Bobcats air it out in opener against SF trail
Basehor-Linwood High School quarterback Brandon Leppke has started at quarterback since his freshman season.
He has grown up in the huddle for the last two seasons, and in Friday night's season opener, he played like a polished veteran.
He carried Basehor-Linwood to a 23-7 victory over Santa Fe Trail, rushing 20 times for 62 yards in the game before losses were calculated for sacks. He threw a pair of touchdown passes while completing 11-of-21 passes for 137 yards.
Leppke also did things that don't necessarily show up on a stat line. He led the team in the huddle, made sure that players got into the right spots and directed a wide open Bobcat attack that ran some plays with five wide receivers, formations designed to get BLHS players the ball in space and allow them to make plays.
"Yeah, it is definitely different than last year," Leppke said. "You have guys looking to you for the right routes, instead of me looking to Swede Johnson or someone else for help. It is more responsibility for me, but it is fun."
Leppke made a difference by making passes in Friday's game, connecting with a pair of freshmen for touchdown passes.
Colin and Ryan Murphy were favorite targets on Friday, catching a pair of touchdown passes and complimenting Ben Zuk who drew tight coverage throughout the game.
The Bobcats' first scoring drive started with about a minute left in the first quarter and concluded with a 3-yard touchdown pass from Leppke to Ryan Murphy.
Kyle Savner followed with the extra point.
Basehor-Linwood scored four possessions later after receiving the football on the 50-yard line. Leppke completed passes to Zuk and Logan Ross on the drive, which culminated with a Chandler King touchdown run.
BLHS dominated time of possession in the first half, and didn't allow Santa Fe Trail to muster much offense. The Chargers had little rushing offense in the half as Caleb Cook struggled to get rolling. Cook had just 23 yards rushing at halftime.
"Defensively, I thought we played extremely well," Hopkins said.
Jake Potts led BLHS with two sacks. Chandler King led the team with six tackles. Steyr Stubenrauch and Chandler Schaake each had five tackles.
Basehor didn't allow Santa Fe Trail to make runs to the outside and also was tough at the point of attack, rotating six defensive linemen throughout the game.
Basehor struck again on its first drive of the second half when Leppke tossed a 49-yard touchdown pass to Colin Murphy. The Bobcats had talked about how the middle of the field would be open at halftime, and it proved to be true with the touchdown pass.
The extra point was blocked and the score was 20-0.
The freshman targets should make a difference this season for the Bobcats.
"It is real nice having a pair of 6-foot-4 targets out there, you can just throw the ball up there and let them go get it," Leppke said.
Santa Fe Trail answered with an eight-play drive that finished with an 18-yard run by Cook.
A 22-yard pass from Phoenix Anschutz to George Kelemente set up the touchdown run.
The score was 20-7.
Santa Fe Trail ran a hook and ladder on the next drive that looked like it had gone for a touchdown, but it was called back because the pitch was a forward lateral.
Basehor-Linwood scored late in the game when Savner made a 37-yard field goal. The kick gave the Bobcats a 23-7 lead. Neither team scored the rest of the game.
Basehor-Linwood (1-0) next plays at 7 p.m. Friday, at Bonner Springs High School. BSHS also is 1-0 after beating Bishop Ward, 29-28, on a last-second field goal.