Tonganoxie too tough for Bobcats
Chieftains rack up more than 400 yards on the ground, drop Bobcats to 3-3
Deep. Fast. Tough.
Those three adjectives alone would be enough for any Basehor-Linwood Bobcat to describe the Tonganoxie Chieftains -- the team that smothered the 'Cats 55-14 last Friday.
However, in case you wanted more than adjectives, here are some statistics to prove just how deep, fast, and tough those Chieftains were:
- QB Ross Starcher -- 17 carries, 225 yards (over 13 yds./per), 3 touchdowns
- RB Sam Mitchell -- 19 carries, 102 yards, 3 touchdowns
- RB Zach Ditty -- 15 carries, 117 yards, 1 touchdown
- B -- B.T. Fleming -- 11 carries, 65 yards
As a team, the Chieftains amassed over 500 yards of rushing off a wishbone set that was utilized to perfection, and used speed and corner technique to frustrate the Bobcat offense all night.
Basehor head coach Steve Hopkins was frustrated after the loss.
"They (Tonganoxie) didn't do anything special tonight," Hopkins said Friday. "It isn't anything we hadn't prepared for in practice.
"It was just really simple: they blocked us, we didn't tackle -- they executed, we didn't. No play we ran tonight worked the way we wanted it to."
Hopkins also appeared frustrated that the answers for his ailing defense were relatively simple, yet plays still were not being made.
When asked about Starcher's ability to play fake out of the wishbone, Hopkins answer was strong and concise.
"That's just option responsibility," he said. "We have people who are supposed to stay at home on those plays. They're not plays that are a mystery. We just spent too much time chasing the ball."
The chasing began for the Bobcats right off the bat. On the third play from scrimmage, Starcher faked a handoff up the middle only to take a quarterback option left through several Basehor tacklers before finishing 56 yards later in the end zone. It was 7-0 Tonganoxie.
On the Chieftains next possession, tailback Zach Ditty would take a handoff down the right side of the field 53 yards for the second touchdown of the game, making the score 14-0 Tongie.
The third Chieftain possession of the quarter was a 79-yard drive capped off by a Sam Mitchell 1-yard touchdown dive to make the score 20-0 after one quarter.
After an Armstrong fumble gave Tonganoxie the ball deep inside Bobcat territory, Mitchell struck again with a 2-yard dive to give the Chieftains a 26-0 advantage.
The Bobcats would finally get on the board halfway through the second quarter.
After linebacker Josh Ishmael recovered a Tonganoxie fumble on the Basehor 49, Michael Armstrong hit WR Seth Lashbrook for a completion that netted 50 yards and featured several broken tackles and nice moves by Lashbrook. One play later, Ishmael (in at FB) would go over the left-hand side of the line to make the score 26-7.
However, Starcher led another drive for Tongie and capped it off with a deep right option pitch to Mitchell who carried it over from two yards out to give the Chieftains a 33-7 edge at halftime.
The third half started promisingly enough for the 'Cats when senior Jayce Proctor took a squibbed kickoff 81 yards down the right sideline for a touchdown to bring the Bobcats within 19 (33-14) with 23 minutes yet to play.
However, the 'Cats could not ride that momentum any further and eventually surrendered three more touchdowns to make the final score 55-14.
Disappointed by what he saw, Hopkins was honest with his team and others after the game.
"We have to learn how to block and tackle or we will not win another game, and I want my players to hear that," he said. "At the beginning of the year I said that I wanted us to be a good team by districts and we're not a good team right now. We're not even close."
For Hopkins and his staff, the work on turning things around cannot begin fast enough.
"We're going to evaluate every player and every coach," he said. "It starts tomorrow (Saturday) morning.
"We're going to honestly evaluate every part of our game and see what we can do better."
The Bobcats return to home action this Friday with a district matchup with the Lansing Lions. The game will begin at 7 p.m.
For a preview of the game, see page 4B.