Bobcats bounce back, cage bears
Bobby Courtney saw the Turner quarterback throw the football late in the third quarter on Friday.
Courtney took a couple steps, reached up and intercepted the pass. With the ball tucked away, Courtney looked forward and saw nothing but daylight. He began to run, sprinting 53 yards to the end zone for a touchdown.
“That was a lot of fun,” he said. “It helped the team out a lot. It pumped us up and got the team going. When you catch the ball and see nothing but space, it is a good feeling. Then, when you run into the end zone and you turn around and see everyone coming after you, it is a great feeling.”
Courtney had prepared for the play all week. The Bobcats’ first-team defense had seen the play run against the scout team all week. Teammates had picked off passes in practice, but Courtney had not.
Friday’s was his turn.
Courtney finished the game with eight tackles, leading a secondary that contained Turner throughout the game.
Following the play, Brandon Leppke converted the 2-point conversion on the next play with a rush and the Bobcats led 26-6.
Turner answered with a touchdown early in the fourth quarter.
David Bernall rushed in for a 12-yard touchdown. The play followed a 30-yard run by Rashon Thames that, coupled with a 15-yard personal foul penalty on the Bobcats, put Turner in scoring range. The extra point was good and the score was 26-13. Neither team scored the rest of the game.
After the game, Basehor-Linwood coach Steve Hopkins praised his team’s ability to contain Turner’s offense. The Bobcats had attempted to slow down the Turner attack during the game, and they executed well.
Turner rushed for 126 yards on 40 carries. The Golden Bears also completed six of 14 passes for 131 yards.
While the Bears moved the football, Basehor-Linwood was able to stop them at pivotal times in the game.
Basehor-Linwood scored first midway through the first quarter when quarterback Brandon Leppke tossed a lateral pass to Colin Murphy. Murphy fired a 41-yard touchdown pass to twin brother Ryan Murphy.
Courtney kicked the extra point.
“That is one of those gadget plays that we work on,” Hopkins said. “You can’t run them very often.”
Basehor-Linwood scored its next points off a turnover. Turner prepared to punt the football on fourth down, but the ball was snapped over the punter’s head and rolled to a stop. The punter picked it up and then fumbled the football away due to a jarring hit.
Basehor-Linwood’s Jake Potts recovered the football for a touchdown. He then caught the 2-point conversion.
“We will take two scores from our defense and hold on offense any time,” Hopkins said.
Turner rebounded on its next possession. On fourth down, Nick Bloomer threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Austin McLure. The extra point attempt failed.
The two teams traded possessions during the second quarter. Late in the quarter, BLHS took possession at the 4-yard line on a Chandler King interception. Leppke fumbled the snap and Turner recovered it near the 4-yard line. The Bears ran for three yards on first down, then attempted a sneak on second down.
Bloomer tried to spike the ball on third down, but the clock ran out and the Bears came away empty-handed and BLHS held a 15-6 lead.
“Two times they had the ball inside the 10-yard line and we stopped them. We can’t ask for more than that out of our defense,” Leppke said.
BLHS controlled the third quarter with its ground game. Leppke ran the ball 10 times during the quarter as the Bobcats drained the clock. Meanwhile, Turner ran just three plays in the quarter.
The Bobcats started the half a 12-play drive that ended with an incomplete pass.
After Turner ran three plays and punted, Leppke led the Bobcats on a 10-play drive that ended with a Courtney field goal.
Courtney’s interception followed later and the Bobcats were in control.
With the win, Basehor-Linwood improves to the 3-1 on the season. Turner falls to 3-1. BLHS next plays at 7 p.m. Friday at Washington.
Chandler King recorded 13 tackles and Jesse Hiss recorded 11 tackles to lead the Bobcats on defense. Jake Potts finished the game with 10 tackles. Derek Shandy, Richie O’Donnell and Dakota Webber each recorded nine tackles.
On offense, Leppke was a bit of a one-man show for the Bobcats.
He finished with 162 yards rushing on 26 carries.
Passing the football, he completed three of 10 passes for 51 yards. Colin Murphy completed one pass for 38 yards.