Bobcats topple Ward, head back to playoffs
Basehor-Linwood is headed back to the Class 4A football state playoffs.
The only question that remains is whether the Bobcats will be the district champion or the runner-up. Well, that, and if they’ll also grab a share of the Kaw Valley League championship.
Thanks to its 34-21 victory over Bishop Ward on Friday, BLHS improved to 7-1 overall, 6-1 in the KVL and 2-0 in district play. Piper edged Tonganoxie in the other district game to move to 2-0 in district play. That means both Basehor and Piper are playoff-bound.
The Bobcats and Pirates will square off at 7 p.m. Thursday at Piper in a game that will determine the district champion.
The first half of the game was a track meet between the two teams.
Basehor-Linwood scored on its first drive of the game. Quarterback Brandon Leppke completed a pair of passes to Colin Murphy that spurred along the drive. He connected with Murphy on a 24-yard touchdown pass to take an early lead in the game. Bobby Courtney followed with the extra point.
On the Bobcats’ next possession, Leppke connected with Colin Murphy for a 19-yard touchdown pass. Earlier in the drive, Colin Murphy connected on a 50-yard pass to Leppke, giving the Bobcats a two-headed monster in their aerial attack.
Ward answered in the second quarter. Cole Muder brought the Cyclones back on the next drive. Muder broke runs for a total of 43 yards on the play. The Bobcats also committed three personal fouls within a five-play stretch.
On third and long, BLHS was called for roughing the passer, which gave Ward a first down deep in Bobcats’ territory. The Cyclones then scored.
BLHS answered with another Murphy touchdown. This time Ryan Murphy, who suffered a broken arm last week, caught a 26-yard touchdown pass for the Bobcats. Earlier in the drive he caught a 7-yard reception. The Bobcats’ 2-point conversion attempt failed and the score was 20-7.
Bishop Ward answered with a 79-yard touchdown run by Alex Orel to get the Cyclones back into the game. The extra point attempt was no good and the score was 20-13 with six minutes left in the second quarter.
On the next drive, the Bobcats put together a four-minute drive that included a couple of runs followed by short complete passes. The Bobcats converted on fourth-and-short with a Leppke sneak. Later, they scored on a touchdown pass from Leppke to Cole Bittle. Leppke threw for the 2-point conversion, and BLHS led 28-13 at intermission.
The Cyclones got the ball back later in the quarter and using a combination of Muder and Orel in a full-house backfield formation to pound the ball. The Bobcats’ Richie O’Donnell forced a big fumble on fourth-and-eight and BLHS recovered it.
Basehor-Linwood went on 11-play 67-yard drive to seal the game. The Bobcats showed a little grit on the driving, gaining yardage on tough running plays and converting on fourth down and one. Leppke rushed in for a 9-yard touchdown run.
Ward tried to answer on its ensuing drive, but Chandler King forced a fumble and Bobby Courtney recovered it. The turnover sealed the victory for BLHS.
For a full recap, pick up Thursday’s issue of The Sentinel.