Archive for Thursday, November 1, 2007

The Fly Route

November 1, 2007

Ouch.

Ouch for three reasons, or six, eight, 13 -- maybe 1,000.

Mostly, ouch for five reasons -- the five points by which Eudora lost its bi-district playoff game.

Ouch because Tuesday's crushing 13-8 loss at Basehor-Linwood was frustrating for more reasons than can be easily calculated or ever recounted in this column.

Let's start with the mind-boggling number of ways the Cardinals found to shoot themselves in the foot.

Eudora coach Gregg Webb said he entered the game worried about a hangover from Thursday's heartbreaking loss at Baldwin. The team appeared to have stocked just the right kind of medicine, too.

Eudora came out hoping to muscle Basehor out of the way. The Cardinals appeared to be the better team on paper, entering with four more wins even if the Bobcats were technically the tournament's higher seed.

The idea was run it, score it, end it.

That plan quickly flew out the window, first because the Basehor defense was overflowing with kids not apt to be outmuscled, and second because Eudora was without one of its most effective running backs, Ryan Fisher, who missed the game with an ankle injury.

Finally, the plan didn't work because Eudora couldn't get out of its own way long enough to actually string drives together.

Basehor ended with two more penalties than Eudora and five extra penalty yards, but its mistakes didn't have nearly the effect the Cardinals' did.

Already trailing 7-0, Eudora picked up its first first down of the game on its third drive. It promptly stuffed the next drive with a false start penalty, however.

The Cardinals had a chance to convert again on the next drive, but Matthew Abel slipped in the backfield on third down.

A five-yard penalty for playing without a mouthpiece wrecked a third-and-2 situation on the drive after Abel's slip.

That was just the first half.

Eudora scuttled a promising drive early in the second half with a chop block penalty, but that only set up the Cardinals best chance to avoid building any momentum.

Chase Rust burst through the offensive line and wrestled Basehor's talented running back to the ground for a safety.

The play finally put Eudora on the board and left the stunned Bobcats kicking into the sharp breeze.

It wouldn't be, however, as Eudora didn't fall on the squib kick. Basehor did and kept the Cardinals at bay for another 15 plays.

The game wasn't just frustrating because of the mistakes, though. It was frustrating because nearly every kid that made any of those mistakes countered them with great plays.

Brynnen Webb threw an interception, but was in on several key defensive stops. Matthew Abel couldn't generate as he had all season at receiver, but gashed Basehor for several big runs and scored Eudora's only touchdown.

The Eudora defense crumpled on Basehor's opening drive, allowing running back Tyler Miles to run through multiple tackles as he ran to a 7-0 lead. It also gave up a huge play to Miles right after the Cardinals finally took the lead.

They were awesome most of the game, however. Without the big 43-yard run to set up Basehor's go-ahead touchdown, Miles averaged less than three yards a carry.

Basehor quarterback Brandon Leppke completed several key passes, but even when he did connect was forced to roll from the pocket and make deadly accurate throws to even give his receivers a chance.

No doubt, it wasn't Eudora's best game. Hampered by such small mistakes and stocking so many quality performances, it's too bad we'll mostly remember it as one of the worst.

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