Basehor-Linwood tripped up in triple overtime
In the end, it was a simple two-yard dive over the left tackle that did the Basehor-Linwood High School football team in on Friday night.
In a game full of big plays, it didn't seem fitting that it should end so simply. Yet end so simply it did for the Bobcats, as they fell 37-34 in triple overtime to the Lansing Lions -- their first district opponent of the season.
"I thought we blocked and tackled extremely well tonight," said Basehor head coach Steve Hopkins immediately following the game. "They just made more big plays than we did and we didn't make our adjustments quickly enough."
The game started off promisingly enough as the Bobcats took the opening kickoff 71 yards in 6 plays, capped off by a Michael Armstrong 39-yard quarterback option keeper for a touchdown to make the score, 7-0 Basehor. Will Peterson also contributed a 17-yard carry on a dive play to keep the drive alive.
However, the Lions recorded their first score three possessions later when QB Matt Warner found wide receiver David Kern behind the Bobcat secondary for a 39-yard touchdown pass, knotting the score at 7-7.
After trading possession for much of the rest of the half, the Bobcats went back on top when junior QB Garrett Chumley threw a backwards pass to Armstrong (who had lined up at tailback) who then proceeded to connect with senior wide receiver Seth Lashbrook on a 40-yard touchdown pass. That made the halftime score Basehor 14 -- Lansing 7.
The Bobcats then used their first possession of the second half to take a quick strike opportunity. The 'Cats again used the Armstrong-to-Lashbrook combination, this time from 49 yards out, to put Basehor up 21-7. The one play drive was the only score of the third quarter and the Bobcats headed into the fourth quarter with a commanding 14-point lead.
However, in the fourth quarter, that lead disintegrated.
First, the Lions put together an 11-play, 64-yard drive punctuated by a Jeff Slater 5-yard TD run that cut the Bobcat lead to 7. Twice on the drive the Bobcat defense had the Lions facing third and 10 situations and twice they gave up pass completions for first downs.
On the next Bobcat possession, Armstrong fumbled the ball as he set up to pass on third and 10. The Lions recovered and, on the very next play, Warner found a wide open Josh Coleman for a 32-yard touchdown pass and the game was tied at 21-21 heading into the final two minutes of play.
Still, the Bobcats had a chance to win the game in regulation. After taking possession of the ball at their own 20, the Bobcats marched 66 yards down the field. The drive was led by Armstrong who alternated between quarterback and tailback on the campaign and amassed 36 yards of rushing. However, Lashbrook's 32-yard field goal attempt with less than 30 seconds to play sailed wide left and the game was headed into overtime.
During the first OT, both defenses stifled the opposing offenses forcing both Lashbrook and Lansing kicker John Tytla to boot 26-yard field goals to keep their teams alive.
Lansing started with the ball in the second overtime and took only two plays to get Slater into the end zone on a 7-yard dive. 31-24 Lansing.
Then it was white-knuckle time for Bobcat fans. On fourth and goal from the five, Armstrong rolled out right, waited for a receiver to come open, and then finally hit senior fullback Josh Ishmael with a strike to even the score at 31.
The Bobcats took the ball first in the third overtime but were again shut down on offense. After Armstrong moved the ball to the Lansing 5-yard line, Lashbrook came in and booted a 22-yard three-pointer to put the 'Cats back into the lead.
Lansing had one final answer, and it came in the form of Slater once again. On third and two from the Basehor 2-yard line, the Lions ran a dive play over the left side to score Slater on the game-winning TD. Final score -- Lansing 37 -- Basehor 34 (3 OT).
Coach Hopkins blamed a lack of communication for the game-winning touchdown.
"They went unbalanced at the line and we didn't make the adjustment quickly enough," said Hopkins. "They put an eighth man on the line. It's a great formation and (Lansing) Coach McKerry caught us."
Hopkins was also concerned with a rash of penalties his team collected during the game. 14 penalties were called on the Bobcats including two crucial 'illegal receiver down field' calls that forced Armstrong into a throwing situation on his only fumble of the night.
"Three of our illegal receiver calls were when had a running play called but we ran pass plays instead," said an obviously frustrated Hopkins. "The other penalties should be easily avoided."
Although disappointed by the loss, Hopkins kept his eye on the future.
"We have to get back here in the morning," said Hopkins. "We still have a shot in our district. We'll come in tomorrow and watch film and lift. I still feel like we played much better tonight than we have recently."
The 3-4 Bobcats travel to Bishop Ward High School this Friday, Oct. 22 for their second district game. Game time is at 7 p.m.