Previously perfect Cardinals stumble twice, fall from playoffs
Judging solely by the records, fans may have arrived in Basehor-Linwood expecting the Eudora Cardinals football team to easily roll past the Bobcats into the second round of the Kansas class 4A playoffs. At 8-1, Eudora was seen as the clear favorite over the 4-5 Bobcats.
The early predictions were proven wrong, however. Basehor won a hard-fought game, upsetting the Cardinals, 13-8 in the first round of the Class 4A state playoffs.
It was Eudora's second setback in six days as it also fell Thursday in its regular season finale, a 20-19 loss at Baldwin.
"I feared this might happen," Eudora coach Gregg Webb said. "The first half I felt like we might have some lingering effects from Thursday, and sure enough we did."
The statistics speak for those lingering effects, as Eudora managed only 57 yards in the first half, all on the ground.
The first possession for both teams gave Basehor the momentum right away. Eudora was three-and-out after receiving the opening kick. The Bobcats quickly took advantage of the punt into the wind, marching 45 yards on their first scoring drive.
Starting at the Eudora 45-yard line, Basehor rushed the ball seven straight times, gaining yards on each carry. Senior running back Tyler Miles took the ball into the end zone from one yard out at the 7:29 mark in the first quarter, leading to the 7-0 victory.
After that the game turned into a defensive struggle for the rest of the first half.
"The first half I thought what killed us is we couldn't get in a rhythm," Webb said. "We'd gain six or seven yards then have a five-yard penalty. You just can't do that."
Some of those penalties, too, were penalties that wouldn't necessarily give the team an advantage, such as an equipment infraction on third and two in the second quarter for not having a mouthpiece in.
"It seemed like penalties stopped all our drives," said senior running back Travis Clarke.
But as the second half got underway, Eudora was still very much in the ballgame, despite not playing their best football.
To open the second half, a couple of penalties against Basehor led to a three-and-out, and Eudora took over at the Bobcat 39 yard line.
A first down, then another penalty on Eudora, a chop-block, set up second and twenty at the 35 yard-line. The Cardinals went to the air, and senior quarterback Brynnen Webb's pass was intercepted at the Basehor 1 yard-line by senior defensive back Travis Inlow. Senior wide receiver Matthew Abel made the tackle on the 1, which would set up a Eudora safety two plays later. Senior linebacker Chase Rust and Webb combined to drop Miles in the end zone, bringing Eudora within five points.
Eudora muffed the ensuing Basehor squib kick, however, and the Bobcats got control of the fumble for a turnover.
"That kind of summed it up," Webb said.
Eudora's defense bent on the ensuing drive, but a hard tackle at the line of scrimmage by Chad Krutz and a six-yard sack by Logan Alvarez and Mike Sledd forced Basehor to punt.
The following drive was the Cardinals' most impressive, finally putting Eudora in the lead.
Led by the rushing of Clarke and Abel, the Cardinals marched from their own 21, 79 yards, eventually getting into the end zone on a 16-yard Abel keeper for a touchdown.
A two-point conversion attempt fell incomplete from Brynnen Webb, but Eudora led 8-7 with 6:23 left in the final quarter.
"I thought we had control of the game after we scored to make it 8-7," said Gregg Webb.
The lead wouldn't hold, though.
On the following possession, Miles took a sweep from the Bobcat 35 yard-line and went 43 yards to the Eudora 22 yard-line. Three plays later he ran the ball in from 12 yards out to give Basehor the lead. After a failed two-point conversion Basehor was up 13-8 with 4:59 to play.
Eudora advanced to the Basehor 43-yard line on its next possession, but couldn't convert on a fourth-and-five, surrendering the ball back to Basehor, who ran out the clock.
"I think if we had gotten the momentum, we would have beat them," Clarke said. "Not to take anything away from them -- they are a very good team. We just didn't play better."