Cards travel to Louisburg after beating Paola, 14-13
The biggest victory of coach Aaron Barnett tenure is a thing of the past. The Eudora Cardinalsseason-opening 14-13 victory over Paola is in the bank and would mean little if they took the field Friday night in Louisburg unprepared.
"The kids know it doesn get any easier this week," Barnett said. "Our kids understand wee not talented enough to go through the motions. I wish we were talented enough to get off the bus and win, but our kids know we have to work harder than most teams because wee not as talented as everyone else."
Louisburg has been the class of the Frontier League the last three years and the Wildcats got their season off to a rousing start with a 48-6 drubbing of Wellsville.
Simply put, in order for the Cardinals to have a chance Friday, they need to eliminate most of the mistakes namely five turnovers they committed in the victory over Paola.
"If we turn the ball over five times, they might thump us because theye not going to turn the ball over," Barnett said.
Paola gave as often as it received from the Cardinals. Their five turnovers voided out Eudora miscues and kept the game close. The Panthers also committed what proved to be a fatal mistake in the overtime period.
After Brian Harris scored his second touchdown of the night a 1-yard plunge into the end zone in the first overtime period and Martin Krumbach added the extra point to give the Cardinals a 14-7 lead, the Panthers wasted little time getting back into the end zone.
Anthony Yannotta 10-yard run on Paola first offensive play of the overtime made it a 14-13 game. Instead of kicking the extra point immediately, Paola lined up as if it was going for the two-point conversion in an effort to draw the Cardinals into the neutral zone and move the ball a yard closer to the goal line.
Eudora didn budge.
"I think we tilted a little bit, but we didn jump," Barnett said.
Instead of calling timeout, however, the Panthers took a 5-yard penalty for delay of game. The penalty proved costly when kicker Matt Duncan attempt at tying the game came up just short of clearing the cross bar.
Just like that, Eudora had its first win ever over Paola, which dominated the Frontier League through most of the 1990s. Now the Cardinals stand within a game of starting the season by stringing together perhaps its two most impressive road victories ever.
"The win over Paola was a positive step for our program," Barnett said. "Since Ie been here, wee beaten the teams wee supposed to beat and lost to the teams we were supposed to lose to.
"On paper, Paola was a game we probably weren supposed to win so this gives us a little extra.
Harris was the workhorse for the Cardinals. Despite weighing just 150 pounds, the senior carried 32 times for a game-high 135 yards and two scores.
"There not a harder worker than Brian," Barnett said. "He in great shape. He prepared in the offseason. He a tough kid. He might be 150 pounds, but I sure Paola was sick of tackling him by the end of the game."