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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 photojournalist Joe Pelzel)

Eudora News and

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.”


Travis Neis and Skyler Manley help wrap up a win over Wellsville Friday night (Photo by 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.


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 Photojournalist Julie Stewart)

Eudora News and

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 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 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.


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

Eudora News and

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 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.


DC PhotoPhoto courtesy Kennedy O’Dell

Eudora News and Information

Eudora High senior Kennedy O’Dell, daughter of Amy Booth and Ben O’Dell, has become Eudora’s very first National Merit Finalist. It’s a prestigious award, and not easy to come by.  Finalists are chosen based on their academic record, score on the PSAT, teacher recommendations and an essay.  Students’ leadership roles in the community and in their high schools are also evaluated.  Obviously those who become National Merit Finalists have done little slacking off in their school career.

When I asked Kennedy what she thought about being the very first finalist in Eudora’s history, she said, “I thought there had been others so I didn’t think it was a big deal.  But I realized it was a very big deal when I immediately began to get college scholarships.”

She did indeed begin getting college scholarship offers.  In fact, the University of Oklahoma offered Kennedy $100,00 to come there.  But she turned down the offer because along with majoring in Public Affairs and obtaining a certificate in Arabic and American studies, Kennedy wants to be on the college track and field team, throwing the shot-put and discus as she has done in high school.  She didn’t feel like she would have much opportunity at a Division I school.

Kennedy’s dad recommended that she apply at some Ivy League schools.  She took his advice and right away she got an offer from Princeton University.  In fact, a Princeton track and field coach called her and said he really wanted her to come there and join the team.  It seemed almost too easy to Kennedy.  She accepted the offer, and Kennedy will head to Princeton, New Jersey this fall.   She has a lot of education ahead of her to accomplish her goals.

“My friends make fun of me,” said Kennedy, “and ask if I’ll ever leave school.  But I love it so I’ll probably be in school for a long, long time!”

Kennedy O’Dell has had quite a high school career.  Besides being at the top of her class academically, she has been Student Council president, choir president, editor of the school newspaper, a SADD member, a volleyball player, a member of the track team, and a four-year member of the Scholars Bowl team.  She’s been in theatrical productions each year and has been a part of Writing Club.

She’s also been involved in the community, serving as a past president of her 4-H Club, spending a summer working with Habitat for Humanity and is currently involved with the Paul Davis for Governor campaign.  A busy young woman indeed!

Kennedy is excited to see what the future holds, and the opportunities provided by becoming a National Merit Finalist.  “The best thing is that the title will stick with  me,” Kennedy stated.  “It will help me when I am applying for grad school.”  And no doubt it will help her when she is someday looking for that perfect job.

What is Kennedy’s advice for other students who would like to achieve this same goal?  “Calm down.  Take a deep breath.  Remember you can do it.”

Kennedy O’Dell has certainly done it.  The community wishes her the very best as she heads off into a new phase of her life this fall.


Eudora_Baldwin_City_Post_GameThe EHS football team gathers on the field following the season finale following a loss to Baldwin City (photo by photojournalist Julie Stewart)


Eudora News and Information

The Eudora High Cardinals had their season come to an end at the hands of the 9-0 Baldwin City Bulldogs Thursday night at Baker University.  The Cards regular season finale was no small task for a team that was decimated by injury and facing the Bulldogs who were picked in the preseason to be a serious competitor for the 4A State Championship.

From the beginning of the game fans could tell that Baldwin City was poised and ready.  The Bulldogs played with an intensity and focus that reminded fans of the Eudora High team from two years ago. Their running and passing game was precise and efficient.  Baldwin City made it look effortless.  Eudora took the opening kickoff and promptly went three and out.  On the Bulldogs very first possession, they marched down the field in rhythmic  fashion and scored when B.C. Senior Quarterback Chad Berg scrambled in from 32 yards out.  Eudora tried to muster a defense but was obviously overmatched by the strength and discipline of the Bulldogs.  The Cards drove down the length of the field but could not punch the ball in the end zone.  Eudora settled for a field goal from the 2 yard line with 6.1 seconds left in the first quarter.  That was the last time Eudora would get close to the end zone in the first half.

In the second quarter, Baldwin started to move the ball. Baldwin scored four times during the quarter putting the game out of reach. Senior Running Back Cornell Brown scored three times in the quarter, the first being a 15 yard run with 7:37 left.  Following a three and out by Eudora, Brown scored again when he received the punt at his own 8 and ran 92 yards for the TD.  Berg later scored by calling his own number and scooted into the end zone from the 11 with 1:11 remaining in the half.  With another three and out by Eudora following Berg’s TD run, Baldwin moved down the field quickly, aided by an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against Mason Tomlinson which allowed Berg to connect with Brown for a 23-yard pass in the back of the end zone as time expired in the half.

Elston_Grriffith_Merz_BladwinEudora QB Grant Elston attempts a run with Seth  Griffith and Justus Merz trying to block an impressive Baldwin City defense (photo by Photojournalist Julie Stewart)

Half time pep talks and a rest in the locker room didn’t help Eudora. Baldwin again scored with  5:41 left in the 3rd when Sophomore Joel Katzer scored from 3 yards out to give B.C. a 42-3 lead. Following the touchdown, the Bulldogs knowing the game was well in hand, substituted in their second team.  It wasn’t until the fourth quarter that Eudora was finally able to put some points up on the board.  QB Grant Elston scored with 8:03 left in the game and Austin Downing scored from the 3 in the final seconds to cut the Bulldog lead to 25. The loss means that Eudora will miss the playoffs following two successive runs to the State championship.

After the game, Eudora Head Coach Kevin Kopecky, reflected on the last few weeks of the season.

“We kind of got into a bad skid at the end of the year and district time is a bad time to do that,” Kopecky said. “Our kids that are coming back next year need to remember this feeling because it can’t happen again.”

Kopecky already is looking towards next season and how he plans on making changes to take the Cardinals back to the playoffs.

“The wheels are turning already. We got to work really hard in the offseason,” Kopecky told us. “”I’m really excited about the future. We got a lot of young kids on this football team and I know they’ll put in the work and were going to be okay next season.”

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