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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.”
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.