All the right moves
Eudora blows past league foe Osawatomie in season-opening rout
There really aren't too many better ways to start the season. Eudora rushed for 258 yards as the Cardinals crushed the Osawatomie Trojans 42-0 Friday night at Laws Field to open the season.
After the Trojans kicked off, the Cards began their run-oriented game at their 34-yard line. In the first drive, they procured five first downs and steadily pushed back the Trojan defense. That continued until sophomore Ryan Fisher slipped past the Trojans' defensive line with a three-yard run with five minutes, two seconds remaining in the first quarter. Mike Ortega sealed the deal with a kick that took the score to 7-0.
The Cardinal defense made quick work of the Trojans as it gained possession of a fumbled ball at Osawatomie's 37-yard line. Then, starting quarterback Kent Swanson launched the ball to an open Matthew Abel in the end zone. The score was 13-0 after a failed extra point attempt.
In the second quarter, neither team seemed to be able to retain the ball after a series of three possession-changing fumbles occurred. Finally, Eudora capitalized on the Trojans' fumble and slowly ran the ball up the field. Junior Travis Clarke ran the football in with 2:27 remaining, changing the score to 19-0.
After a needed half-time break, the Cards jumped back into the game with guns blazing. Eudora capitalized on a Trojan fumble at the beginning of the half. Again, Clarke ran the ball into the end zone for a drive total of 18 yards. William Gadberry was able to land the two-point conversion.
The Cardinal defense again flexed its muscles and forced the Trojans to punt at their 48-yard line. Once again, running the ball was the plan of attack as Fisher made the scoring run. After a successful two-point conversion, the score read 35-0 until the fourth quarter.
Swanson was subbed out for Brynnen Webb, who handed the ball to Austin Hoover for a touchdown. Again, Ortega stepped up and got the team an extra point in a successful kick. The game concluded shortly thereafter, with the final score being 42-0.
Coach Gregg Webb said running the ball rather than throwing it was part of his plan all along and was the key to the team's success.
"Our strength was the offensive line," Webb said. "We didn't want to have to put the bulk of the pressure on Kent, but our strength was up front, and we have to establish that first."
In all, Eudora piled up a total of 339 yards on offense and used an overwhelming defense to allow the Trojans a mere 56 yards.
Webb said he was extremely impressed by the offensive line and the level of aggression it exuded Friday.
"They got the ball better than they had been," Webb said. "They're good, strong kids, and I think they were a little more aggressive than they had been. For the most part, they were a sound unit."
Clarke stood out, rushing for 101 yards and two touchdowns, in only 15 carries. Webb said he was pleased with Clarke's performance, but Clarke could improve in some areas.
"He's taken a new role on this year," Webb said. "He's in transition right now, but he's capable of much more. It was his first time as starting tailback."
Webb said although he was happy with the team, there was still plenty to work on. He said the team would be working on its ability to finish runs. The offense also fumbled several times and amassed a handful of flags.
Webb said the win was the combination of the Cards doing some things right and the Trojans failing to capitalize on Eudora's weaknesses.
"Every time you can shut a team out, you must have done some good things, and we did," Webb said. "But our kids know we weren't perfect, so we have some work to do."