Caney Valley shuts out Eureka in 3A-District 8 opener

CANEY — For a third straight year, Caney Valley managed to keep Eureka out of the end zone. The Bullpups did it once again last Friday, jumping out to a 48-point halftime lead en route to a 54-0 victory over the Tornadoes in the Class 3A-District 8 opener at Caney Valley High School Stadium.

“The defense played extremely well and kept us in good field position all night,” said CVHS coach Criss Davis. “Our first touchdown was off a good punt return. We had short fields to work with all night long because of our special teams and defense. I was pretty pleased with the way we came out and responded after we lost a tough one last week. You just never know how your team is going to respond to something like that, but they did a good job out there.”

Caney Valley bounced back from a 22-16 loss at Cherryvale one week earlier. With the win over Eureka, the Bullpups improved to 5-2 overall and 4-1 in the Tri-Valley League — keeping their hopes alive of earning at least a share of the TVL title for the eighth time in the last nine years.

Also, CVHS improved to 1-0 in District 8 action as it seeks a second straight district championship and eighth consecutive postseason appearance. The ‘Pups will next host Neodesha on Friday, with the winner getting the upperhand towards the district title. The Bluestreaks currently stand at 4-3 overall and 1-0 in the district following a 34-7 home win over Wilson County rival Fredonia last Friday.

On the other side, Eureka suffered its fifth straight loss as it dropped to 2-5 overall, 0-5 in the TVL and 0-1 in district play. The Tornadoes will try to keep their playoff hopes alive this Friday as they host 3-4 Fredonia in another District 8 matchup.

Heading into last week’s contest, Caney Valley had not lost to Eureka in more than a decade. The Bullpups’ defense has been the main reason for that. Not only have they shut out the Tornadoes three straight years, but they’ve blanked Eureka in eight of the last 15 meetings between the two teams.

CVHS dominated every aspect of the game as it outgained Eureka 303-14 in total yardage. The Bullpups held the Tornadoes to a minus-17 yards rushing on 14 attempts.

Caney Valley took control of things by scoring 34 points in the opening quarter. Grant Richey scored on runs of nine and 10 yards, followed by a three-yard touchdown run from Bryce Warfield. Later, quarterback Carter Brown found Chandler Heid on a 53-yard touchdown pass. The defense also got in the scoring action as Trent Haberly picked off a pass and returned it 30 yards for a TD.

The Bullpups added two more scores in the second quarter to go up 48-0 at the intermission and then had their second defensive score after the break on a 33-yard interception return from Kurtis Gruver in the third quarter.

(Photo credit to Sheri Thompson)