Bobcats look to bounce back at Wamego
The last time the Basehor-Linwood High School football team took the field, it was shorthanded and ended up getting pounded, 27-0, by Mill Valley.
This week, the Bobcats will have a few of the players who were out last week back, and they won't be playing Mill Valley in fact, they won't even be playing a Kaw Valley League team.
The Bobcats, 2-3 overall and 2-1 in KVL play, will travel Friday, Oct. 5, to Wamego for an out-of-league contest with the Red Raiders.
While most teams would likely want to dive back into league play after a tough loss, senior lineman Justin Ishmael said the Bobcats are completely fine with stepping out of the KVL for a game.
"It'll hopefully get us back in the groove of winning," Ishmael said. "We don't want to go in cold against Lansing (the Bobcats' next league opponent)."
Before they can look ahead to Lansing, however, the Bobcats must first take care of business on the road a long way from home against Wamego. The Red Raiders, like Santa Fe Trail, whom the Bobcats faced and beat two weeks ago, are a team that likes to pass the ball. Their offensive attack is headed up by their senior quarterback and he has a couple of weapons on the wings who will likely stretch the BLHS defense.
"Their strength is mostly passing the ball," BLHS safety Jeff Lackner said. "They pass it all over and they have a really good quarterback and one really good receiver he's fast and he has good hands."
Lackner missed all of last week's Mill Valley game and his return will help bolster a secondary that basically kept the potent Santa Fe Trail air attack grounded.
"We're going to play different coverages than we did against Trail because they run different formations," Lackner said. "But our approach will be the same."
That approach will involve a steady pass rush and an aware corps of linebackers ready to drop back into coverage as well as support the run.
"They've got a pretty good running game, too," Lackner said. "They have a good fullback who eats up a lot of yards."
While Lackner will be back in the lineup, the Bobcats will still be without three starters this week. Linebacker Ross McCoy (ankle) and defensive end Darren Marx (knee) will miss their second straight game because of injuries and joining them this week will be lineman Zach Pike. Pike tore cartilege in his knee during the Mill Valley loss and it is not yet known how long he will be lost for.
Both Lackner and Ishmael, as well as coach Paul Brown said that injuries would not be an excuse that this team uses. They feel that they have quality players all the way up and down their bench and that when one goes down it becomes time for another to step up and fill his void.
"We're going to have a good game," Lackner said. "We're bigger than they are, so our running game's going to work against them. And, we've got some guys back this week and I have no doubt that we'll bounce back."
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.