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Defense keys Louisburg in shutout of Eudora

Andy Brown / Louisburg Sports Zone
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Louisburg’s Blue Caplinger (28), Brayden White (75) and Jorge Lebron (22) bring down a Eudora runner with the help of a host of other Wildcats on Friday in Eudora.

 

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EUDORA – The Louisburg High School football team encountered a slow start to its game Friday against Eudora.

However, once the Wildcats got going, they never let off the gas.

Louisburg forced three first half turnovers, and scored touchdowns on all three possessions, which led to a 34-0 victory for the Wildcats at Eudora High School. After a scoreless first quarter, Louisburg exploded with 27 points before halftime and never looked back.

“The defense was awesome and it was great to get our first shutout of the year,” Louisburg coach Robert Ebenstein said. “To do it against a kid like they have at running back (Gavin Elston), and keep him out of the endzone, was big for us because he is an explosive player.

“We capitalized on all of those turnovers, which was huge, and it gave us a lot of momentum. That is just how it rolls. The defense was just flying around and making hits, stripping the ball out and they all did a great job.”

The Wildcats (5-0) were a little short-handed coming into Friday’s contest as starting linemen Noah Larson and Garrett Harding were out due to injuries and left two open spots on both sides of the ball.

Senior Cole Williams started at center for Larson, while the Wildcats put freshman Dominic Owens in for Harding. On the defense line, seniors Brian Houck, Jonathan DePriest and James Foote helped fill the void on that side of the ball.

The offensive line, that included Brayden White, DePriest, Kiefer Tucker, tight end Michael Waldron and back Blue Caplinger, helped pave the way for 386 yards of total offense, including 244 yards on the ground. Running back Austin Moore led the way with 152 yards rushing on 22 carriees.

“Whenever you throw a freshman onto a varsity line it is just going to be an awakening for him,” Ebenstein said. “I thought he hung in there and his composure was good. I thought the line did a good job talking all night and telling people where to go. That is the type of leadership we have right now, that when you bring a freshman in, the other guys just make sure we just roll with it.”

Senior James Foote tries to pry the ball loose from a Eudora player Friday.

Defensively, the Wildcats created opportunities with the three turnovers, including an interception and forced fumble by Brayden Gage, a forced and recovered fumble by Tucker, a fumble recovery by Charlie Koontz.

Senior linebacker Austin Moore led the way finished with a team-high 10 tackles, while Houck and Tanner Belcher each added nine. Tucker finished with eight tackles and Jorge Lebron and White both recorded seven.

Louisburg limited the Eudora offense to 211 total yards, all of which came on the ground. Coming off an emotional win against Piper the week before, Ebenstein was worried his team might be in for letdown against winless Eudora team.

“I was honestly terrified because the last three times we have been here it has been a one possession game,” Ebenstein said. “We won the last two, and lost the one before that, and it is something about this field that we haven’t put anyone away. Eudora is a good team that has a new coach. I knew they would be ready, but I thought our kids handled it well.”

After Tucker recovered a fumble late in the first quarter, Louisburg found the endzone early in the second. The Wildcats faced a fourth-and-1 and Moore came through with a big run as he broke free for a 26-yard touchdown to put Louisburg up 6-0.

Senior lineman Jonathan DePriest opens up a hole for the Wildcat offense Friday against Eudora.

On Eudora’s ensuing possession, Gage picked off a Eudora pass and the Wildcats turned it into points a minute later. Louisburg quarterback Madden Rutherford, who threw for 142 yards and three touchdowns, rewarded Gage and hit him for a 38-yard touchdown pass on the Wildcats’ first play from scrimmage.

Koontz recovered a Eudora fumble a short time later, and again Rutherford made Eudora pay with a 26-yard touchdown pass to Caplinger, who went up in the air for the ball and came down with it to put Louisburg up 21-0.

Then right before halftime, the Wildcats drove down and scored one more time as Rutherford connected with Waldron on an 8-yard touchdown pass to take a 27-0 lead into the break.

Louisburg added a score in the fourth quarter when Moore found the endzone on a 3-yard touchdown run.

The Wildcats will return to action Friday for their homecoming game against Atchison. The homecoming ceremony is scheduled to take place at 6:30 p.m., with kickoff to follow at 7.

 

LOU               0             27           0             7 – 34

EUD               0             0             0             0 – 0

 

SCORING SUMMARY

Second quarter

L: Austin Moore 26 run (kick failed)

L: Brayden Gage 38 pass from Madden Rutherford (Moore run)

L: Blue Caplinger 26 pass from Rutherford (Drake Varns kick)

L: Michael Waldron 8 pass from Rutherford (kick failed)

 

Fourth quarter

L: Moore 3 run (Varns kick)

 

STATISTICS

RUSHING – Austin Moore 22-152; Madden Rutherford 10-47; Brayden Gage 5-36; Blue Caplinger 3-13

PASSING – Madden Rutherford 6-12-142

RECEIVING – Brayden Gage 2-73; Blue Caplinger 2-37; Weston Guetterman 1-24; Michael Waldron 1-8.

TACKLES – Austin Moore 10, Brian Houck 9, Tanner Belcher 9, Kiefer Tucker 8, Jorge LeBron 7, Brayden White 7, Charlie Koontz 5, James Foote 5, Ben Wiedenmann 4, Andy Hupp 2, Brayden Gage 2, Blue Caplinger 1, Hunter Day 1, Jonathan DePriest 1

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