'21 homecoming

Junior Jaiden Bender bull rushes an Ottawa offensive lineman.

There was no better time to get back into the win column than homecoming night on Friday against Ottawa.

Senior quarterback Gage Hayden was responsible for three touchdowns, scoring two on the ground and one on a 53-yard pass to sophomore Adrion Seals. Ottawa scored on the first drive and took the first lead, but they would not find the endzone again.

“I told them that was going to happen because Ottawa has done that to everybody,” head coach Sean Hayden said. “They get up quick, they’re athletic, well-coached and their quarterback is a dude. We knew that was going to happen. We just had to weather that, and that’s what they did.”

Eudora ran the ball consistently well and senior running back Brayden Beerbower was able to answer Ottawa’s score with a 6-yard rushing touchdown with 50 seconds left in the first quarter. 

Gage Hayden extended the Cardinal’s lead to 21-7 by halftime with his touchdown pass to Seals and on a quarterback keeper when he leaped into the corner of the endzone with 12 seconds to go in the first half.

“Our defense faced adversity in the first drive,” Gage Hayden said. “After that, they fixed everything, made adjustments and they stopped them every play after that.”

Hayden scored another rushing touchdown in the third quarter bringing the score to 28-7 and was subbed for backup junior quarterback Kale Hammerschmidt halfway through the fourth quarter. Hammerschmidt usually spends most of his time at defensive back.

Junior running back Octavius Lyles scored a rushing touchdown late in the fourth quarter dashing any hopes of an Ottawa comeback.

Eudora came into the game suffering two close losses in a row, but they clicked on both sides of the ball on Friday. Sean Hayden said he was happy the team picked up the win, but improving each game is more important.

“I was never worried about the wins and losses, I don’t really operate like that,” he said. “It’s all about getting better every game and being at your best in the playoffs and that’s what we're going to continue to do.” 

Eudora moves to 3-3 on the season and will play at 7 p.m. Friday at Paola.

See more game and homecoming photos on our Facebook and Instagram pages.

Reach sports editor Chris Fortune at eudoratimes@gmail.com.

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