Archive for Wednesday, October 10, 2001

Basehor-Linwood dives into district optimistic

October 10, 2001

All season the Basehor-Linwood High School football team has focused on winning the Kaw Valley League.

But as the Bobcats get ready to enter district play, the focus will shift a little. Instead of just worrying about winning the Kaw Valley League, the Bobcats will be more focused on playing well in their district games. If that happens, one concern will take care of the other, says BLHS quarterback Nick Verbenec.

"If we win these three games, we should win league, we should win district and we should go to the playoffs," Verbenec said. "And those were our three goals at the beginning of the season."

Verbenec, coach Paul Brown and the rest of the Bobcats have kept those goals in the backs of their minds all season, but this week they have just been focusing on Lansing the first of three straight district games.

The Lions are led by a strong running game and a strong defense. While that sounds a lot like the Bobcats themselves, Verbenec said, the two teams really are a lot different.

"They're mostly a running team and they'll mix in an occasional pass, but as far as formations and the types of plays they run, we're really pretty different," Verbenec said.

As for the Bobcats, Brown said, the offense might be tweaked a little this week in light of the back-to-back shutouts BLHS has endured.

Injuries to the offensive line have hurt the Bobcat's ground,

and Brown said this week he might decide to add a little more flair to the offense. Included among that flair might be rolling Verbenec out to get him into the open field or changing some formations to cause problems for the defense.

"We're going to have to do some of those things," Brown said. "We're going to have to spread the field a little more and get people to line up in different formations instead of them being able to pack it in against us."

Verbenec was all for the idea.

"I like to run and make things happen, so I wouldn't mind that at all," he said. "But I'm sure coach will come up with a game plan that will work and I'll just stick to that."

At the top of his game plan for Lansing, Brown has made sure to include focus. He said he thought his team played pretty well and pretty hard in a 35-0 loss to Wamego last week. But, he said, if the Bobcats really want to be a championship team, they're going to have to step up, starting this week.

"One of the keys to being a really good team is you have to know how to play at the right time of the year and now is the right time of the year," Brown said. "We better know how to play these next three weeks and if we do we're going to have a great finish, we're going to get into the playoffs and we're going to be league champs. We still have every opportunity ahead of us, we just have to decide to play and play hard."

The Bobcats will have a healthy offensive line for the Lansing game. Three starters who have missed games during the past few weeks will be back, and Verbenec said that will only help the team's cause.

"We've got some guys back this week, so that should help us a lot," Verbenec said. "Everybody in Kansas is 0-0 right now, so this is the time to get it done. It's three games for the playoffs and if we don't play how we're supposed to this is it."

Kickoff is 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12, at Lansing High School.

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