Armstrong dazzles again in Bobcats’ second straight victory
When reading football stat lines there are lines that impress and lines that depress, but Basehor-Linwood High School QB Michael Armstrong's Friday night line was eye-bulging in quality: 42 yards rushing, 167 yards passing, three TD passes, one TD reception, and three interceptions.
Tell the reader that those interceptions weren't thrown by Armstrong, rather intercepted by him, and you might have to get the smelling salts ready to revive the stat fan.
Armstrong's effort, which was ably backed up by Will Peterson on offense and Alex Smith on defense, led to a 25-6 Bobcat victory at Perry-Lecompton High School, Friday, Sept. 10.
The win improved the Bobcats to 2-0 as they head into their Homecoming contest this Friday, Sept. 17, against Mill Valley.
"Michael played really, really, really well," said Basehor head coach Steve Hopkins. "They (Perry-Lecompton) were so committed to keeping him from running that they put one extra guy in the box, sometimes nine guys on the line of scrimmage. What that does is take the free safety out of the middle of the field, and Michael capitalized on it."
Hopkins was counting on Perry keying on the Bobcat ground game defensively and reached into his bag of tricks to produce the first BLHS score.
After the first Bobcat drive ate up a huge chunk of yardage with an Armstrong to Seth Lashbrook 56-yard completion, the Bobcats seemed to bog down. However, on fourth down and 10, the Bobcats called a reverse pass in which the ball was given to junior Garrett Chumley. He threw a perfect ball to Armstrong, who had gone out on a pattern after handing the ball off, for a 25-yard touchdown that helped put the 'Cats up 7-0.
After an Armstrong interception on defense gave Basehor a first-and-10 on its own 30, the Bobcats drove 70 yards -- keyed by a 30-yard reception by junior wideout Dustin Weimer-- and scored on an Armstrong 10-yard TD pass to Lashbrook. This put the 'Cats up 13-0 at halftime.
The Bobcats added to their lead in their first possession of the third frame when they drove 66 yards to score on an Armstrong 17-yard pass to senior wide receiver Jayce Proctor, bringing the score to 19-0. Will Peterson contributed a 28-yard run on third down and long to keep the drive going.
Basehor would cap their scoring in the fourth quarter with another Armstrong-to-Proctor combination, this time from 17 yards out.
Perry added a late score, but too much damage had been done and BLHS emerged with their second straight victory.
"Mike gave us everything we wanted," Hopkins said of Armstrong. "In fact, after the one and only interception he threw in the game, he came back and picked it off on the very next play, that was his first of three."
Yet Hopkins remains loathe to call the offense a one-man show.
"Will Peterson hung in there and ended up with 149 yards on 19 carries (7.8 yds/carry)," he said. "He got pounded the first few times, but they had to honor Will because of his explosiveness. In fact, Michael's three TD passes all began with play action to Will."
Hopkins also gave credit to his defense for an outstanding effort.
"We gave up 137 yards rushing," he said. "That's more than we want to give up, but a lot of that was late in the game when it was already decided. Before that (junior DL) Alex Smith just destroyed their interior blocking, and (senior LB) Josh Ishmael just made tackle after tackle. On two of Michael's interceptions Josh made the 'crunching' hit that forced the ball up."
The Bobcats next take on Mill Valley at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 17. The game will be part of BLHS's Homecoming. For a preview of the contest, see page 7B.