BLHS honors seniors with rout of Tonganoxie
Basehor-Linwood honored its seniors with a mutually beneficial celebration on Friday night. Before the game, Basehor-Linwood players were honored with their parents and friends. They told of future dreams and plans.
Then, when the game started, the Bobcats resumed their season-long dream as they dismantled Kaw Valley League and district rival Tonganoxie, 42-0, and kept their perfect season intact.
The Bobcats seized control early and then rested most of their starters during the second half.
“We played like we thought we were capable of playing,” BLHS coach Steve Hopkins said.
The game resembled so many games the Bobcats have played before, with this class of seniors leading the way. Basehor-Linwood, 8-0, controlled all aspects of the game against Tonganoxie, 1-7.
Tonganoxie relied on its running game to grind down the clock and keep Basehor-Linwood’s quick-strike offense off the field.
“I was proud of the way our kids played,” Tonganoxie coach Matt Bond said. “I thought our kids played tough throughout the game. Physically we were overmatched by a better team. Good luck to Basehor-Linwood the rest of the year.”
Basehor-Linwood led almost from the start. On the third play from scrimmage, Tonganoxie ran a halfback pass play where the ball did not go in front of the line of scrimmage. With a loose ball on the ground, Drew Potter picked it up and scampered in for the touchdown. On the 2-point conversion, Colin Murphy threw to Ryan Murphy, and BLHS led 8-0.
After a THS three-and-out, BLHS scored quickly. The Bobcats gained 44 yards on a pass from Colin Murphy to Ryan Murphy. Two plays later, Jesse Hiss rushed in for a 1-yard touchdown. The extra point attempt was good and the Bobcats led 15-0.
On the next possession, Tonganoxie quarterback Tyler Ford threw an interception to Tanner Garver that was returned to the 13-yard line. On the next play, Colin Murphy was intercepted by Derek Lingo of Tonganoxie.
The Chieftains forced turnovers in the game that kept the Bobcats from lighting up the scoreboard further, and also showed an ability to move the football.
Following the interception, Tonganoxie took over on its 2-yard line and put together a long 13-play drive that took most of the quarter. Lingo carried the ball three times for 7 yards on the drive and Ford rushed three times for 12 yards to keep the chains moving.
The Bobcats were whistled for two offsides plays during the drive. The Bobcats’ defense eventually forced a stop, but Hopkins said he plans to address penalties with his team extensively in practice.
“They had that one good drive, but at no time did I feel like our first-team defense was going to give up a score,” he said.
On the Bobcats’ next drive, Colin Murphy was intercepted by Jared Sommers of Tonganoxie.
Tonganoxie, though, turned the ball back over when Jesse Hiss jarred the ball loose from Lingo on a tackle and it was recovered by Cory McLeary.
On the next drive, Colin Murphy threw a 31-yard pass to Dalton Mellies. A few plays later, Murphy rushed in for a 1-yard touchdown. The extra point attempt failed and BLHS led 23-0.
Tonganoxie’s next drive ended with an interception by Skylar Ross.
On the next drive, the Bobcats continued to move the football. A scary moment occurred when Colin Murphy injured his knee. He did not return. Hopkins said Murphy could have returned to the game had it been closer.
As it was, backup quarterback Zac Hevel threw a 19-yard pass to Ben Johnson to give BLHS a 28-0 lead. The Bobcats added another touchdown before halftime when Hevel rushed for a 1-yard touchdown.
The Bobcats led 35-0 at halftime.
In the third quarter, Basehor-Linwood scored on a 29-yard pass from Hevel to Ryan Murphy.
Basehor-Linwood had ample opportunities to score again in the third quarter, but failed to do so. The Bobcats turned the ball over with an interception that was followed by a Tonganoxie fumble. The Bobcats took over at the 3-yard line and fumbled the football.
The score was 42-0 at the end of the third quarter.
Tonganoxie put together a 16-play drive in the fourth quarter that ended with an incomplete pass on fourth down. Again, Basehor-Linwood’s defense, comprised of backup players, kept the shutout intact.
“I was real glad we kept the shutout,” Hopkins said.
Hopkins said he talked to his younger players about the importance of playing good against Tonganoxie’s younger players. Neither team scored the rest of the game.
Basehor-Linwood plays at 7 p.m. today at Perry-Lecompton. The winner will be the district champion.