OHS football team wears down against Eudora

Greg Mast
The Ottawa Herald

The Eudora football program is one that Ottawa aspires to be like in the future.

The Cyclones gave everything they had against the Cardinals, but could not match their physical play for four quarters. Ottawa ran out of gas in the second half of the 35-7 loss.

Ottawa High School sophomore Parker Guge makes a tackle after being knocked to the ground against Eudora.

“Physically, we did not match up well with them,” Ottawa coach Walt Alexander said. “The kids’ heart was there. We got beat by a better team. We have to own that. They are better because they have had their program in place longer.”

The momentum switched late in the first half. Eudora led 14-7 at the time. Ottawa was driving and had Eudora on its heels.

A turnover turned the game around. Eudora then drove for score with less than 10 seconds remaining to gain a 21-7 halftime lead.

“It was a 14-point swing there,” Alexander said. “We were down there [close to the red zone] when it happened. The kids were excited. We had them panicking a little bit. A couple of unfortunate turnovers kept us out of it.”

Eudora took the opening kickoff of the second half and drove the length of the field for a score to go up 28-7.

Ottawa kept fighting, but the physical toll began to wear on the Cyclones.

“They fought hard and never quit,” Alexander said. “The attitude, the execution, the way we do things, the improvement on alignment and assignments, all those little things, we are five times better than we’ve been. They are getting better every week.

“It is the physical fatigue, conditioning part, we just can’t do right now.”

Ottawa has several players hardly stepping off the field, while Eudora had just a few going both ways.

“You have to have enough weight room behind you to have the endurance to go harder and longer than your opponent,” Alexander said. “If you have not been in the weight room consistently for two or three years, then it is almost impossible to play at a high level going both ways. It is almost impossible to play at a high level going one way when you have not been in the weight room. You are going up against a program that has lifted their butts off and they are playing one way most of them. It makes it difficult.”

Alexander sees a lot of good signs coming from the Cyclones.

“It is a matter of time when we get strong enough and the endurance to go hard enough long enough,” he said. ‘It is coming. These are awesome kids. They did everything they could.”