Lion-sized let down
Basehor-Linwood falls to Lansing, 13-9 in district opener
One great drive wasn't enough for Basehor-Linwood in a defensive battle against Lansing last Friday.
Despite out-gaining the Lions 256 to 193, the Bobcats lost 13-9. For the fourth straight week the defense was stout all game, but after exploding for 28 points against rival Bonner Springs, the Bobcats could only manage one touchdown against Lansing.
"Against Bonner we were sky- high because it's Bonner," lineman Ryan Heffley said. "In this game I think we let down a little, I'm not sure why, but we just did."
The Bobcats looked up for the game on their third drive, as they went 83 yards in just seven plays with Peter Brown scoring on a three-yard run. Running back Tyler Dowdall keyed the drive with back-to-back runs that went for 23 and 51 yards.
"Everyone was doing their jobs," Dowdall said. "Same thing we did in the second half against Bonner. We just couldn't sustain it the whole game."
The Bobcats botched the extra point, and their 6-0 lead didn't last long. Lansing took a page from Bonner Springs' playbook on the kickoff return and ran a fake reverse. For the second straight week the Bobcats were fooled, and Lansing's Jeff Slater ran for a touchdown. The extra point went wide left.
The Bobcats won the game's turnover battle 3-1, getting a fumble recovery and interceptions from Robby Paterson and Richard Brown. But their one turnover, a fumble by Peter Brown at their own 30, proved costly.
The Bobcats were spectacular on defense for most of the night, but with the short field the Lions were able to sting them. Even so it took a lucky bounce on a broken play. A Lansing lineman recovered a fumble on a run from the 7-yard line and ran it in for the touchdown.
The 13 points turned out to be all the Lions would need to win.
The Bobcats' offense was missing three starters for most of the game and wasn't able to sustain an attack after the one touchdown drive. Tight end Kyle Speichinger was sidelined for the entire game with nagging knee problems. Lineman Alex Smith had the flu and played only sparingly. Wide receiver Joey Brown suffered a shoulder injury against Bonner Springs and didn't play until the last drive of the game, catching a 10-yard pass for the Bobcats' only reception.
Bobcats coach Paul Brown said the injuries were no excuse for the defeat.
"I think we had some guys fill in pretty well," coach Brown said. "Josh Ishmael moved to tight end and has picked up everything. I thought he blocked well from what I could see from the sidelines today."
Coach Brown also praised the efforts of Ryan Robinson, who filled in for Joey Brown at wide receiver, and Richard Brown, who took Joey Brown's place as a defensive back.
Despite the contributions of the reserves, the Bobcats' passing game, which has struggled all year, was not even a threat against the Lions. Quarterback Mike Armstrong was 1-16 for 10 yards. The team relied heavily on the three-headed rushing attack of Armstrong, Dowdall and Peter Brown that crushed Bonner the week before. The trio was effective in the first half, gaining 144 yards and sophomore Chris Prgomet gave the team a lift at the end of the half by lofting a 38-yard field goal just over the crossbar.
"I thought that was a really good kick that he had," coach Brown said. "I think he's probably good up to the 40 or 45 range."
Lansing's secondary began to creep in to stop the run in the second half, and the Bobcats couldn't move the ball consistently, gaining just 113 yards. Forty of those yards came on the game's final play, a desperation scramble by Armstrong that ended well short of the end zone.
The loss dropped the Bobcats to 2-5, but the team was left with a few positives to take into Friday's match-up with Tonganoxie, especially on the defensive side of the ball.
"We're just really confident in our defense right now," Heffley said. "We believe whenever they get the ball they're going to go three plays and out."
Dowdall said the Bobcats would have to show more intensity the rest of the year than they had against the Lions.
"We didn't come to the game focused tonight," Dowdall said. "We thought it was going to be easy and we shouldn't have. You can't ever think it's going to be easy when both teams are fighting for the same thing."