Archive for Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Unlucky No. 7

Basehor-Linwood falls to 0-7 after 15-13 loss to Lansing in district opener

October 23, 2002

Basehor-Linwood's comeback bid fell three yards short.

The Bobcats could not overcome a 15-0 third quarter deficit, and eventually lost to Lansing 15-13.

Despite the loss, coach Paul Brown said his team improved.

"This was the best game we've played all year," Brown said. "It was a tremendous effort. It was a full, four-quarter effort. I told them to play with their whole hearts, whole bodies, whole minds. If they didn't, they'd regret it for the rest of their lives. If they did, they'd see awesome things. I think they did.

"We grew up and became a team," he added.

For all the effort, the game came down to one play. Basehor-Linwood trailed Lansing by two points after scoring a touchdown with 2:43 left in the game. The Bobcats attempted the two-point conversion to tie, but Lansing's penetration drilled senior John Clouse, stopping him three yards short of the end zone.

Brown's players aided his decision to choose the running play.

"They said, 'Coach, we'll take them off the ball,'" Brown said. "We had success with the play all night. We just needed a crease for three yards, and we didn't get it this time. I went with what they thought we could do."

BLHS's defense, which has been prone to giving up big plays, prevented the big play, but did have some trouble with the Lansing attack. Lansing gained 406 total yards, 245 of which was on the ground.

While the Bobcats defense bent, it never broke. Basehor-Linwood surrendered just two touchdowns in the first half. Despite rushing for 130 yards in the second half, Lansing could not score, allowing Basehor-Linwood to get back into the game.

Hurting the Bobcats was the absence of senior co-captain Ross McCoy. McCoy, a lineman, who left in the first quarter of last week's Bonner Springs game with a third-degree ankle sprain. He did not play against Lansing, but should be ready for the final game against Piper.

"Any time you have a captain out, it's not good," Brown said. "He has so much spirit. He goes all out all the time."

Brown said he was pleased with the performance of McCoy's replacements and with the offensive line overall. The Bobcat line helped Clouse become the first 100-yard rusher of the season for Basehor-Linwood. Clouse amassed 106 yards on 17 carries.

After three quarters and no points for Basehor-Linwood, the game appeared to be firmly in Lansing's grasp. However, in the fourth quarter, Basehor-Linwood made the game close.

The momentum started to shift late in the third quarter. The Bobcats punted, but the Lansing receiver fumbled the ball. Kyle Speichinger jumped on the loose ball, giving the Bobcats a fresh set of downs.

Four plays later, junior quarterback Adam Smith, who did not yet have a completion, lofted a pass to senior Brandon Dye, who was sprinting down the left sideline. He stopped 42 yards later in the end zone. Senior Charles Millison's extra point split the uprights, and with 11:11 left in the game, the Bobcats trailed 15-7.

The defense scored Basehor-Linwood's second touchdown. On a Lansing third-and-long, senior Jeremy Hampton intercepted a pass at the Lansing 43. He outran everybody to the end zone and brought Basehor-Linwood within two of Lansing.

"It was a great interception and effort by Hampton," Brown said.

Basehor-Linwood's onside kick was unsuccessful, and Lansing was able to run out the clock.

The loss drops Basehor-Linwood to 0-7, but because of Kansas' playoff system, Brown said the team still has hope. In Kansas, only the final three games of the regular season affect the playoffs.

Additionally, twice as many teams will advance to the playoffs this year because the state decided that two teams instead of one will advance from each four-team district.

"We still have a great shot," Brown said. "We just have to win two. If we win two ball games, we will be in the playoffs.

"Our business is to play the next two games," he said. "With the Kansas system, teams that have struggled still have hope late in the season."

In order to maintain that hope, the Bobcats must defeat Tonganoxie this Friday. The game is at Tonganoxie and begins at 7 p.m.

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