Bobcats blanked by Jaguars
Turnovers and inexperience cost Basehor-Linwood.
Mill Valley converted three of the Bobcats' four turnovers into touchdowns Sept. 20 en route to a 27-0 victory.
Those turnovers coupled with a problem coach Paul Brown foresaw early in the season his team's youth created a hurdle BLHS could not overcome.
"I told them after the game one of the things I knew before the season started was that we were going to be young up front," Brown said. "I didn't tell them that then, but I knew it. By the end of the year, we can still be as good as we were last year. We just need to develop the young talent."
Injuries also plagued Basehor-Linwood as the game progressed, forcing younger players into the contest. Running back Jeff Lackner hurt his knee early on and did not play much.
Running back John Clouse shouldered much of the offensive production in the first quarter, but an ankle injury hindered his playing later in the game.
A Mill Valley player speared Jake Brown, another running back, in the abdomen, slowing another offensive threat.
In the third quarter, a Mill Valley player stepped on lineman Ross McCoy's face. McCoy initially thought he lost his tooth, but the hit only knocked it loose.
Brown said the team had some bumps and bruises, but none seemed major. He does not expect anybody to miss playing time.
"It was a hard-hitting contest by both teams," Brown said.
The Bobcats stole some momentum early on. The Basehor-Linwood defense stuffed Mill Valley while the Bobcats were able to move the ball.
BLHS showed more variety in its offense to start the game, passing more than they had in previous games.
"We thought we could throw in the flat because of their defense," Brown said. "We were successful. And our quarterback had been getting better. He was 5-6 for 101 yards last week. When you do something like that you got to go back to it."
BLHS did not score, though, and on the Bobcats' best drive late in the first quarter, an interception erased the team's momentum.
After intercepting Adam Smith's pass, Mill Valley went on to score its first touchdown on a fullback dive with 7:40 left in the first half. Mill Valley went back to its fullback on the two-point conversion to take an 8-0 lead.
The score remained 8-0 until the 4:14 mark in the third quarter, when Mill Valley used another fullback to score a touchdown. The extra-point attempt was no good, making the score 14-0.
On the next offensive play for Basehor-Linwood, Kyle Speichinger fumbled and Mill Valley recovered.
The Bobcats stopped the Jags, and BLHS received the ball. However, two plays later, Smith threw another interception.
Five seconds into the fourth quarter, Mill Valley scored its third touchdown. An unsuccessful extra point made the score 20-0.
One more Bobcat fumble later in the quarter resulted in another touchdown for Mill Valley.
Wide receiver Brandon Dye said the turnovers were the difference in the game.
"We did a lot of things better, but we just had some turnovers," Dye said. "It seemed like we always turned the ball over in our side of the field, so they didn't have far to go."
With second-string players gaining experience, the clock ran out on the Bobcats.
"In the second half, their big backs wore us down a bit, but we were physical right there with them," Brown said.
The loss drops Basehor-Linwood to 0-3 for the year. Despite the loss, Brown said this was the best game his team has played all year.
"I'm not happy," Brown said. "I want to win. I want us to put the ball in the end zone, but we played much better tonight. They were every bit as good as Paola if not better. They hit harder and were faster."
Clouse, who did not have a rushing attempt in the second half, led the Bobcat rushing attack with 19 yards on seven carries. Smith was 5-14 passing for 40 yards and two interceptions. Steve Brown had five solo tackles and assisted on 10 others to lead BLHS defensively.
The Bobcats play at Santa Fe Trail this Friday. The game starts at 7 p.m.