Murphy twins spark offense as Bobcats sink Pirates
Twin brothers Colin and Ryan Murphy have played catch in the backyard since they were fourth-graders.
They’ve played quarterback and receiver since they were in sixth grade with Ryan running routes and Colin playing quarterback.
On Friday night, they let the varsity high school football world watch them play catch. They put on an impressive display in a 42-26 victory against Piper in the season opener at Basehor-Linwood High School.
Colin Murphy threw for more than 350 yards with four touchdown passes.
Ryan Murphy caught three TD passes and had 184 yards receiving.
“We did what we could do to get the win,” Ryan said.
Added Colin: “We have a connection between us being twins.”
At times they seemed to know where the other was going to be, enabling them to run routes on offense.
The key was to throw the ball high to Ryan, whose 6-foot-6 frame posed mismatches against the Pirates.
“Four-to-1 is a pretty good combination,” coach Steve Hopkins said after the game, referencing the twins’ jersey numbers. “They have been doing it a long time and can feel where the ball needs to be placed.”
For a night the Bobcats picked the right spots, performing on a night when USD 458 dedicated Keister Field and the new Health and Wellness Center. Ribbons were cut and balloons released before the game to mark the occasion.
It was a big night for Basehor-Linwood athletics as its once-dreamed-of sports facility became a little closer to what was envisioned.
On the field, both teams accounted for big plays early. Three scoring plays of at least 49 yards left the respective defensive coordinators searching for adjustments.
Basehor-Linwood scored first with a 47-yard touchdown pass from Colin to Ryan Murphy to give the Bobcats a 6-0 lead. The extra point attempt was no good.
A couple series later, Piper scored on an 80-yard punt return by Paul Jones. Jones picked up a ball that was rolling and appeared to be a busted play. He then beat the Bobcats to the corner, rushing 80-yards for the touchdown.
Basehor-Linwood, though, answered with a 79-yard touchdown pass from Colin Murphy to Steyr Stubenrauch on its next drive. On the play, Stubenrauch caught a middle screen and ran untouched down the field for the score. He finished the game with more than 100 yards receiving and a rushing and receiving touchdown. Throughout the game, he made receptions that kept drives alive for the Bobcats.
Piper later tied the game when Beau Soucie connected with Ryan Banes for a short touchdown pass. The extra point attempt was good.
At times in the first half, Basehor-Linwood appeared to throw the ball at will. Colin Murphy had plenty of time and picked apart the Piper defense. He connected with Ryan Murphy on a 28-yard touchdown pass to give the team a 20-14 lead early in the second quarter, his third touchdown pass of the half. At halftime he was 8-of-18 for 283 yards with two interceptions.
Later in the quarter, Basehor-Linwood scored again when Jesse Hiss capped a long drive with a 3-yard touchdown run. Hiss was a gutsy running back for the Bobcats, picking up tough yards throughout the game that kept drives alive.
Later in the quarter, Piper picked off a pass and returned it to the Bobcats’ 39-yard line. Piper then scored on a 24-yard pass from Soucie to Glenn Morris.
BLHS led 28-20 at halftime.
Soucie was 5-of-8 for 64-yards in the half.
In the second half, Basehor-Linwood controlled the line of scrimmage. BLHS displayed its best running drive of the game in the third quarter. A committee of running backs picked up tough yards and first downs driving approximately 30 yards. Then, the Bobcats scored on a 45-yard touchdown pass from Colin to Ryan Murphy. The Bobcats led 34-20 after a failed 2-point conversion attempt.
Piper scored early in the fourth quarter on a halfback pass from Glenn Morris to Jared Vogel who caught the ball in the back of the end zone. The 2-point conversion attempt failed and the score was 34-26 early in the fourth quarter.
It was the team’s only score of the second half. BLHS linebackers Hiss, Chandler King and Ben Johnson solidified the Bobcats’ defense. Defensive lineman Drew Potter helped the Bobcats control the line of scrimmage, which enabled the team to switch to a 3-4 defense and get more speed on the field.
Basehor-Linwood answered with another balanced drive on offense. The Bobcats ran the ball for numerous first downs and then hit a big 27-yard pass play from Murphy to Ben Johnson. A play later, Stubenrauch rushed in for a 2-yard score. He made the extra point.
With the win, Basehor-Linwood improves to 1-0 on the season. The Bobcats next play at 7 p.m. Friday at Bishop Ward (0-1).