Better to win ugly than lose pretty. Or something like that.
Eudora probably won’t enjoy watching film the next few days, but it’s advancing in the Kansas Class 4A playoffs nonetheless after a 13-0 victory against visiting De Soto on Tuesday night. Eudora will play Tonganoxie in a regional-round game on Saturday.
The Cardinals, 9-1, won despite totaling only 204 yards of offense and completing only two passes.
“I’m going to go in there and hug them and tell them I love them,” Eudora coach Gregg Webb said of his locker-room postgame speech. “But in my mind, I’m thinking, ‘Yuck.’ ”
His defense, for what it’s worth, did its part in turning Tuesday’s game into a sloppy affair.
Eudora forced five turnovers — the last of which ended De Soto’s only real chance to score. Trailing 7-0 with 9 minutes to play in the fourth quarter, De Soto lined up for a third-and-2 call at Eudora’s 3-yard line, but an errant snap sailed over quarterback Corbin Clark’s head. Eudora defensive end Nick Becker recovered it 22 yards downfield.
Cardinals quarterback Andrew Ballock capped the ensuing 12-play drive with a 1-yard sneak — his second score of the game — for the 13-0 final.
“We had our chances, but we kept making too many mistakes,” De Soto coach Tom Byers said. “In a game like this against a good team like that, you can’t shoot the ball over the quarterback’s head when you’re about to score.”
It was simply the final straw on a chilly night that included a slew of ineffective offensive snaps for De Soto, which totaled 158 yards. Clark completed five of 17 passes for 64 yards and two interceptions. Jacob Price led the team with 62 rushing yards, but he fumbled twice.
De Soto turned the ball over four times in the opening half. Its fourth turnover — a fumble forced and recovered by Eudora’s Markis Hill — set up a short field for the Cardinals, and Ballock punched in a 9-yard run for a 7-0 lead with 1:42 remaining in the half.
“We were fortunate,” Webb said.
“They gave us four turnovers, but we’re only up 7-0 at halftime. That’s ridiculous.”
Ballock attempted only four passes as Eudora focused on its running game. He rushed for a team-high 74 yards in 21 carries.
“We didn’t really play great, but we fought through it,” Ballock said. “Every yard was tough. We kept fighting and eventually got to the end zone.”