Football wins over Eudora, claims League title and spot in State playoffs


Sydney Hoover

Senior Mason Clark pushes through several Eudora defenders on Oct. 28. The Wildcats eventually won 35-0 over Eudora.

Sydney Hoover, Editor-in-Chief

The De Soto High School varsity football team finished its regular season with a win against Eudora High School, claiming the Frontier League Championship title and moving on to the State playoffs.

The first quarter began slow with neither team finding a chance to score, leaving the game 0-0 going into the second quarter. However, the Wildcat offense set the tone midway through the second quarter when a long pass by senior quarterback Max Barger was caught by senior wide receiver Evan Sullivan. This play led to a 1-yard touchdown run by senior fullback Mason Clark. A PAT added by junior kicker Ethan Rodriguez made the score 7-0.

Soon after, the Wildcat defense recovered a Cardinal fumble to regain possession of the ball. With 8:40 still remaining in the first half, junior running back Darren Winans scored for DHS on a 22-yard touchdown run.

The Wildcat defense forced a turnover again, giving Winans an opportunity for a second long run for another touchdown with 6:13 remaining. Clark scored again with 24 seconds left in the first half on another 1-yard run, making the score 28-0 going into halftime.

Going into the second half, the DHS defense allowed the team to hold their lead, keeping EHS scoreless and forcing them into several turnovers with critical stops by junior defenders Zach Titus and Jack Barger. Winans broke through with a third long run for a touchdown, making the score at the end of the third quarter 35-0.

Though the Wildcats were unable to score throughout the fourth quarter, the defense held Eudora scoreless, making the final score of the game 35-0.

With a 5-1 record in the Frontier League, DHS was able to claim the league championship title, which they were previously tied for with Spring Hill High School and Louisburg High School. The Wildcats were also able to claim their spot in a playoff game with a 2-1 record in Districts.

Head coach Brian King was impressed with how the season went, especially with the injuries the team faced late in the season.

“You’ve seen us kind of putting some new pieces in place to overcome some injuries with Brandon stepping up last week and Max playing this week,” King said. “I think for playing at quarterback and being new without taking a lot of reps, he [Barger] has done a phenomenal job, and our boys all the way across the board have done a phenomenal job.”

Barger was also proud of the league championship and is looking forward to the playoff game next week.

“It feels great. We’ve put in a lot of work to finally come to this moment and it’s paying off right now,” Barger said. “Our team is pretty good on every end of the field. Special teams, offense, defense, we can do it all.”

The Wildcats are set to play at Basehor-Linwood High School on Nov. 4 in the first round of playoffs.