El Dorado makes history in 46-14 win

Charles Chaney
cchaney@butlercountytimesgazette.com
El Dorado senior Zach Wittenberg (2) races to the end zone against the Winfield Viking defense on Friday, Oct. 30 at BG Products Veterans Sports Complex. The senior had 186 yards and helped El Dorado get thier first playoff win in school history.

EL DORADO – Special teams came up with two big plays that helped El Dorado win their first ever playoff game on Friday night.

After an El Dorado fumble, the line broke free, blocking the Winfield field goal. Then on the ensuing possession, junior Gavin Bell executed a fake punt on a 4th and 9, finding Jaydon Sundgren for the first down. El Dorado would cap off the drive with the lead.

They would never trail again.

El Dorado would roll off 24 unanswered points in the second half as the Wildcats beat Winfield 46-14.

It is the first win for El Dorado in playoff history.

Previously, the Wildcats had only one two other home games but came away with tough defeats. 1971, El Dorado fell in OT to Arkansas City 14-12. In 1997, El Dorado lost to Liberal 52-6. There were some games in the 00s but all were away and were defeats. They were 0-10 all-time coming into tonight’s game.

The win El Dorado improves to 5-2 on the season, their most wins since 2002. Win or loss next week, the Wildcats will have their best record since 2000.

Everything El Dorado had done this season built up to this game. They owned redemption after Winfield shut them out in last year’s first round. This season, El Dorado return the favor by dominating the line of scrimmage. They held Winfield to only 85 yards rushing and 211 overall.

“We don’t really concern ourselves with stats,” junior Connor Clausing said. “We go out and do what we’ve worked on and practice.”

Whatever they’ve been working on in practice is working.

Sophomore Jalen Rice had the run of the night as El Dorado extended their lead. He broke the ankles of a Winfield defender, slipped through a tackle and was off to the races for a 34-yard touchdown.

Then on the next possession, it was another sophomore. This time, Gannon White had a run that looked like last week, going 49 yards after breaking a tackle for the touchdown.

“We’re getting better at putting teams away,” El Dorado head coach said. “We have our moments and I think we saw some of that at the end of the first half and to start the second half.”

Wittenberg had another touchdown in the third quarter, a 19-yard run right through the heart of the defense to cap off a 15-play, 75-yard drive that took almost nine mutes to start the second half.

It was the back breaker they needed.

“You know, that’s El Dorado football,” senior Zach Wittenberg said. “Tonight, and years to come.”

El Dorado ran for a season high 451 yards and held the ball for 16 minutes in the second half. They limited Winfield to only 39 plays.

Wittenberg finished with 186 yards and five other players had at least 33 yards.

El Dorado will host Wamego, the sixth seed on Friday, Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. at BG Products Veterans Sports Complex. Wamego beat Independence to advance to the second round.

“It’s another game,” Clausing said. “We have to go out and play everyone as if it’s the same game.”

#14 Winfield 6;8;0;0; – 14

#3 El Dorado 8;14;8;16 – 46

1Q (9:45) WIN – 5-yard TD pass from Riley Yingling to Braden Ledford (kick no good).

1Q (1:34) ELDO – 7-yard TD run by Zach Wittenberg (Wittenberg run).

2Q (6:33) ELDO – 34-yard TD run by Jalen Rice (Wittenberg run).

2Q (1:49) ELDO – 49-yard TD run by Gannon White (run failed).

2Q (0:57) WIN – 19-yard TD run by Yingling (Yingling to Biddle pass).

3Q (3:28 ) ELDO – 19-yard TD run by Wittenberg (White run good).

4Q (11:24) ELDO – 2-yard TD run by White (Wittenberg run good).

4Q (2:20) ELDO – 28-yard TD run by Avonti Wade (Wittenberg run good).

RUSHING: WINFIELD – Acosta 10-69; Yingling 8-17; Harper 1-(-1). EL DORADO – Wittenberg 31-186; Rice 5-65; White 10-85; Sundgren 10-40; Fowler 3-35; Cavallaro 1-7; Wade 3-33.

PASSING C-A-I-YDS: WINFIELD – Yingling 8-23-1-126. EL DORADO – White 6-10-0-42; Bell 1-1-0-29.

RECEIVING: WINFIELD – Ledford 4-90; Acosta 1-12; Beckwith 2-21; Harper 1-3. EL DORADO – Sundgren 1-29; Rice 3-14; Summers 1-6; Cavallaro 1-18; Wittenberg 1-4.