Bobcats fried by Chargers
Those words are what Basehor-Linwood High School head football coach Paul Brown used to describe his team's 27-7 loss at Santa Fe Trail Friday, Sept. 27.
The loss drops the Bobcats to winless on the season, 0-4, and in league play, 0-2.
Statistically, the teams were near even, but as Brown said it was big plays that proved to be the difference in winning and losing.
"There isn't much you can do when you put yourself that kind of position," Brown said.
That position was a deep hole the Bobcats could never dig themselves out of.
Late in the first quarter, Santa Fe Trail had their first big play.
A BLHS fumble deep in their territory gave Santa Fe Trail a first and goal. On fourth down, from the one-yard line, Santa Fe Trail scored with 46 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
Less than two minutes later, the Chargers struck again.
Santa Fe Trail running back Troy Baird took a punt, muffed it, scooped it back up and returned it to the end zone.
Bobcats Sean Wells and Darren Marx had their shot at Baird but collided, leaving pursuit out of position.
"They made big plays," Brown said. "We fumbled the ball, and they go in from ten yards. We stuff a guy on punt, then one of our guys knocks the initial tackler off the play trying to clean up, and their guy races down the sideline for a touchdown."
After Basehor-Linwood kicker Charles Millison missed a 45-yard field goal attempt, Santa Fe Trail scored their third touchdown.
And the big plays kept coming for the Chargers.
Santa Fe Trail wide receiver Cameron Babb took a screen pass 66 yards to the end zone.
At the half, Santa Fe Trail led 21-0.
Santa Fe Trail's fourth big play came quickly in the second half. With BLHS quarterback Adam Smith scrambling, Santa Fe Trail sacked him and Smith fumbled which went 20 yards back to the Santa Fe Trail to two-yard line.
A play later, Santa Fe Trail scored. They missed the extra point attempt, but led 27-0.
Late in the fourth quarter, BLHS came up with a big play of their own but it mattered little with substitutes already in the game.
Backup quarterback Billy Hashman threw a short pass to Brandon Dye. Dye broke a tackle and raced 70 yards for the touchdown. BLHS prevented the shutout but lost, 27-7.
One reason for BLHS's slow start is their struggling offense.
The Bobcats are averaging 6.5 points a game. In the first two games, the offense barely had the ball because their opponents' offenses maintained long drives.
Lately, turnovers have aided in stopping BLHS. Either way, BLHS is not putting points on the board.
Brown said he is not certain where the remedy lies.
"If I could answer that, we'd have it turned around," Brown said, "but the difference is confidence right now. We moved the ball at times, but then we'd go three steps back too."
Marx said one problem is discipline.
"We need to go to the whistle," Marx said. "We don't finish plays. We do our assignments than we watch. We need to buy a ticket."
While the offense struggled, Bobcats Albert King and Jeremy Hampton said the defense is starting to be successful.
"We have a really good defense," King said. "They (Santa Fe Trail) only had one offensive touchdown that they earned."
"This was the first game our defense really came together as a team," Hampton said.
Despite their record, Basehor-Linwood still has goals it wants to achieve.
"We want a winning season, and we have to go 5-0 to end the season to do it," Brown said. "Is it doable? Yeah. We can still make some noise."
Jeff Lackner led the Bobcat running attack with 47 yards on 14 carries. Dye caught three passes for 88 yards. King caught two passes for 34 yards. Smith was 4-13 passing for 50 yards and an interception. Hashman was 1-1 for 70 yards and a touchdown.
Basehor-Linwood travels to Abilene Friday, Oct. 4.
Game time is 7 p.m.