Defense steps up, propels BLHS football past Turner
Kansas City, Kan. Now the real fun starts for the Basehor-Linwood football team as it prepares for the second season to begin after defeating Turner 28-14 Friday, setting up a showdown with Mill Valley this week.
The game, which takes place at 7 p.m. Friday at Jaguar Stadium, will determine the Kaw Valley League championship as the two 5-0 squads battle head-to-head.
Typically, Basehor-Linwood coaches and players talk about the real season starting in week seven with the start of district play, but this year is a little different. A KVL championship is on the line. BLHS has won the last two league titles and would like to keep the streak alive. As a result, coach Steve Hopkins and his staff will do a bit more analysis of where the Bobcats need to improve specifically to counter the Jaguars.
When it comes to reviewing game film, Hopkins likely will see both positives and negatives from the Turner game.
At times, the offense struggled with Turner’s defensive schemes and didn’t run the ball for as many big plays. On the positive side, the team’s defense turned in a stifling performance aside from two big plays.
Hopkins told his team that he put the defense in bad positions throughout the game and they routinely made plays and rose to the occasion. He also said it was a good example of winning ugly.
“Every year, there is a fist fight type of game like this, and some you win real ugly,” he said.
Basehor-Linwood never really delivered the knockout punch that fans have become accustomed to against Turner, but the Bobcats relied on a defense that kept Turner from either tying the game or taking the lead.
The Bobcats made multiple stops inside the red zone to help preserve the lead.
With no score in the first quarter, Turner had the ball to the Basehor-Linwood 1-yard line. On first and goal, Tanner Garver made a tackle for a 2-yard loss. On the next play, Turner fumbled the ball and the Bobcats recovered it.
“Coach trusts our defense a lot,” Garver said. “Our defense thrives on stepping up in big situations and trying to make plays. Last year we came up with a huge goal-line stop against Tonganoxie and we proved we can play on the goal line.”
The two teams traded possessions and the score was 0-0 entering the second quarter.
Basehor-Linwood scored first when Ryan Murphy rushed in for a 6-yard touchdown, which capped a seven-play, 55-yard drive.
After forcing a punt, Basehor-Linwood went back to work on offense. It scored on a 21-yard pass play from Colin Murphy to Ryan Murphy. The extra point was good and the Bobcats led 14-0.
Turner answered with a 56-yard touchdown run from Paul Berry on the first play of the ensuing possession. He broke containment on a trap play and rushed the length of the field to the end zone.
The Bobcats’ offense sputtered the next two drives. Colin Murphy was intercepted on one possession. The next ended with a fake punt pass that came up a yard short of the first down. Turner took over at the Basehor-Linwood 40-yard line.
The Bears completed three pass plays for 38 yards and had the ball at the 2-yard line. On second down, Jesse Hiss stepped up and made a huge tackle for loss.
Hiss, who was playing defensive end rather than linebacker because of an injury, said it was nice to come up with a big stop.
“Goal line is our bread and butter; we pride ourselves on making plays near the goal line,” Hiss said.
The next play was a pass attempt that fell incomplete. The Bears attempted a field goal before halftime, but it was no good.
Basehor-Linwood widened its lead in the third quarter when Colin Murphy threw a 30-yard pass to Ben Johnson. The extra point attempt failed.
Later in the quarter, Basehor-Linwood kicker Garret Kahle had a kick blocked. It was picked up by a Turner defender who ran it in for a touchdown. Initially, there was some delay as players appeared to not know that it remained a live ball.
“That is on me,” Hopkins said. “I had never covered with them what to do on a blocked field goal.”
The touchdown made it a 20-14 game in the fourth quarter. Basehor-Linwood added to its lead with a long drive that ended with a 5-yard touchdown run by Colin Murphy. The 2-point conversion attempt was good.
Neither team scored the rest of the game.