Bobcats return home for Kaw Valley clash with Tonganoxie
Welcome home, Bobcats.
After three straight games on the road, Basehor-Linwood will return home this week, for homecoming no less, to host Tonganoxie in game two of district football action.
While the Bobcats are intent to focus on the Chieftains, some of them couldn't help but get excited about returning to their familiar surroundings.
"It's going to be nice to get back home," BLHS coach Paul Brown said. "We've been on the road for a month and that's a long time to be away, so we're excited to get back home and wear the green jerseys."
The Bobcats enter their second district game a healthy bunch coming off of a big win against Lansing last week. Tonganoxie also enters the game riding a big win. Last week the Chieftains defeated Piper, 17-14, in district play to set up this weekend's marquee matchup.
With so much on the line for this one game, one might worry that it would be difficult to stay focused, but quarterback Nick Verbenec said the team is extremely focused and well aware of what it's upcoming business is.
"This game's our big one now," Verbenec said. "If we beat them, we should win league and we should win district. There's a lot to play for, but that just adds to the excitement."
Senior linebacker Jake Brown agreed with Verbenec in saying the team knows the game is for all the marbles, but he added that none of the Bobcats are panicking because of the game's magnitude.
"I don't really sense any panic," Jake Brown said. "We're all really looking forward to it, but nobody's really freaking out."
A lot of the reason behind the calm of the team is because they've seen what Tonganoxie has to offer. Brown said that for the most part, the Chieftains do a lot of what they did last year and that beating them will depend upon execution. That's not to say, however, that Tonganoxie does exactly what it did last year.
Verbenec said this year's version of the Chieftains is a well-balanced offensive attack with a couple of good running backs and a quarterback who's capable of hitting open targets. Verbenec also said Tonganoxie is primarily a ground-oriented team, but like the Bobcats, they'll throw when the time is right.
Defensively Jake Brown said the Chieftains resemble Lansing quite a bit. In their formations, their personnel and their attack the Chieftains like to clog up the middle and contain the run.
If that's the case, the Bobcats could be in for another big day. Against Lansing, BLHS racked up 252 yards on the ground and 21 points.
To a man, the Bobcats said they were excited about the homecoming game because it's what they've waited for all season long. But while the game promises to bring a lot of excitement, Verbenec also said it can bring a lot of distraction.
"Being homecoming definitely makes it more distracting for us," Verbenec said. "But we have some things planned for Friday to keep us focused and I know we'll be ready to play."
Senior tailback Matt Dukes agreed with Verbenec and said the Bobcats are ready.
"We've worked our butts off even harder this week than we did last week," senior tailback Matt Dukes said. "And now we've got a game on our home turf and we're just going to come out and play even harder than we did last week."
Kickoff for the clash is scheduled for 7 p.m.