RUSK – The Rusk Eagles got off to a soaring start, posting a 48-21, win over Center on Friday night.

Eagle quarterback, Dee McDuff, and running back Sam Thomas combined for 365 yards on the ground, and six TD’s on the night.

After a 21-21 halftime deadlock, Rusk made adjustments on the defensive front, and the blocking ploys proved out as the Eagles held the Roughriders at bay, while the Eagle offense soared.

Rusk recovered five of seven Center fumbles, of which three setup scores.

Thomas turned up his game after the half, making an impact returning the second half kickoff 62-yards to the Roughriders, 27-yard line.

McDuff rammed in from 1-yard out for the first Eagle lead of the year, 28-21.

Next Rusk possession came via a fumble recovery by Jace Rogers for the Eagles.

Thomas rumbled for 31 yards, six plays later for a 35-2, score after the Pat kick by Thomas.

Another Roughrider miscue was recovered up by Joseph Francis at the Center 46 yard line, and then on the last play of the third quarter, McDuff executed the prettiest play of the night. The QB optioned on the right edge, and after a beautiful pitch, Thomas took the ball in stride and raced down the sideline from 64 yards to make it 41-21.

The Eagles started to mix in the roster and running back, Bryce Wimer capped off a 54-yard drive with a 9-yard TD run up the middle.

The Eagle signal-caller, McDuff finished up the night with 177 yards in 19 carries, and four scores, and also went 13-of-18, for 67 yards through the air.

Thomas had only 67 yards at the half, but finished up with 188 yards, in 12 tries, and two long TD runs.

The Roughriders got a good night from running back, Jadus Johnson, with 12 carries, good for 131 yards. Receiver Kaleb Parks was big with seven catches, for 109-yards, and a score.

The Eagles will travel to play a tough Malakoff crew, at 7:30. Center will travel to Gilmer to play the Buckeyes next Friday.

More From East Texas Sports Network