Bobcats, Braves recognized as Kaw Valley League football’s best
Basehor-Linwood was the odds-on favorite to win the Kaw Valley League football championship in 2011, and the Bobcats backed up those expectations by dominating the league.
The Bobcats rolled to an undefeated regular season and finished with a 10-1 record. In addition to winning their third straight KVL championship, they occupied a whopping 14 spots on the All-Kaw Valley League team. Two players were unanimous selections.
Senior quarterback Colin Murphy and senior wide receiver Ryan Murphy both were unanimous first-team selections. Colin Murphy was a dominant, dual-threat quarterback. He completed 146 of 231 passes for 2,609 yards and 23 touchdowns. In addition, he ran 93 times for 420 yards and 13 touchdowns. Meanwhile, twin brother Ryan Murphy was his favorite passing target. Ryan Murphy caught 49 passes for 1,116 yards and eight touchdowns.
“Colin was a unanimous pick at quarterback and Ryan at wide receiver. That rarely happens,” BLHS coach Steve Hopkins said. “It was neat with both of them being unanimous selections.”
Another top passing target was junior tight end Ben Johnson, who also secured first-team honors after catching 56 passes for 954 yards and 12 touchdowns. Senior running back Jesse Hiss rushed 76 times for 473 yards and nine touchdowns and earned first-team honors.
“Jesse Hiss was a first-team running back despite injuries and being just a blocker for the last six games,” Hopkins said.
Junior running back Drew Potter was a second-team selection after rushing 95 times for 506 yards and 11 touchdowns.
The Bobcats’ offense was particularly potent thanks to a strong season by the offensive line. Senior Ben Kamm and senior Alex Shewmon were recognized as first-team selections for their play on the line, and senior Trevor Hickman was an honorable mention selection.
Kamm’s contribution was that he protected Colin Murphy’s blind side throughout the season, Hopkins said. Kamm tore his anterior cruciate ligament late in the first half of the Bobcats’ Class 4A state playoff game against Eudora.
“It made it more difficult to pass. That gave our team greater appreciation for how valuable he was,” Hopkins said. “That probably brought it home.”
Defensively, Johnson accounted for two more of Basehor-Linwood’s All-KVL selections. He was a first-team honoree at defensive end and a second-team punter. Potter was a first-team selection on the defensive line after posting 76 tackles, and Hiss was a first-team honoree at linebacker after a season where he made 80 tackles. Senior linebacker Dalton Mellies led the team with 127 tackles and was a first-team selection, and junior defensive back Tanner Garver was a first-team choice.
Meanwhile, Bonner Springs surged to a third-place finish in the KVL and was rewarded with eight All-KVL honorees.
The Braves’ two top offensive threats earned first-team recognition for their performance. Senior running back J.J. Jackson, who’d been plagued by injuries for most of his career, stayed healthy throughout his senior campaign and put together the best single-season rushing performance in Bonner Springs history. Jackson rushed 217 times for 1,549 yards and 24 touchdowns. In addition, he caught 21 passes for 203 yards and two TDs.
Williams also was a first-team honoree after catching 50 passes for 939 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Sophomore offensive lineman Kyle Dumler had a breakthrough season and solidified himself as one of the building blocks for the next two years. He garnered second-team honors.
“He was a guy we threw in there early,” BSHS coach Lucas Aslin said of Dumler. “To me, right tackle is the most important guy on our line. He’s a big kid and he runs well, so we threw him in early.”
Senior offensive lineman Blake Pyles was an honorable mention selection.
Sophomore quarterback Jordan Jackson also was an honorable mention selection. He took over as the starter midway through the season and completed 82 of 139 passes for 1,393 yards, 17 touchdowns and one interception.
A trio of Braves were second-team honorees on defense. Senior Drew Hern was recognized for his play on the defensive line, senior Daemon Franklin was lauded for his performance as a defensive back, and junior Matt Call was honored as a linebacker. Call had a team-high 50 tackles to go with two sacks, Hern had 30 tackles and two sacks, and Franklin made seven tackles and broke up three passes in addition to being a force on special teams.