Lions can’t cramp Bobcats’ style as Basehor-Linwood rolls, 43-21
LANSING — Colin Murphy sat on the ground near the 50-yard line during Friday’s game against Lansing and was attended to by a trainer.
The Bobcats had a comfortable lead, but the crowd suddenly looked a little concerned.
Murphy appeared injured, having been tackled on the previous play, and was slow to get up. Basehor-Linwood players and fans were concerned. What was the injury? Could he return?
Perhaps no player means more to the BLHS offense than Murphy. Against Lansing, he’d been a focal point. The offense flowed through Murphy as he connected with various weapons in the Basehor-Linwood offense.
Now, the crowd wondered whether he would return.
A couple plays and a timeout later, though, the fears were erased. Murphy reentered the game to lead the offense.
While it might have looked like a leg injury, it was just cramps.
“He was cramping up really bad,” coach Steve Hopkins said.
Upon his reentry into the game, Murphy kept running the ball and later rushed for a touchdown to give the Bobcats a 43-21 lead, which would prove to be the final score.
“I was trying to protect him, but he was like, ‘Coach, let me play,’” Hopkins said.
Murphy kept calling his own number. He carried the ball in for the final score of the game. He rushed 13 times for 81 yards for the night.
He also led a potent passing attack for the Bobcats on a night when Ben Johnson and Ryan Murphy each had more than 60 yards receiving in the first half.
The Bobcats had the luxury of splitting Johnson, a junior wide receiver, to one side of the line and perennial target Ryan Murphy to the other side of the line.
“It is nice to have weapons to throw the ball to,” Colin Murphy said. “It has been a good connection with Ben. We have been playing catch since we were little kids.”
In addition to throwing the ball, running backs Drew Potter, Jesse Hiss and Tanner Garver were tough running for the Bobcats.
The Bobcats opened the game with an 8-play, 62-yard drive that ended with Colin Murphy’s 6-yard touchdown run.
Lansing tied the game later in the quarter with a 67-yard drive that took 12 plays to find the end zone. Quarterback Joe Schneider rushed for a 6-yard score.
In the first half, the Lions had a lot of success running the football, catching the Bobcats a little bit off guard. Lansing had run a lot of spread offenses in the first two games and against Basehor-Linwood ran a power offense.
On the drive, Lansing received a mulligan. The Lions fumbled the football midway through the drive, and Basehor-Linwood recovered it. The turnover was negated when a Basehor-Linwood player was whistled for a personal foul. The Lions scored seven plays later.
Basehor-Linwood scored on its next possession. Colin Murphy threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Murphy, successfully converting on a fourth-and-goal play from the 5-yard line. Colin Murphy passed to Drew Potter for the 2-point conversion.
The Bobcats got the ball back on a Zac Smith interception, which was his first of two in the half.
“Zac Smith did a phenomenal job of catching the ball tonight on defense,” Hopkins said. “He participates in a lot of catching drills before the game and it paid dividends tonight.”
The Bobcats scored off the turnover with a five-play, 50-yard drive. Colin Murphy had a 25-yard run to the 10-yard line. He then threw a 10-yard pass to Ben Johnson for the score. A pass to Tanner Garver for the 2-point conversion was successful and BLHS led 23-7.
In the second quarter, Lansing returned to the ground game. The Lions marched 73 yards for a touchdown. Schneider completed a 20-yard pass to Cameron Decker in the back of the end zone for a touchdown. The 2-point conversion attempt failed.
Following the drive, Basehor-Linwood struck back fast. Colin Murphy completed two passes for 71 yards and a touchdown. He connected with his brother for a 43-yard pass and then found Ben Johnson for a 34-yard touchdown.
“I just tell Colin to put it in the general area and then I will go get it,” Johnson said. “Normally they will double team Ryan and I have the opportunity to go and get it.”
The extra point attempt was good.
Smith picked off another Schneider pass later in the half, but the Bobcats did not capitalize. At halftime, the score was 30-13.
At halftime, Basehor-Linwood switched defenses. Entering the game they had prepared for a spread offense, but were getting beat with more interior run plays. When they made adjustments, the Bobcats were able to limit Lansing’s success running the football.
“We were trying to scheme against the spread and they showed us a different look with Schneider under center,” Hopkins said. “They went back to smash mouth football and so did we. Defensively, we did a better job in the second half.”
After a long Lansing drive stalled out in the third quarter, Basehor-Linwood turned to the ground game.
Hiss carried the ball six times and Colin Murphy carried five times on the drive. Potter capped the drive with a 9-yard touchdown run. BLHS tacked on one more touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Lansing scored on a 25-yard pass from Litton VanDerWerff to Lucas Mein in the fourth quarter.
Basehor-Linwood (3-0) plays host to Bonner Springs (1-2) at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23.