Failed conversion lifts BHS over Eudora 20-19
Rivalry games often provide exciting finishes.
Thursday's game here was no exception as Baldwin and Eudora battled it out for a shot at a home game Tuesday.
After the dust cleared, Baldwin held on to win 20-19 over Eudora.
"It feels awesome right now," Baldwin's Kyle Smith said. "You've got to love games like this. It's just a great rivalry game."
For the second time in three years, BHS handed Eudora its first loss of the season.
"We just played one of the best teams in 4A," BHS coach Mike Berg said. "They've got every weapon imaginable. It's just unbelievable how we were able to maintain our lead."
The rivalry game to end the regular season came down to the final offensive play. After scoring its final touchdown, the Cardinals opted to try a two-point conversion.
Baldwin stuffed the Cardinals' play at the one-yard line, all but sealing the victory. BHS recovered the onside kick with three seconds left and took one knee before celebrating the district title.
"That was our goal," Berg said. "We wanted to play at home and we wanted to be 3-0."
Eudora coach Gregg Webb said his players wanted to win the game instead of finishing it in overtime.
"There were two ways of thinking about it," Webb said. "We had all of the momentum in the world, so lets end it right here while they were on their back or we kick it and hope we carry that momentum into overtime, which now looks pretty good. But our kids wanted to take a chance and thought we could end it right there," Webb said.
In hindsight, he said that may not have been the best decision, but he believed his team had the ability to score on the conversion.
"We were in the fourth quarter and down two scores," Webb said. "If you would have told me at that minute, would you take 20-19 with a chance to win with no time on the clock and the ball at the two-and-a-half yard line, I would have taken it in a heart beat right then. But in hindsight, we should have run a different play or kicked it."
The Cardinals' final touchdown came with 0:04 left in the contest when Travis Clarke scored his second touchdown of the game. Baldwin called a timeout, giving Eudora time to consider a two-point conversion.
The Cardinals missed their first extra point attempt of the night. They scored twice in the fourth quarter after trailing 20-6.
Baldwin jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead after scoring on two of its first three possessions.
The first was a 20-yard pass from Drew Berg to Jesse Green. It came on a fourth-down-and-eight at the Eudora 20-yard line.
Two possessions later, the Bulldogs threw a screen pass that went for 65 yards. Berg connected with the Bulldogs' fastest player, Smith, on the score.
Baldwin's final touchdown came on a one-yard pass from Drew Berg to Green. It was a fourth down attempt during the third quarter. BHS didn't score a rushing touchdown for the first time all season.
"They shut our single wing down and you have to give them credit for that," coach Berg said. "They shut our running game down, so we had to go to some different things."
"At home when you get that lead and that crowd involved, it's really important to keep that lead," Berg said. "That's what we wanted to do. We need to learn to play better with the lead. We were kind of cautious at the end."
After the whistle blew on the final play of the game, BHS players rushed the field with excitement. BHS senior Gabe Mason enjoyed beating Eudora one last time during his time at BHS.
"I've been with these guys ever since fourth grade and that's a bond you can't break," Mason said. "It's pretty emotional to come out and win this. It's just going to give us a little push into the next game."
Eudora -- 0 6 0 13 - 19
Baldwin -- 14 0 6 0 - 20
B -- Jesse Green 20 reception from Drew Berg (Logan Schiller kick)
B -- Kyle Smith 65 reception from Berg (Schiller kick)
E -- Travis Clarke 3 run (Dylan Rust kick wide left)
B -- Green 3 reception from Berg (Schiller kick wide left)
E -- Brynnen Webb 1 run (Rust kick)
E -- Clarke 2 run (Clarke conversion failed)