Archive for Thursday, September 28, 2006

Road test looms for Cards

New coach, fast start make 3-1 Gardner Edgerton highest hurdle yet

September 28, 2006

There's no question the Cardinal football team has worked hard for its victories this season. But if they want to add another notch to their flawless record of 4-0, the Cards very well may have to work harder than they have before.

The Cards are set to do battle with the Gardner Edgerton Trailblazers at 7 p.m. Friday in Gardner. And if the Blazers have proven anything this season, it is that they do not go down easily.

Clearly having adopted the personality of new coach Marvin Diener, Gardner has rolled through the early portion of its schedule. The Trailblazers only loss came Sept. 15 against Louisburg, and outside that game, the team has seemed entirely different from the squad that finished last season 2-7.

Gardner opened its season with a win over Baldwin, then counted big victories against Spring Hill (61-12) and last week, Paola (47-20).

It's no surprise given Diener's track record. He coached Salina Central to last year's Class 5A state championship, the last of six titles the school collected in a 13-year span.

"They bring discipline and good plays, and they can execute them correctly," Eudora coach Gregg Webb said. "They will make very few mistakes in the execution of their offense. They will line up and get to the ball quickly because of how athletic they are."

It also doesn't help the Cards any that the Gardner match up will be their second away game of the season. Webb said the team would lack the home-field advantage, but was fairly confident that a plethora of supporters would come out to cheer the team on.

Throughout the season, Webb said the Cards had shown considerable growth except in one area -- their inability to avoid unnecessary penalties.

"These things are correctable, we just need to practice more on who's in certain formations and see who's not supposed to be there," Webb said. "First and 15 against Prairie View or Wellsville may be feasible, but against other teams like Gardner Edgerton, we won't be able to get first downs."

Webb said the season had been more or less kind to the Cards so far, but now they were entering the stretch of games against some pretty tough opponents. Webb said in the least, it would be an educational experience.

"It's about the time of the year where you have games like this, that you get tested," Webb said. "You need a testing point, so we're going to find out a lot about our football team and what we need to work on after this week."

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