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Archive for Saturday, November 4, 2006

Cardinals eager for battle of unbeatens

Eudora, Atchison meet today in clash of Class 4A heavyweights

November 4, 2006

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Following a 47-13 win over Kansas City Piper on Tuesday, the Eudora High football team now squares off with Atchison just four days later in the second round of the Kansas Class 4A state football playoffs.

According to at least one poll, the two teams are regarded as among the top six Class 4A squads in Kansas, and are two of only five remaining undefeated teams in the bracket. They will kick off today at 4 p.m. in Atchison.

"The only thing about being undefeated right now is it means you're pretty good and have had a great season," Eudora coach Gregg Webb said. "But every team is still very, very dangerous. I mean, I'll throw our name in the hat, but there's not one team on our side that is a favorite - it's just wide open."

However, Atchison (10-0) has been dodging bullets lately - narrowly advancing to the second round with a 25-24 win against Clay Center after coming away with a 25-20 victory against Perry-Lecompton in the final week of the regular season.

"Just because they haven't played well as of late, it doesn't mean we're going to have a easy game," Webb said. "The scary thing is they have a lot of potential and any given day they could light up the scoreboard and we're just hoping that this isn't going to be that breakout game."

For that reason, Eudora (10-0) will once again rely on a defense that has been a large part of its undefeated season thus far. In their first-round game against Piper the Cardinals came up with four turnovers - two on interceptions by Dustin Foulk - setting the offense up with short fields.

"What we really do is just prepare our kids for what they are going to see," Webb said. "It's like a test and we just practice them for the test. We come into the season preparing them for whatever they might see and then show them each week. We're just trying to prepare them so when they take that test it's either a pass or fail - whether or not they were paying attention in class.

"We put them in a position to succeed, but then it's up to their physically ability to stop the play. And that's the danger, because we could put our kids in the right place but they still have to make the tackle and that's where athleticism comes into play."

But in order for Eudora to come out on top they're going to need another strong performance from tailback Travis Clarke, who ran for 114 yards and three touchdowns in the win over the Pirates.

"He's going to get it plenty of times," Webb said. "And that isn't going to change with who we play. We just may have to find a different way of getting it to him. We're just going to have to see if our stuff will be capable enough to get us a win."

With a short period between games, Webb's only concern over the last four days has been the health of his players.

"We have our center, Tim Durkin, questionable and we've got some nicks and bruises, but that's about it," Webb said. "But I guess when you're going into the fourth game in two weeks it could be a lot worse."

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