8 quarters and counting…
Basehor-Linwood football team shut out for the second week in a row
For the second straight week Basehor-Linwood could not put a point on the board and again coach Steve Hopkins was "befuddled" by his offense's ineptitude.
The Bobcats fell to 1-2 with the 18-0 loss at Mill Valley last Friday night.
Despite the lack of productivity on the offensive side of the ball by the Bobcats, the defense came alive in the second half and provided the Bobcats with a somewhat moral victory.
After falling behind 18-0 in the first half, the Bobcats coaching staff challenged the defense to shutout the Jaguars in the second half.
"We told them it's 0-0 and no matter what, we needed to not let them score again," Hopkins said.
An enthusiastic Bobcat team came storming out of the locker room after halftime and the defense stepped up to their coach's challenge, recording a second half shutout. The first half, however, was a different story. Mill Valley scored touchdowns on three of their first four possessions.
Mill Valley scored on their first possession off a 47-yard touchdown pass to a wide open tight end. On their next possession, junior running back Justin Woods scored on a 57-yard touchdown run. Hopkins knew the key to the game would be stopping the speedy Woods, but Woods gave the Bobcat defense fits the entire first half.
"No matter what you do, it's very hard to duplicate number two's speed in practice," Hopkins said.
The Bobcats again got burned by Woods in the second quarter. After the Bobcat defense forced Mill Valley into a punting situation, Mill Valley instead ran a fake punt and Woods ran 40 yards for his second touchdown. Mill Valley missed their third straight extra point of the night and the second quarter touchdown would be the last of the game.
Hopkins said he prepared his team all week for the three particular plays that Mill Valley was able to score on. However, Hopkins did not think his team was ready to play in the first half.
"Defensively in the first half, I don't know why we didn't play with the same kind of intensity," Hopkins said. "Because we played the same scheme, we just had starters in."
Hopkins was forced to make personnel changes on defense at halftime due to the loss of senior defensive end Brian Marshall to a concussion. Hopkins shifted some players around and the changes seemed to work.
Senior defensive lineman Alex Smith, who battled cramps in each of the first two games, was able to play the entire game and led the defense's second half effort. Smith broke up several Mill Valley plays in the backfield resulting in negative yardage and helped slow the Mill Valley running game.
"Second half, Alex Smith was a dominant defensive lineman, which we needed him to be," Hopkins said.
Unfortunately for the Bobcats, unlike the defense, the offense was even less productive in the second half. The offense gained only 41 yards after intermission and senior wide receiver Dustin Weimer gained a majority of those yards on one play in the fourth quarter.
Weimer ran 21 yards on a double reverse, the Bobcats longest play from scrimmage in the game. Two plays later on the same drive, senior quarterback Garrett Chumley threw an interception.
The Bobcats had only one other drive the entire game when they were able to move the football. Down 12-0 nearing the end of the first quarter, the Bobcats drove down the field with senior running back Will Peterson and junior running back Josh Ross carrying the load. At the 23-yard line on second and three, Hopkins decided to let the first quarter clock run out instead of running another play.
Hopkins thought there was more time left on the play clock than the game clock but was mistaken and the Bobcats were flagged for delay of game.
"Right before the quarter, I thought that I checked the clock and the clock would expire and that's why I didn't use the time out. I should have used the time out, that's extremely wrong of me," Hopkins admitted.
The penalty killed the Bobcats drive and the Bobcats eventually lost the ball on downs. Hopkins said penalties and the Bobcats three fumbles, which they recovered each time, hurt their chances of putting together good drives.
The Bobcats finished the game with 133 yards total offense, all coming on the ground, and Peterson led the way with 79 rushing yards. Hopkins admitted that he was confused by the Bobcat's lack of production the past two weeks, particularly their rushing attack.
"I don't think it's a matter of changing personnel," Hopkins said of his offense. "I don't think it's a matter of changing the plays. We've got to change the execution. We've got to not make the same mistakes."
Despite the loss, Hopkins called his defense's second half performance excellent and was pleased with his team's attitude after falling behind early.
"We had a game last year where we really felt like it was getting away from us at halftime and there was some real negativism on the sideline and in the locker room," Hopkins said. "There was none of that tonight. In fact, our kids were extremely enthusiastic."