Cats ready for Eudora
Turnovers have for the most part been kind to the De Soto football team this year, and in the end, they were kind to the Cats Friday night.
But oh the heart attacks they caused in-between!
De Soto took a giant step Friday toward earning a spot in the playoffs by beating Baldwin 22-13. The Wildcats overcame three fumbles and three interceptions, but won the game with a pair of late interceptions. Junior safety Shane Miller grabbed one pick and returned it for a touchdown.
Senior cornerback Jerod Bader then grabbed another to stop Baldwin's final drive.
"We preach positive turnover margin, but we didn't protect the football like we have been so far," De Soto coach Brad Scott said.
The flurry of turnovers capped a wild end to the game. De Soto took a 14-13 lead in the third quarter with a 35-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jake Morse to tight end Erik Hill.
The Cats then clawed their way into position to put the game away late in the fourth quarter. Morse again found Hill, this time down the middle of the field and the Cats had a first-and-goal situation from inside the 10-yard line.
Morse fumbled on the next play. It would have been a very costly turnover had Miller not picked his pass off on the very next play.
"That was his breakout game," Scott said of Miller. "He had a pass breakup that was huge, then the interception to seal the game was a huge play for us."
It's not exactly the way it was drawn up, Scott said, but it will count and it offers a bit of important confidence as the Cats prepare to take on Kansas Highway 10 Rival Eudora Friday in De Soto.
Eudora has fought its way into Class 4A rankings across the state and is fresh off a dominating performance in its first district game, a 48-6 win over Spring Hill.
The Cardinals scored the first three touchdowns against the Broncos and running back Travis Clarke ran for 205 yards and five touchdowns.
Stopping Clarke will be key, Scott said, and that's not nearly as easy as simply tackling the guy with the football.
"Eudora has probably the best offensive line we've seen this year," Scott said. "They are an excellent football team."
The Cardinals have run it up on most teams they've played, so far their only close game coming against Gardner Edgerton. Eudora outlasted the Trailblazers 40-36, and in that Scott said he sees some chances for his team.
De Soto had a lead on Gardner at halftime, but let it slip away and lost 32-16.
The key, Scott said, will be keeping Eudora's powerful offense on the sideline, and the way to do that is to string together first downs.
The Cardinals registered shutouts in three of their first four games, gave up 14 to Anderson County and just one score to Spring Hill.
But if the Cats can find a way to keep working against the defense, Scott said he's very confident his team can make a game of it.
"We feel like our offense is going to have the key to the ballgame," Scott said. "We know we can go out there and play with their best teams. I think it's a pretty evenly matched ballgame. If we play our best football game, it's going to be a heck of a night."