Bobcats put KVL streak on the line
Two weeks ago, the Basehor-Linwood football team was 0-2 and the Bobcats were scratching their heads at how similar this season was to last season. Now, however, the Bobcats are 2-2 and those first two losses don't seem quite as bad.
"I remember those losses," quarterback Nick Verbenec said. "But they're definitely a distant memory. We're on the road to the league title again and hopefully we can just keep it going."
This week, the Bobcats will put their two-game winning streak and their undefeated Kaw Valley League record on the line when they travel to Mill Valley to take on the Jaguars in MVHS's homecoming game.
Like most teams, Mill Valley is much smaller than the Bobcats, but BLHS wideout Brandon Dye said despite the team's size, the Jaguars play tough, aggressive football and they will still be a challenge for BLHS.
"They're littler than us, but they have good technique," Dye said. "So our linemen are going to have to be awake."
BLHS coach Paul Brown echoed Dye's sentiments in saying that the offensive line will again be the key for the Bobcats this week, and he added that the Bobcats don't plan on changing anything they do on offense. Brown said he plans to keep pounding the ball ahead with his running backs while mixing in a few passes at the right times.
"It's the same kind of thing as it always is," Brown said. "You win up front and we'll have to be ready and focused and if we are we'll be fine."
Defensively, the Bobcats will have to refocus. Last week, Santa Fe Trail brought in a passing attack that threw the ball 47 percent of the time. The Jaguars, however, throw the ball about 46 and a half percent less than that, as they are a running team with four or five backs capable of carrying the load.
Starting in the backfield this week for Mill Valley will be two brothers, David and Max Woods. The two combined last week for 22 carries and 143 yards in a 26-0 win against Piper, and their start this week will mark the first time that MVHS coach George Radell will have started the same backfield two weeks in a row.
David Woods is a freshman and his increasingly steady play along with injuries to other starting backs has earned him the nod. In the past three games, the younger Woods has carried the ball just 27 times but logged 222 yards, for an average of more than eight yards per carry. Max Woods, a senior, has logged the most minutes of all of Mill Valley's backs this season. Both have distinctly different styles and both could pose a problem for the Bobcats.
"He's quick and he's got some speed," Brown said of David Woods. "He's definitely somebody we'll have to contain. They're predominantly a running team so we'll have to have our secondary come up and help out. I hope they pass a lot because that'll mean we stopped their running game."
The Jags start sophomore Tony Alvarez at quarterback, but rather than being an inexperienced burden, he provides Mill Valley with another running threat.
Despite being led by an inexperienced running back and quarterback, Dye said there was no reason to overlook the Jaguars.
"We can't take anyone lightly," Dye said. "But the only team I see being a problem is Tonganoxie, they haven't lost yet either, but it can be anybody on any night if we're not prepared."
After the Bobcats latest league win, lineman Justin Ishmael said much of the same.
"It doesn't mean anything yet," Ishmael said of the victory against Santa Fe Trail. "We've still gotta win the rest of them."
Kickoff is schedule for 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28, at De Soto District Stadium.