Cards victory leaves Wellsville nothing
Eudora wins 37-0; Spring Hill next
The Eudora High School strong running game and stingy defense earned the Cardinals a shutout victory of Wellsville.
A large contingent of Cardinal fans outnumbered their Wellsville counterparts, giving Wellsville's home field a Laws Field South feel. This week, The Cardinals (2-1) will return to the friendly confines of Laws Field to play Spring Hill (3-0) at 7 p.m. on Friday night.
"We're gonna check the film out (on the Wellsville game)," EHS head coach Aaron Barnett said. "Spring Hill is a very good football team with a good senior class and a very athletic, big running back. They are the real deal."
EHS defeated the Broncos 33-7 at Spring Hill last season, but coach Rick Clark's squad was the surprise winner of its district last season. The 5-5 Broncos defeated Louisburg and Paola before losing 47-14 to eventual 4A champions Fort Scott in the first round of the 4A state playoffs. With the loss of only three seniors from last season, Clark has built on the experience of the class of 2002, which includes quarterback Hunter Bigby, running back Donnie Abel., linemen Robert Hall, Aaron Pratt, Travis Conley and and Keil Jahr and receivers Kyle Barrett and Clint Whitson.
"Last year was a weird year," said Clark, who is in his 15th season as the coach of Spring Hill. "We had a lot of kids hurt and everyone got to play a lot. We have players with experience this season."
The Eudora game will prove to be the first test of the season for Spring Hill, which has defeated three teams, Anderson County, 35-6, Osawatomie, 28-0, and Prairie View, 35-8, that have a combined record of 0-9.
Barnett said defense will be the key against the Broncos, who have outscored their opponents by a score of 98-14.
"Our defense is going to have to play well for us to have a chance and I am confident they can," Barnett said.
Last Friday, the Cardinals gained 400 yards of total offense en route to their second consecutive victory over Wellsville (0-3). Senior quarterback Ronnie Morelan handed the ball off early and often to junior tailback Andrew Pyle (28 carries for 194 yards and two touchdowns). He then confused the Eagle defense when senior tailback Zac Tyler (11 carries for 102 yards) ran for a 29-yard touchdown, the first of his season-high three touchdowns. Senior Tommy Shutt added the sixth and final rushing touchdown of the evening with an 11-yard run.
"Wellsville beat us lots of times in the past and we are making up for lost time," Tyler said. "I didn't really run the ball that much. Basically, Andrew (Pyle) got tired, coach (Barnett) put me in and good things happened. I credit our offensive line for opening up some pretty big holes."
The EHS defense stood out through the entire game, especially in the first quarter. Wellsville senior quarterback Dane Leecy (5 of 13 passes for 88 yards) completed the majority of his passes during a first -quarter drive that was ultimately halted by the Cardinal defense. The strong effort of defensive lineman junior Joe Born, 11 tackles, senior Tommy Stein, five tackles and the linebacker tandem of Tyler, six tackles and a fumble recovery, and junior Kaleb Niedens, five tackles, held WHS senior running back and past 1,000-plus rusher Justin Hoehn to 14 carries for a mere 29 yards. Senior safety Cody Lauber intercepted a pass to set up a touchdown and junior defensive lineman Dustin Moyer recovered a fumble.
'"In our first couple of games, defense has been helping us a lot and hopefully that will continue for the rest of the season," Tyler said.