs' strong start.

"We basically have eight kids that played on defense last year for 12 football games. That kind of experience is invaluable," Edwards said. "Our entire secondary is back. The experience that defensive line has and our secondary has makes a huge difference. It allows those linebackers to run to the football."

That's what Berryhill has done all season. He leads Hughes Springs with 51 tackles, five for loss, three forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries.

"He's a good kid and works hard," Edwards said. "Just one of those typical high school football stories."

Dairy Queen Defensive Players of the Week

Oct. 11-13: Eric Berryhill, LB, Hughes Springs
Oct. 4-6: 
LaDarrin Anthony, DT, Kilgore
Sept. 27-29: Arqez Walton, LB, Henderson
Sept. 20-22: Benny Colbert, DB, Kilgore
Sept. 13-15: DeQuante Woods, DB, John Tyler
Sept. 6-8: Corey Bartley, FS, Longview
Aug. 30-Sept. 1: Coby Bradford, DE, Hallsville