As they like it
After surrendering the first touchdown of the game early in the first quarter, the Eudora High School football team responded with a vengeance as it went on to score eight touchdowns en route to a 55-14 win in the season opener Friday night at Osawatomie.
"It's a tough gig because you want perfection every play and every snap and that's unrealistic of course, but that's what we strive for," Eudora football coach Gregg Webb said. "It's just the nature of the beast. I saw some nice things. Our offensive line did well enough. I thought we got off the ball a little bit. We have some things to work on offensively. Defensively, at times, I thought we played pretty well."
The Cardinals, who improved to 1-0 overall on the season, look to shake the remainder of the kinks out over the next week as they prepare to travel to Central Heights on Friday for game two of the 2007 season.
"Central Heights has good kids," Webb said Tuesday. "They will give us some trouble because they run a funky defense that's out of the ordinary a little bit. We would like to think that if we got off of the ball and really punched them in the mouth, good things will happen.
"They do have some good skill kids, so we are not going to take them lightly."
Eudora seemed a little slow coming out of the gates. In fact, it took the Trojans just six plays before quarterback Jordan Soucie broke free for a 52-yard touchdown run to give Osawatomie a 7-0 lead.
The score put the Cardinals back on their heels a bit.
To make matters worse, senior receiver Matthew Abel got in on just one play before leaving the game with an injured elbow.
"He's very questionable for Friday," Webb said. "He is in a brace and is rehabbing it. We are trying to get him back as fast as we can."
Eudora did counter, though, with a score of its own as Ryan Fisher capped off an eight-play, 66-yard drive with a 27-yard scamper into the end zone to knot the score 7-7. Fisher went on to finish the night with 10 carries for 96 yards and three touchdowns while also being on the receiving end of a half-back pass from Bryan Dudley for a 39-yard score.
By the end of the first half, the Cardinals had managed to push the score to 28-7 with the final three touchdowns coming in the second quarter alone. A big part of the scoring outburst came as a result of a recovered kickoff by Fisher following his second score of the game, which came on a 23-yard score at the 6:11 mark.
It took Eudora just five more plays capped off by a one-yard run by Travis Clarke to reach the end zone to make the score 20-7. After shutting down the Trojans and holding them without a first down in the quarter, the Cardinals followed with Dudley's pass that hit Fisher just inches from the out-of-bounds line allowing him to run it in for the final score of the half.
Despite allowing Soucie to get loose for another score in the third quarter, Eudora went on to post four more scores in the contest, including a 51-yard burst by quarterback Ben Katzenmeier with just under nine minutes left to play for the final score of the game. Katzenmeier finished with 10 carries for 104 yards and two touchdowns.
"I thought our skill kids were good," Webb said. "Bryan Dudley had a great game. Ryan Fisher had a good game. We know those guys are going to play. Ben played pretty well at quarterback and ran the ball pretty tough."
Clarke also had a solid night as he led the team with 20 carries for 142 yards. He also added two scores as well.
In all, the Cardinals collected 412 yards on the ground on 49 carries and finished the game with 492 yards of total offense. Even more impressive, though, was the fact that EHS finished with just one turnover and managed to walk away with just 50 yards on 10 penalties.
The one area Webb feels like there needs to be improvement is on the defensive side. Although Osawatomie managed just 114 yards of total offense and only four first downs in the contest, it was the two scoring plays that stood out the most, especially the 52-yard touchdown run.
"Defensively, I didn't think that we were very good at all," Webb said. "We gave up two touchdowns and that's ridiculous. I am happy with winning 55-14, but just watching the film and seeing the things that we should have been doing that we weren't doing ... I was very disappointed.
"In saying that, there is a lot of room for improvement. In a 55-14 game, there is still room for improvement and that's a good thing."