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Jesse_Owen_Bonner_Springs_2014_09_05Eudora High Football Coach Jesse Owen (photo by Eudorareporter.com Photojournalist Julie Stewart)

Eudora News and Informationwww.eudorareporter.com

Eudora High Head Football Coach Jesse Owen has resigned his position to become the head coach at Olathe East High School. Owen spent just one season as the Cardinal Head Coach having come from Olathe North High School where he was an assistant coach.

“This is a great place and great people,” Owen said in an exclusive interview. “But that is where my family is, my in-laws are there and this is a better situation for me and my family.”

Owen stated that he was contacted by the Olathe School District as to possible interest in becoming one of their head football coaches.

“I certainly didn’t plan on this when I came to Eudora eight months ago,” Owen said. “But you can’t control timing.  If I would have known this was going to happen, I never would have taken the job here.”

In his lone season as Eudora Head Coach, Owen compiled a 5-4 record, going 3-3 in the District.

The Olathe School District has two head coaching vacancies. Olathe North long time legendary coach and mentor to Owen, Gene Weir took an off-field position with the Kansas University football program in December. Olathe East Head Coach Jeff Meyers was fired after 29 years as Head Coach following Olathe East’s first non-winning season since 1999.

Eudora High will now have to look for it’s third new head coach in three years. Prior to Owen coming to EHS, Kevin Kopecky served for one season and resigned in March, 2014.  Attempts to reach Eudora High School Assistant Principal and Activities Director Kara Kimberlin about the vacancy were unsuccessful.

Owen said he plans on continuing as a P.E. instructor at EHS through the remainder of the 2014-2015 school year.

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Downing_Griffith_Wellsville_2014_09_26Austin Downing escapes tacklers as he heads down field with Senior Seth Griffith looking to block in Eudora’s win over Wellsville Friday night (photo by Eudorareporter.com photojournalist Joe Pelzel)

Eudora News and Informationwww.eudorareporter.com

It may have not been pretty, but style points don’t figure into putting one in the win column.  The Cardinals outlasted the Wellsville Eagles Friday night at Eudora District Stadium 19-16 to get up to .500 on the season.

Eudora did not get the win by looking good, but the defense came up big when they needed to, stopping Wellsville near the goal line many times.  Eudora got on the scoreboard midway through the first quarter when QB Austin Downing scored on a 13 yard run. The Cards went for the extra point, but a mishandled snap on the attempt left them with a 6-0 lead.

The teams went back and forth down the field in the remainder of the first half with the only highlight being Grant Elston making a short appearance at QB and punter.  Elston was injured two weeks ago in the loss to Louisburg. Elston handed the ball off several times in his return and appeared to be in the game for evaluation purposes to see how his ankle is healing.

“He’s making progress,” Head Coach Jess Owen said following the game. “We wanted to give him a couple of series.  He could have played some more, but we’re glad to have him back.”

Neis_Manley_Wellsville_2014_09_26

Travis Neis and Skyler Manley help wrap up a win over Wellsville Friday night (Photo by Eudorareporter.com Photojournalist Joe Pelzel)

The Second half started off with some excitement. The Cardinals received the opening kickoff and took the ball to their own 39. The very first offensive play following the return, Downing took off and scored a 61 yard rushing touchdown.  Eudora went for the two point conversion and couldn’t run it in giving them a 12-0 lead.

The teams went back forth in a game that saw so many yellow flags on the ground, you would have thought Dorothy and Toto were going to have a yellow road to stroll down. The unofficial count for penalties was 19 with Eudora accounting for 13 of them.

In the fourth quarter, Eudora again scored early when Downing broke off another long run, this time for 79 yards. Eudora hit the extra poitn kick and took a 19-0 lead. Wellsville then finally got into the game. Wellsville Senior Brett Osbern scored on a 21 yard run with 10:48 left. The extra point kick cut the Eudora lead to 11.  Wellsville again found the end zone when QB Cole Silsby hit Osbern with a 46 yard pass. The successful two-point conversion cut Eudora’s lead to 3 with 5:29 left.  On the ensuing drive Downing fumbled the ball right at the 50 yard line giving Wellsville hope of taking the lead, but Wellsville could not get any offense going and the Cards won by the 19-16 final.

Eudora’s defense made some key stops near the end zone on long Wellsville drives during the entire game.  The defense seemed to have a bend but don’t break style of play.

“As a whole, we obviously improved from a week ago, but we have a lot of room for improvement,” Owen said.  “We still had some bad pursuit angles, we still are dropping our heads a lot and we had just way to many missed tackles.”

Eudora will celebrate their Homecoming game next Friday night when Basehor-Linwood comes to town.  The Bobcats are 3-1 on the season with wins over Baldwin, Lansing and Turner High School. Their sole loss came against Bonner Springs, a team Eudora beat in the season opener.

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2014-09-19 Seth Griffith_PaolaRunning Back Seth Griffith tries to find a hole in the defense during the 48-8 loss to Paola (photo by Eudorareporter.com Photojournalist Julie Stewart)

Eudora News and Informationwww.eudorareporter.com

My mother always said to me if you can’t say anything nice about someone, don’t say it all. Sadly though, if I followed that advice for this story, it would begin and end with the statement that the Cardinals lost 48-8 against the Paola Panthers at Eudora District Stadium Friday night.

The Cardinal defense was completely absent during the entire game. The offense showed very little. Special teams were abysmal. That kind of sums up the loss on Friday night.

Paola started the opening drive from their own 47 yard line due to a short kick on kickoff.  Eudora’s starting kicker and quarterback, Grant Elston was injured during last weeks game. Elston suffered a bruised ankle in the loss at Louisburg and was out for this game. Paola  took just 1:13 to score on a 3 play 57 yard drive. All three plays were runs by Paola Running Back Nathan Staats.  Special teams did block the extra point attempt and the lead was only 6. Eudora then marched right back down the field. Substitute Quarterback Austin Downing, and Running Back Seth Griffith combined for a series of runs with Griffith punching the ball in fro 4 yards out to even up the game. Downing ran in the two point conversion to give the Cards their only lead of the night. All of this was in the first three minutes of the game. After that Paola took control and never looked back.

Eudora dance team member Lauryn Splichal tries to help cheer on the crowd during the 48-8 loss to Paola (photo by Eudorareporter.com photojournalist Julie Stewart)

Eudora dance team member Lauryn Splichal tries to help cheer on the crowd during the 48-8 loss to Paola (photo by Eudorareporter.com photojournalist Julie Stewart)

Paola scored on the next possession and made the two point conversion to take a 14-8 lead. They added 6 more with 10:39 left in the second and again with 6:28 to give them a 28-8 lead going into the locker room.

Paola figured out how to stop the Cardinal offense, led mainly by running plays from Downing, Griffith and Chris Rivers, but the Cardinal defense simply could not stop the Panther’s offense. Paola scored 3 more times in the third quarter to give them a 48-8 final victory.

Injuries played a big part in the Cardinal loss as well. With several players out before the game even started, the offense was moved around trying to cobble together some offense. The players who saw much of the plays through out the night also went down during the game include Griffith with cramping issues and Rivers who had an undisclosed injury on the Paola sideline in the 4th quarter.

Following the game, new Eudora Head Coach Jesse Owen was not pleased with his team’s play on the night.

“Ugly,” was simply how Owen described the 2014 home debut. “Fundamentally it was a  poor performance on both sides of the ball. We got pushed around at the point of contact and we missed a lot of tackles.”

Owen said the team’s performance was very undisciplined and talked generally about all the injuries.

“We have a lot of adversity right now. We have some key people out, but that’s not an excuse,” Owen stated. “We were expecting everyone to kind of step up and hold the fort down. We get rattled when something doesn’t go our way and that’s the sign of a team that really needs to look into the mirror. The coaching staff needs to look into the mirror and there’s room for improvement that’s for sure.”

Owen would not comment on specific players injuries and gave no timetable for a return by any of them.

Eudora is now 1-2 on the season and will have a tough test from their neighbor to the south, Wellsville next Friday night at Eudora District Stadium. Wellsville racked up two wins already this season with decisive wins over Osawatomie and Anderson County.

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Griffith_Chumbley_Louisburg_2014_09_12Seth Griffith (21) and Ross Chumbley make a tackle during the loss to Louisburg Friday night (Photo by Eudorareporter.com photojournalist Julie Stewart) 

Eudora News and Informationwww.eudorareporter.com

The Eudora Cardinals posted their first lost of the season in Louisburg Friday night 14-7.  The bigger loss though may have been starting quarterback Grant Elston.

Elston got Eudora on the score board first when he ran it in from the 19 yard line with about six minutes to go in the first quarter. Elston also kicked the extra point to make it 7-0. Louisburg tied up the game in the 2nd quarter when Cole Kramer scored on a 9 yard run into the end zone and Alex Dunn made the point after attempt.

The game went back and forth and early in the fourth quarter Alex Dunn scored the game winning touchdown from one yard out and hit the extra point attempt to give Louisburg the 14-7 win and drop the Cardinals to 1-1 on the season.

Elston_Louisburg_2014-09-12Grant Elston takes the ball down field in the Cardinal loss to Louisburg Friday night (Photo by Eudorareporter.com photojournalist Julie Stewart) 

Following the game, we learned that Eudora Quarterback Grant Elston was injured in the second half. Elston was hit and had his leg wrapped but played through the injury until the end of the game. According to reports, his ankle was either broken or badly sprained.  The extent of the injury was not available late Friday night.  The seriousness of the injury will be determined Saturday morning.

If Elston is unable to play, this deals a serious blow to the Cardinals as they lose their starting quarterback and place kicker. We will have more details as they become available.

Paola will come to town next Friday night to open up the Cardinals home field. Paola is 1-1 after a one point loss to Spring Hill last week and a 24-0 win over De Soto in Paola Friday night.

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Cheerleader_Bonner_Springs_2014_09_05A Eudora Cheerleader celebrates near the start of the season opener against Bonner Springs (photo by Eudorareporter.com photojournalist Joe Pelzel)

Eudora News and Informationwww.eudorareporter.com

The Eudora Cardinals opened up their season Friday night with a 35-27 victory at Bonner Springs.  The Cardinals, under new head coach Jesse Owen, are looking to improve on the 5-4 record they posted last season.

Eudora got on the scoreboard first with a rushing touchdown late in the 1st quarter.  Bonner Springs quickly answered that with a passing touchdown just two minutes later to tie it up. Eudora then took a 7 point lead into halftime when they completed a pass for a touchdown with under a minute to go.

Jesse_Owen_Bonner_Springs_2014_09_05

Eudora Head Coach Jesse Owen preps his team for the game against Bonner Springs (photo by Eudorareporter.com photojournalist Julie Stewart)

Eudora got the ball back following halftime and went down the field scoring again, putting the Cardinals up by two touchdowns. Bonner Springs though wasn’t ready to give up.  The Braves scored two successive touchdowns with 5 minutes left to go and again found the end zone with nearly a minute left to go in the 3rd quarter to tie the game back up.

The see-saw back and forth game continued in the 4th quarter when Eudora took the ball down the field on the opening possession of the quarter for a rushing touchdown. Bonner Springs eventually worked the ball down the field and with 5 minutes left to go in the game punched one in. The game turned when Bonner Springs could not make the extra point kick and the Cardinals led the game by one.

The icing on the cake came when Eudora scored another rushing touchdown with a minute left in the game to give the Cards the victory.

Grant_Elston_Bonner_Springs_2014_09_05Grant Elston runs through the Bonner Springs tacklers on the way to a 35-27 victory over the Bonner Springs Braves (photo by Eudorareporter.com photojournalist Joe Pelzel)

The Cardinals will travel to Louisburg next Friday night to take on the Wildcats at 7:00 PM. Louisburg is also 1-0 after beating Ottawa Friday night 19-0.

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