Season ends with 2 wins
Bobcats fall to Piper, team views 2-7 season as a step forward
The Piper Pirates are going where the Basehor-Linwood Bobcats would like to be going. Piper beat the Bobcats 28-7 on Thursday and will head to the playoffs with an 8-1 record and the Kaw Valley League Championship.
Basehor junior Peter Brown said he and his teammates had figured out what made Piper the class of the league and that lesson should help them next season.
"The biggest part was that we need to have more dedication," Brown said. "They had a lot more this summer than we did. So if we get that together we should be OK."
Despite all the work the Pirates put in during the off-season, it was the Bobcats that struck first on Thursday. After a scoreless first quarter, junior quarterback Mike Armstrong took an option run 25 yards down the left side for a touchdown, and sophomore Chris Prgomet nailed the extra point. The Basehor offense, built on the running game, seemed to be clicking early.
"We were running the ball very well in the first half. We were able to go right down the field a couple times," Basehor coach Paul Brown said.
The lead was short-lived though, as the night eventually would belong primarily to Piper running back Shawnn Lampson. Lampson ran for a 15-yard score to tie the game in the second half and put the Pirates ahead with a five-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
The Bobcats had had a lot of success against talented running backs in the past few games, even holding Bonner Springs' Drew Hess under 70 yards. But Peter Brown, who plays linebacker, said Lampson was just a different breed.
"He's just all-out a harder runner. He always drives for that extra yard," Peter Brown said. "You've got to hit him pretty solid and wrap him up."
The Bobcats had trouble wrapping up Lampson all night, as he finished the game with 245 yards on 22 carries.
Paul Brown said a number of things besides Lampson himself had contributed to the Bobcats inability to stop the run, including the loss of lineman Brian Creed.
"I think they blocked well up front," Paul Brown said. "We were without Brian Creed, we lost him after the half with a concussion and he's usually tough around the edge."
The Bobcats had more success slowing the Pirates' other main offensive weapon, quarterback Scott Lipovac. Lipovac threw for 116 yards and a score, but the score and 36 of the yards came on a play when he was under pressure and flushed from the pocket, but was able to find Jeff Hamilton. The touchdown toss was a crucial one, running the score to 21-7 in the fourth quarter.
The Bobcats were forced to try to throw to get back into the game and weren't able to do it. The Pirates added a final insurance touchdown on a two-yard run by Ryan Moore.
Basehor's season ended with disappointment, but Peter Brown said the Bobcats would be ready to build on the positives from this season and continue to grow.
"We're going to come out firing because everybody can play," he said. "We're all pretty tightly knit so we're going to come out all together and play."
The Bobcats' line play was outstanding on both sides of the ball for much of the year, but it will be one of the squads hardest hit by graduation.
Seniors Ryan Heffley, Ian Abbot, Tim Ward, Kris Johnson, Corey Jones and Creed will all have to be replaced. Peter Brown said that there were plenty of young, talented lineman looking to fill in and that he wasn't worried about the future of the Bobcats' up front. Junior Mike Hancock will provide experience and significant talent to the group next year.
Peter Brown and Armstrong will return to the backfield for the Bobcats next season to spark the offensive attack and try and improve on a year that saw the Bobcats hit double digits in just three games.
The Bobcats' rushing attack figures to be strong, and they'll likely have a new weapon on special teams to help the scoring. Sophomore Chris Prgomet, also a Basehor soccer star, emerged as solid place-kicker for the Bobcats towards the end of the year,
nailing a 38-yard field goal against Lansing and missing short by just a few yards on a 44-yard try against Abilene.
Prgomet went 4-4 on extra points against Bonner Springs and seemed to make most point-afters as long as they weren't blocked.
Another special teams star returning for the Bobcats is punter Seth Lashbrook. Lashbrook was often under pressure this year but rarely had kicks blocked.
With the Bobcats' offense struggling throughout most of the season Lashbrook was called on often and usually responded. His booming kicks were an integral part of the Basehor defense's dominance this year.
With talented players like Brown, Lashbrook, Armstrong and Prgomet, among others, returning, there's reason to believe that the Bobcats can put themselves in the position next year that Piper is in this year.