Archive for Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Offensive execution key for Eudora

October 31, 2006

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— Just five days ago the Eudora High football squad capped off its first undefeated regular season in nearly 60 years, but the victory wasn't exactly the Cardinals' style of football.

The team's 14-0 victory over Baldwin on Thursday was its lowest scoring output all season - coming in below the previous low of 26 in the game against De Soto one week earlier.

But with the first round of the Class 4A state playoffs starting tonight against Kansas City Piper, Eudora coach Gregg Webb isn't going to make any drastic adjustments to an offense that averages nearly 40 points per game.

"We just want to make sure we're doing what we are normally doing," Webb said. "There were things we didn't do real well and haven't been doing well lately, but we're not changing anything. We just need to make sure we do things correctly - the things we've done well all year."

The play of senior quarterback Kent Swanson is something the team will look to build upon, as he has accounted for three touchdowns over the last two weeks and has thrown for a total of 14 touchdowns. Junior wide receiver Matthew Abel has been Swanson's favorite target, having hauled in nine scores - his last two in the De Soto game.

On the ground, junior running back Travis Clarke has hauled the load with his 14 touchdowns.

While the offense has sputtered lately, the Eudora defense - which has a completely new secondary this season - has held its opponents to 10 points per game. That could bode well as the Cardinals face a team that is averaging barely two touchdowns per game, with its largest point total coming in last week's 40-8 victory against Basehor-Linwood.

"I still think we have room for improvement," Webb said. "We fully expect to be successful as far as we go in the playoffs. It's just going to take a combination of a lot of things. Both offense and defense will need to play well, and they'll need to be as sharp as ever and simply can't let down. This is the most fun part of the season, but it's one-and-done, so we have to make sure all phases are sharp."

And this squad knows about disappointing first-round losses. Just a year ago they were bounced out by Louisburg in a 44-30 loss because of a second-half meltdown.

"We've been to the playoffs the last several years, so I think they understand the urgency and how it can end quickly if we're not prepared and don't give everything every night," Webb said. "They are really level-headed kids, and they're ready for it. Last year's loss is definitely fresh in their minds about how quickly it can all end.

"With the short week we've got to cram a lot - especially with these last three games in about 10 days and not having time to change what we're doing. We just need to figure out what they're doing and prepare the kids the best as we can."

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