Early explosion carries Cards over Prairie View
After a hard-fought victory against Osawatomie, a Cardinal letdown Friday against the Prairie View Buffalos would not have been far-fetched.
As the game got under way in La Cygne, it became clear there would be no such letdown.
The Cardinals used a 22-point first quarter bombardment to put away the Buffalos early on their way to a 36-6 victory.
The Eudora offense, which began to find its rhythm against the Trojans the week before, got off to a hot start and marched down the field. The opening drive consisted of a mix of passes and hard running that seemed to catch the Buffalos off guard.
The drive ended with a big play as Kyle Brouhard, who finished with four touchdown passes, found sophomore Matthew Abel for 21 yards and the first score of the game.
"I really thought we could throw the ball whenever we wanted," coach Gregg Webb said. "They really threw some funky formations at us, but we were able to throw."
Senior running back Luke Abel punched in the two-point conversion to give the Cardinals a quick 8-0 lead.
After a quick defensive stop, the Cardinals again made quick work of the Prairie View defense as the combination of Brouhard's arm and Luke Abel's legs took Eudora into Buffalo territory for the second time in eight minutes.
And as the Buffalos braced for another bruising set of runs, the Cardinals and Brouhard took to the air and found senior receiver Miles Cleveland wide open for an 18-yard strike.
Senior Nolan Smith came on to attempt only the second extra-point of the season. The kick was good, and the Cardinals led 15-0.
After going 0-6 on conversions in their first two games, the Cardinals finished the evening going 5-for-5, including Smith going 4-for-4 on PATs.
"We needed to give him some confidence when kicking those things," Webb said. "That single point is so important, and if you start missing those things than you have to start scoring more and more."
The first-quarter blitz came to an end when Brouhard found senior Mark Abel for a 33-yard touchdown pass and a 22-0 Cardinal lead.
But as the first quarter saw everything go right for the Cardinals, the second quarter saw the return of the stagnant offense that was present against Wellsville. The Cardinals had their first two drives stall in the second quarter while the second two drives ended with a fumble and an interception.
"We have some little things to fix before we can get to where we need to get," Webb said.
The Cardinal defense managed to show up for the entire half as the unit held the Buffalos to 23 total yards of offense and no first downs.
The third quarter offered more of the same. The Eudora offense struggled to get things going, while the Buffalo offense could do nothing.
But just when things began to bog down for the Cardinals once again, Brouhard came up big on third down and 17.
The senior quarterback found Mark Abel streaking down the field past Prairie View's Joe Windisch for an 80-yard touchdown pass and a 29-0 lead.
The Cardinals slowed things down in the fourth quarter by going to the ground, where senior James Mills put the final touch on the Cardinal win with a seven-yard run.
The Buffalos managed to end the shutout as the clock wound down when Kyle Nelson found the end zone for the touchdown. The drive by the Buffalos produced the team's first first down of the game.
The Cardinals (3-0) used a balanced attack on the ground and through the air to subdue the Buffalos.
Eudora rushed for 280 yards, including Luke Abel's 104-first half yards.
The Cardinals took to the air with effectiveness in the win as Brouhard went 8-for-14 and 206 yards.
Mark Abel was the main recipient of the Brouhard air attack as he finished with 139 yards for the game through the air.
The Cardinals travel to Garnett to face the Anderson County Bulldogs on Friday.