Eudora gets defensive in playoff win
By Jim Bradford PrepsKC Senior Writer
EUDORA, Kan. — Eudora has played pretty good defense all year long.
And the Cardinals knew that they would have to stop it up even more in the first game of the Class 4A playoffs.
That’s exactly what they did. The Cardinals dominated the line of scrimmage and shut out a pesky DeSoto team 12-0 at Eudora to advance to Saturday’s second-round game against undefeated Basehor-Linwood, a big winner over Hiawatha Tuesday night.
The win not only moves the Cardinals to the second round, it avenges last year’s opening round loss to DeSoto.
It was all thanks to their stout defense.
“We have played well defensively all year,” said Eudora head coach Gregg Webb. “They play hard and really take pride in playing well defensively. We demand it.”
The shutout win was the Cardinals fourth of the year. They also shut out DeSoto 8-0 in week 4.
“We wanted to set the tone,” said senior linebacker Matthew Gadberry. “We wanted to completely stop them on defense.”
DeSoto did manage 119 yards of offense, but Eudora allowed just six yards of offense in the third quarter when they put the hammer down on the Wildcats.
Gadberry took this game a little personal.
“Last time we played (DeSoto), I didn’t play very well,” he said. “I had a better game tonight and helped the defense get hyped up.”
The Cardinals were up 6-0 at the half and added the final points of the night with 3:13 left in the third quarter, capping an eight-play drive with a Derek Webb 1-yard touchdown run.
“This league is tough,” said Coach Webb about the Frontier League. “And to have to come out and play a team that you’ve already beat is tough to do. DeSoto is a tough squad. You have to hand it to them.”
Eudora scored the only points of the first half just seconds into the second quarter when Webb took it in from nine yards out.
The Cardinals took over at their own 44 and was powered mostly by running back Cris Pile, who rushed accounted for 52 yards on the ground, setting Eudora up with a first and goal at the 10.
After the touchdown, the two-point conversion failed and Eudora took a 6-0 lead into the locker room at the half.
The Cardinals missed a golden opportunity to get on the board early in the first quarter, but came away empty handed after going for it on fourth and goal at the DeSoto 1-yard line. The Cardinals took over at the 25 just a minute and a half into the game after DeSoto turned the ball over on downs when the punter dropped a low snap and scampered for only a few yards instead of getting the punt away.
“That was big for us to come back form that, because you could tell that the guys were a big deflated after we didn’t get in,” Coach Webb said.
Chris Pyle led the way for the Cardinals with 17 carries for 128 yards. Webb added 61 yards on 19 carries and Gabe Cleveland added 60 yards on 17 carries.
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