Archive for Thursday, October 24, 2002

Eudora hopes to ward off Cyclones

October 24, 2002

Eudora football took a big step toward getting its swagger back after suffering its first loss of the year at the hands of Baldwin.

Unfortunately for De Soto fans, the swagger came against Friday their Wildcats Friday in the form of a 42-8 Cardinal win in the opening round of district play in De Soto.

Eudora travels to Bishop Ward Friday for a date with the Cyclones.

Against De Soto, Eudora's rebound was a little slow coming, but once they scored early in the second quarter, the points came in a hurry.

"We haven't really played well in the first quarter of a game this year," Cardinal coach Gregg Webb said. "We seemed a little unsure tonight. We ran a couple of plays and didn't move the ball well.

"Field position wasn't in our favor early either. But fortunately the defense was good enough to stop them. The (Michael) Allen kid is a great kid, so to hold them out (of the end zone) was a big deal."

The Cardinals did strike pay dirt early in the second quarter when Andrew Pyle, who had 168 yards rushing on 28 carries, rammed the ball over from a yard out with 10:56 left in the quarter to give Eudora a 7-0 advantage.

A key series of exchanges started on De Soto's next possession that swung the momentum in Eudora's favor for the remainder of the game.

Wildcat freshman quarterback Neil Erisman, who started the game for the injured Greg Francis, was trying to find Michael Allen down the right sideline, but the pass found Eudora's Joey Donahue instead.

After Donahue raced to the Wildcat 29-yard line, Eudora drove to the De Soto 13-yard line where Pyle gave possession back to De Soto on a fumble.

On the ensuing play, Allen fumbled, and Eudora took possession at the Wildcat eight-yard line. Pyle raced into the end zone on the next play to give the Cardinals a 14-0 lead with 7:58 left in the opening half.

"After we got the ball back, we jumped on them and stuffed it in," Webb said. "They started pressing a little bit, and our offense got some confidence back, and the second quarter became big for us.

"But I would also like to say that Brad (Scott) has done a great job with those kids. They have come a long way. They've got kids playing that hard, so they'll get that thing going again."

The Cardinals added another one-yard scoring run from Pyle and a 45-yard scoring strike from quarterback Tyler Cleveland to Donahue to take a 27-0 lead at halftime.

The Cardinals added two scores in the second half when Joe Born recovered a blocked punt in the end zone, and reserve quarterback Cole Massey raced 54 yards for another one.

Webb was somewhat disappointed of his team's intensity in the second half.

"We wanted our first team offense to get one more score in the second half, but we didn't get that done," he said.

De Soto did get a score late in the game when Allen rumbled in from three yards out. The drive started at the Wildcat 32-yard line and took seven plays.

Erisman hit Tyler Leahy for a 29-yard strike on the drive, and Allen added a 19-yard run to get the ball to the Cardinal four-yard line. Allen rushed for 31 yards on five carries on the drive.

"We didn't play very well tonight," De Soto coach Brad Scott said. "Our guys played a great game against Santa Fe Trail last week and had an emotional let down this week."

Scott and his coaching staff felt they had a great game plan going in, but great teams adjust and that's what the Cardinals did.

"We had a great scheme planned," Scott said. "But they adjusted, and by the time we recovered they were rolling along. They have great football players. It's easy to see why they're ranked so high."

The road to the state playoffs doesn't get any easier for the Cardinals or Wildcats.

Eudora travels to Bishop Ward Friday for a date with the Cyclones.

"They have great skilled players," Webb said. "I hope we can move the ball and put points on the board because I don't know that we can shut them out. They are capable of breaking a long one on any given play."

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