Cardinals face Coffeyville
The Eudora Cardinals football team went 1-1 against Bulldogs during the course of six days. The Cardinals followed a heartbreaking 14-6 loss at home to the arch-rival Baldwin Bulldogs on Thursday with a critical 34-30 Bi-District title Tuesday over the Anderson County Bulldogs in Garnett.
Eudora (7-3) ran the complete facet of emotions during its bout with Anderson County (6-4). Both Eudora and Anderson County had 10-point leads during the contest that saw the lead exchange hands five times.
Eudora built the first of those 10-point leads beginning on the game's opening drive. The Cards took advantage of a poor Anderson County kickoff, driving 55 yards for the early touchdown. The score came on junior Luke Abel's 12-yard touchdown run.
Anderson County promptly responded with a solid drive resulting in a 32-yard field goal.
The Cardinals went three-and-out on their second drive.
Anderson County struck again on its second opportunity. On first down, Bulldog senior tailback Jeff Cover ran an option-right 60 yards for the touchdown, giving Anderson County its first lead of the game 10-7.
Eudora immediately responded with another touchdown drive. The Cards capped a 54-yard drive with a 31-yard Abel touchdown run -- Eudora regained the lead 13-10.
The first quarter concluded with the two teams scoring on 5-of-6 offensive possessions.
The second quarter, however, was a stark contrast. Both sides waged a field-position battle before Eudora scored on its final possession of the half. Eudora marched the ball 59 yards in less than two minutes for the score -- a 4-yard run by Abel. The Cards took what appeared to be a commanding 20-10 lead into the half.
Eudora's opening drive of the second half looked as if it would close the door on the Bulldogs. But, as was the case against Baldwin, a turnover proved costly. Abel, on a first-down play from the Anderson County 33-yard line, ended a would-be seven-yard gain with a fumble.
Cover scooped up the loose ball, sprinting 73 yards for the game-breaking score. Instead of working on a 17-point lead, the Cards were clinging to a three-point lead.
The Cardinals turned the ball over again on its next drive -- this time a turnover on downs. Eudora had gambled on fourth-and-one from the 50-yard line but failed.
Anderson County took advantage of the gamble with a 50-yard drive, cashing-in with a five-yard quarterback keeper from sophomore signal caller Grant Suderman, and the Bulldogs were ahead 23-20.
Eudora failed to generate a drive on its next opportunity and was forced to punt, which traveled 31 yards. The net gain was 20 yards. The Bulldogs took advantage of the short field, capping a brief 39-yard drive with a nine-yard Cover run. Anderson County's stunning 20 unanswered points staked it to a 30-20 lead -- with more than nine minutes remaining in the game.
The Cards mounted another scoring drive following the subsequent kick-off. Eudora developed a 63-yard drive resulting in a nine-yard run from Abel, which was his fourth touchdown of the game.
With less than five minutes remaining in the game, the responsibility fell to the defense. And the defense responded. Eudora stopped Anderson County in three plays for a total loss of 15 yards.
After a Bulldog punt, the Cards faced first-and-10 from its own 36-yard line, needing 64 yards in three minutes to win the game. And that they did with a drive keyed by a 31-yard pass from junior Kyle Brouhard to Abel. The pass play placed Eudora at the Anderson County 28-yard line with a little more than two minutes remaining. From there the Cards powered the ball in the end zone. The drive was capped by a two-yard run from senior fullback Brendan Jackson with 53 seconds remaining.
Eudora plays Coffeyville at 2 p.m. Saturday at Law Field.
In action against Baldwin, the Bulldogs (8-1) bit the Cards yet again with a 14-6 win at Laws Field. Baldwin won both meetings a year ago, including a lopsided rout in the state playoffs that ended the Cardinals' season. Eudora's loss Thursday night didn't end its season but it did end the Cards' bid to defend as district champion -- an honor that went instead to the Bulldogs.
Eudora was crippled by turnovers for a second-consecutive week.
The Cardinals got off to an impressive start scoring on its opening drive -- an 18-yard strike from Brouhard to Abel.
That lead was short-lived however. The Bulldogs promptly responded with a lengthy scoring drive. The drive appeared to halt at the Eudora 18-yard line with Baldwin facing a fourth-and-long. The Bulldogs elected to go for it, and connected on an 18-yard touchdown pass of their own.
Three late turnovers ultimately sealed Eudora's fate.