Holton hands Basehor season-ending loss
Holton Basehor-Linwood’s trip to the Class 4A football state playoffs ended quickly on Tuesday night.
The Bobcats lost 48-8 to traditional powerhouse Holton in a game that was never really close.
“We were dominated,” BLHS coach Steve Hopkins said. “They could have named the score in the second half.”
In reality, the momentum of the game swung early toward Holton.
The Wildcats (9-1) scored on the third play of the game with a 49-yard touchdown run by Kaleb Smith.
Holton scored eight minutes later with a 1-yard touchdown run by Kurt Zibell. Connor Hampton converted the extra point and the score was 14-0.
Holton’s offensive and defensive lines controlled the game. The Wildcats would line up without a true wide receiver on the field and run option plays against 11-men in the box sets with great success, picking up four or five yards a pop and then breaking long runs.
“Their system has been in place for years and it is ingrained,” Hopkins said. “It is not a real deceptive offense, but they are great at blocking at the point of attack and running the system.”
Holton ran the typical option plays and used a smattering of running backs to slash through the Bobcats’ defense.
Holton scored late in the first quarter on a 40-yard pass play from quarterback Kyle Zimmerman to Ryan Matzke.
Basehor-Linwood went three-and-out on its next possession and then Holton scored again on a touchdown by Kennedy White.
Following the score, Basehor-Linwood put together its best drive of the half. The team drove 11 plays and scored on a 1-yard touchdown run by Anthony Pierce. The Bobcats faked the kick on the extra point and completed the 2-point conversion with a pass from Cole Bittel to Jake Potts.
Holton quickly erased any momentum that Basehor-Linwood might have gained when Smith rushed 60 yards for a touchdown. Smith juked Basehor-Linwood quarterback/defensive back Brandon Leppke near the 10-yard line and scored the touchdown.
Holton rushed for another score later in the quarter, but it was negated on a penalty. The halftime score was 35-8.
Basehor-Linwood received the ball first in the third quarter and punted after three plays. Holton fumbled the football and BLHS took control of the football. The Bobcats failed to convert on fourth down and surrendered possession.
Holton scored two plays later on a 67-yard run by Jordan Moseley. Holton tacked on another touchdown later in the quarter.
Holton went on to win the game, 48-8.
Neither team scored during the fourth quarter of play as Holton inserted a lot of backups into the game.
Following the fourth quarter, Hopkins spoke individually with each senior. He thanked them for their time spent playing football for the Bobcats and for sticking with the team. They went from having 16 players out for eighth-grade football to nine this season.
Then, they made their way to the locker room and started prepping for the 70-mile bus ride back to Basehor.
As the season reached its end, Hopkins looked toward next season for a moment.
“I will be licking my wounds a little bit for a while,” he said, “but we will have nine starters on offense and 10 on defense (returning).”
Holton advances to play Baldwin at 7 p.m. Saturday in the next round.
BLHS ends its season with a 4-6 record.