Basehor-Linwood throttles Tonganoxie
Football team secures berth in Class 4A state playoffs
TONGANOXIE — The Basehor-Linwood High School football team held Tonganoxie scoreless for the first 38:54 of a district rivalry game Friday night at Beatty Field and rolled to a 41-16 victory, eliminating any chance for the Chieftains to play in the postseason.
Class 4A - District 2
Basehor-Linwood is headed back to the state playoffs for the fourth year in a row. That much is guaranteed before tonight’s game against Perry-Lecompton. What’s still up for grabs is a district championship. Both BLHS and PLHS are unbeaten in district play.
TEAM Record Pts.
Basehor-Linwood 8-0 (2-0) +26
Perry-Lecompton 6-2 (2-0) +23
Jeff West 3-5 (0-2) -23
Tonganoxie 1-7 (0-2) -26
Basehor-Linwood vs. Perry
Jeff West vs. Tonganoxie
The undefeated Bobcats (8-0 overall, 2-0 district) scored on their first three drives of the night to take a 22-0 lead in the first quarter and, despite a scoreless second quarter, put the game away in the third by reaching the end zone on their first two second-half possessions.
The victory gave BLHS its second straight eight-win season and assured the Bobcats of a fourth straight trip to the Class 4A state playoffs.
BLHS coach Steve Hopkins said his team’s success against Tonganoxie was the result of execution early.
“The first quarter was perfect,” Hopkins said. “Our special teams was the only failing — we gave up the one kick return (for 45 yards to Dylan Scates). We said, ‘All right guys, we’re not doing a very good job at that.’ But every other aspect, offense and defense, the rest of the kickoffs were fine.”
BLHS junior quarterback Colin Murphy jumpstarted the rout with a 34-yard touchdown run less than two minutes into the game. Garret Kahle kicked the extra point for a 7-0 lead.
Murphy later threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Ben Johnson. Nathan Quigley threw to Tanner Garver for the 2-point conversion and a 15-0 lead.
Murphy finished the night with four touchdown passes — three to Johnson, a sophomore, and one to twin brother Ryan Murphy, a junior.
The only time the Bobcats’ quarterback wasn’t directly involved with a scoring play Friday was when junior running back Jesse Hiss scored on a 1-yard carry with 2:00 left in the first quarter and made the score 22-0.
Basehor-Linwood failed to move the ball effectively during the second quarter, and its offensive momentum was briefly halted. Hopkins said uncharacteristically poor blocking was the culprit.
Hopkins said former BLHS offensive line coach Ted Johnson came to the locker room at halftime and told the Bobcat linemen that their play during the second quarter was “unacceptable.”
The message was received, and things promptly turned around in the third quarter.
“In the third quarter I thought we got right back and controlled the line of scrimmage, and we still picked a spot or two to throw the ball,” Hopkins said while crediting his players for making the necessary adjustments to get back on track.
THS (1-7, 0-2) only picked up two first downs before halftime while amassing just 111 yards of offense, punting four times and turning the ball over twice.
Colin Murphy threw three third-quarter touchdown passes as BLHS built a 41-0 lead.
Tonganoxie finally scored its first touchdown — a 9-yard run by senior quarterback Jeremy Carlisle with 9:06 remaining in the fourth quarter.
The backups for both Kaw Valley League squads were on the field when second-string THS quarterback Garret Elston, a sophomore, ran for a 4-yard score with 2:15 left on the clock.
Skylar Ross, Quigley and Garver each picked off passes for Basehor-Linwood to highlight the Bobcats’ dominant defensive effort.
Chieftains senior Shawn Marin, meanwhile, created his team’s only takeaway with an interception in the third quarter.
Tonganoxie closes out the season tonight at home against Jefferson County West. Basehor-Linwood will try to wrap up a district championship at 7 p.m. today at home against Perry-Lecompton.
Hopkins said he expects a good challenge from the Kaws after seeing film of them erasing a 21-0 hole against Tonganoxie.
“It’s going to be a great challenge,” Hopkins said. “(PLHS coach) Mike Paramore will have a lot of things ready for us, both offensively and defensively.”