Story by Chad Mullen, special to Eudorareporter.com
The Eudora Cardinals historic playoff run came to a disappointing end on Saturday, as they were shut out by the new Kansas 4-A State Champion Rose Hill Rockets.
The game got off to a bad start, when Eudora fumbled on their first drive of the game. Two plays later, the Rockets capitalized off of the turnover, scoring on a 32-yard pass early in the first quarter. After a Eudora punt, Rose Hill gave the ball right back, fumbling at the Eudora 47 yard-line. The offense drove the ball deep into Rose Hill territory, but failed to convert on fourth down from Rose Hill’s 24.
The Rocket’s threatened to score again in the beginning of the second quarter, moving the ball all the way to the Eudora 3-yard line, but the Cardinal defense was able to stall them on fourth down. Another short Eudora drive later, Rose Hill got the football back on their 27 yard-line. What appeared to be a 75-yard touchdown by Rose Hill was called back by a holding penalty, and flipped the momentum to Eudora’s favor. Once again, the Cardinals were unable to take advantage of their luck, when a slew of penalties and sacks took the Cardinals from the Rocket’s 20 yard-line all the way back to Eudora’s 45, and were forced to punt.
At the beginning of the second half, with the same score, the Cardinals defense was able to force another Rose Hill turnover. However, the Cardinals gave the ball right back, when the ball popped out of the hands of running back Chris Pyle, and the defender returned the ball all the way into the end zone for a touchdown. Rose Hill then forced a four-and-out by Eudora, and proceeded to score another touchdown to put the game seemingly out of reach at 21-0 with 1:30 remaining in the third quarter. Eudora’s last chance to score, near the end of the fourth quarter, was halted by a goal line stand that ended their drive at the one yard-line.
Eudora finished their season with a record of 12-2. Their run to the State Championship was the first in school history, and their 12 win season is also a school record.