No reason for Bobcats to doubt
It would be easy for the Basehor-Linwood football team to throw up its hands and head back to the ‘ol drawing board after Friday’s frustrating 17-14 loss to long-time nemesis Mill Valley.
BLHS struggled at times to move the ball against the Jaguars, and it was unable to pick up a first down when it needed to in the closing minutes.
At this point, however, what the Bobcats need to do even more is buy into the plan. They need to continue to embrace what worked so well during victories over Santa Fe Trail and Bonner Springs and continue to perfect it.
The Bobcats have done far too much right — and they did so much right against Mill Valley — to let that loss derail what should be the equivalent of a dream season at BLHS.
It’s easy to look at a couple of interceptions or an unsuccessful late drive and doubt, but those areas of correction should not distract from the extensive list of positives that the Bobcats should take from that game.
For one thing, they shrugged off a pair of early turnovers instead of buckling under the early adversity. That’s the same thing they did in the victory over Bonner Springs.
They also weathered the challenge of a bruising Mill Valley running back — Kyle Brunson instead of the lengthy list of Woods brothers in years past — and didn’t let that become the difference in the game.
They played fundamentally sound defense. In order to keep a strong, hard-nosed team like Mill Valley in check, wrapping up on tackles and playing tight pass coverage is imperative. The Bobcats did both all night.
They responded positively to multiple deficits. After falling behind 7-0 and 17-7, BLHS answered with touchdowns.
The defense also made an incredible stand on fourth-and-inches with less than four minutes remaining. Six inches more and MVHS would’ve been able to essentially run out the clock. Instead, the Bobcats got the ball back with 3:15 left and a shot at a victory.
Sure, the ensuing drive didn’t pan out. They didn’t quite get into field goal range or pick up a go-ahead touchdown, but those are the breaks in football.
Here’s the big picture for Basehor this season: They’re also better than a team that should simply hope to make the Class 4A state playoffs this season. They’ve been there and done that. This is a team that has the talent to make a playoff run. Whether they are psychologically ready to do that will be determined heavily by how they bounce back from the loss to Mill Valley, and how they handle Friday’s game against Turner — win or lose.
Now isn’t a time for questioning; it’s a time for the Bobcats to believe.