Eudora snaps back into form
By Matt Gerstner PrepsKC staff writer
Eudora has been, as head coach Gregg Webb put it, “Jekyll” in the past couple of weeks. Friday night against Louisburg, they were all “Hyde.”
The Cardinals advanced to the Kansas Class 4A state semifinals following a methodical 19-0 shutout of Louisburg.
“We have games like tonight, where our defense is ridiculous, and other games where we come out in a funk,” Webb said. “The games that we need to play well, we’ve been playing pretty good.”
Eudora, the 2011 4A runner-up, limited the Wildcat offense to just 102 yards and five first downs on offense, most of them coming when the comeback looked impossible, while quarterback Andrew Ballock and the Cardinal offense repeatedly gashed a tough Louisburg defense in the rematch of a 21-20 Eudora win in Week 2.
“When our offensive line is as dominant as it tonight, and (Ballock) is running like he was, it’s good stuff. We just kept pounding the ball. I’m happy with 19 points against these guys,” Webb said.
Ballock finished with 147 yards on 13 carries and a rushing touchdown while running back Gabe Cleveland, playing on one good ACL, added 68 yards on 17 touches with two scores. The Cardinals threw just one pass in the game.
“It’s hard to take the ball away from Andrew and Gabe when we’re pounding the ball like that and having success,” Webb said. “Andrew can throw, but I didn’t want to give them the opportunity for a tipped ball or anything like that.”
Ballock found a way around the defense late in the first quarter, ripping off runs of 20 and 14 yards before taking it in from 1-yard out on a nine-play, 54-yard drive.
Eudora would get another score in the second from Cleveland on a 3-yard run, aided by Ballock’s 40-yard scamper. The extra point would miss, but the Cardinals would have a 13-0 halftime lead.
“We just followed what coach said. We trusted him, and our offensive line got it moving tonight,” Cleveland said.
Eudora extended their lead to 19 when Cleveland scampered in from 11 yards out on the opening drive of the second half, while the defense continued its stifling of the Louisburg offense.
“We know they’re a well-coached team and they play physical,” Wildcat coach Gary Griffin said. “They’re just a team full of tough players. They out-physicaled us tonight.
“It was tough to get anything going tonight. They’re very good on defense, and they execute on offense.
Webb and the Cardinals now have another chance to have a “Hyde” moment against Piper next Saturday. Eudora beat Piper in the opening week of the season, 25-7.
“We have to stay healthy, and not take any weeks off,” Cleveland said. “Piper has a lot of good skill players that can get to the outside. We’ve got to march the ball down the field like we did tonight.”
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