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At halftime of the Eudora Cardinal football game, the High School Dance Team performed a Halloween routine set to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”. That was the only thing thrilling on the field Friday night. At least the halftime show wasn’t set to Jackson’s “Bad”. That may have been a little more accurate.
Ottawa got on the board first when Senior Running Back Alex Lynch scored on a 17 yard run with 5:26 left in the first quarter. Eudora tried to fight back with time running down in the first. J.T. Howell ran two consecutive end-arounds. On the first he ran for 66 yards and the second for 12 yards into the end zone. With the extra point, it knotted the game at 7. That was the last and only significant offense Eudora would have on the night.
Ottawa put 6 on the board in the second quarter when Lynch scored his second of three rushing touchdowns of the night with 5:12 left in the half. Kicker Brandon Church missed the extra point to give the Ottawa Cyclones a 13-7 halftime lead.
Eudora spent the first half trying to stop Ottawa and get something going offensively. The Cards were not able to do either job effectively. Ottawa didn’t let up in the second half either. Senior Kord Ferguson scored from one yard out at the 8:59 mark of the third quarter to give them a 20-7 margin of victory and Lynch put the game out of reach when he scored with 8:15 left in the game from 3 yards out.
This season the Cardinals played a defense that was a bend don’t break style. Friday night, the defense broke down. The team was not able to stop the run up the middle. Head Coach Kevin Kopecky has talked about lack of defense all season long. The loss of Ballock to injury during the St. James Academy game has hurt as well. While Ballock’s offensive leadership is a missing ingredient, he defensive skills are truly missed more. The defense tries hard, but it’s ability to stop the run is lacking. Ottawa proved that Friday night.
The outlook is not bright either. Eudora will travel to Baker University Halloween night for the season finale against the 8-0 Baldwin City Bulldogs. The Bulldogs were a pre-season pick by many to win class 4-A this year and have beaten their opponents by an average of nearly 40 points this season. It will be a must win game for Eudora to keep their season alive. A loss means 3rd place in the district and the team goes from two-time state championship runner-up to watching the playoffs from the stands.