Cards dog Anderson twice
After two rounds, Cards beat Bulldogs 55-7
Eudora High School football coach Gregg Webb said it seemed like the Cardinals played league rival Anderson County twice last weekend.
"I was disappointed with the first 10 minutes of the game," Webb said. "Every time we get in a game situation, that makes us better. I think we came out Saturday, calmed down and ran some stuff better."
The Cardinals (2-0) played Anderson County (0-2) Friday night before heavy rain and lightning forced the game to be rescheduled with 2:16 remaining in the first quarter and Eudora leading 7-0. Senior Andrew Pyle, 27 carries for 260 yards and five touchdowns, scored on a four-yard run set up by his own 64-yard run moments earlier.
The Bulldogs were moving the ball at will before the rain and lightning interrupted the game. Anderson County senior quarterback Joe Sample connected with senior receiver Chris Gigstad for a 28-yard gain, and senior running back Patrick Traull had a couple of solid runs.
The rain delay lasted nearly two hours before both schools decided to resume play at noon the next day.
The Cardinals and the Bulldogs arrived and played on a wet field Saturday. Both teams played a sloppy brand of football for the rest of the first half with yellow flags on nearly every series.
However, the Cards were able to build a lead before halftime.
Pyle scored on a pair of touchdown runs of 31 yards and one yard by following the blocks of senior Dustin Moyer and junior Chance Rowland.
Junior quarterback Tyler Cleveland, 3-for-4 passing, 67 yards and a touchdown, found junior receiver Josh Brouhard, two receptions for 47 yards, for a 36-yard reception, setting up Pyle's one-yard touchdown run, giving Eudora a 20-0 lead at halftime.
Despite the Cardinals reliance on the running game, which accounted for 48 out of 52 plays, Webb said the Cards needed to find their receivers as well.
"Josh (Brouhard) has really good hands," Webb said. "Josh and Joey (Donahue) need to get their hands on the ball."
The beginning of the second half brought back unpleasant memories of a special teams blunder from the Cardinals opening game at Prairie View.
Anderson County junior John Fursman returned the opening kickoff 70 yards for a touchdown. But unlike the opener, the Cardinals didn't let the touchdown slow their momentum.
"Anderson County is not one of the best teams in the league," senior lineman Michael Paxton said. "When they ran it back, it made us all mad."
The Cards responded by scoring second-half points and amassing 496 yards of total offense. Cleveland and senior tight end Kaleb Niedens a duo that usually connects for assists and points on the basketball court scored the first passing touchdown of the season on a 20-yard lob to the end zone.
Cleveland kept the ball on the two-point conversion, giving Eudora a 28-7 lead in the third quarter.
After Niedens' touchdown reception, the wheels started coming off for the Bulldogs, who fumbled a snap at their own five-yard line. Pyle capitalized on the play by scoring his fourth touchdown of the day. Anderson County then fumbled on the ensuing kickoff at its own 13-yard line. Pyle ran the ball 13 yards up the middle for his fifth and final touchdown of the game, giving Eudora a 42-7 lead.
"Some of that was handed to us by their mistakes," Webb said. "We ran the ball a little bit cleaner on offense, so that was encouraging."
By the start of the fourth quarter, Webb placed some players from his second unit in the game. Senior Luke Powers scored on his only rushing attempt of the game, a 45 yard touchdown and sophomore Brendan Jackson, two rushes for 49 yards and one touchdown, scored the final touchdown of the game.
"The second string is a lot better than they were the previous week," Webb said. "They moved the ball and ran the ball a little bit better."
The Cards' defense held Anderson County to seven rushing yards and 52 yards in total. Paxton led the team in tackles with seven, while junior Troy Van Horn, six tackles and a fumble recovery, was second. Moyer and senior Tyler Jackson had five tackles each, while sophomore Chris Durkin and senior Shane Grant each had four.
On special teams, senior Ryan Carnagie forced a fumble and junior Chad Smith recovered a fumble.
The rescheduling of Friday's game forced Webb to rearrange his Saturday afternoon plans- watching game film of the Cards next foe, Osawatomie (1-1). Prairie View upset the Trojans at home 12-7 last Friday.
Nonetheless, Webb still found time to check out films of Osawatomie's season opener, a 27-20 victory over Wellsville.
"They're athletic, young, and play tons of sophomores," Webb said. "Their tailback (senior Derek Berry) can score on any play. We need to be concerned about him. He looked really well on film against Wellsville."
Although Webb will be coaching only his third Eudora game Friday, he has the chance to secure the Cardinals place as Frontier League small school division champion. The only division team the Cards play after Osawatomie is Wellsville Oct. 4.
"Winning your league is always a plus," Webb said. "We have bigger goals than that."
Webb said he wouldn't be able to judge his team's toughness until they play a difficult opponent.
"We have not gotten into a situation where we have needed to check that toughness," Webb said. "We prepare every week for the team that will test us."
- The Cardinals 55 points were more than they scored in any game during the 9-2 playoff campaign last season.
-Eudora's second game last season, a home contest against Louisburg, was also postponed Friday and resumed Saturday afternoon. On both occasions, the Cards broke open close games when play was resumed the following day.
-In other Frontier League action, Baldwin (2-0) upset Paola (1-1) while Louisburg (1-1) downed Wellsville (0-2).
-Eudora running back Andrew Pyle has rushed for 439 yards and 10 touchdowns in the first two games. Junior quarterback Tyler Cleveland is six for eight, 121 yards passing through the first two games.