Braves win first game against Bobcats under Aslin
Basehor Bonner Springs nearly shutout Basehor-Linwood in the Braves' 33-7 victory Friday night.
The win was the first for BSHS (5-1) against BLHS (2-4) since Lucas Aslin took over the program in 2011.
The Braves went into halftime with the game comfortably in hand, leading 24-0. Aslin could have taken out his starters after Jared Knernschield extended the lead to 33-0 in the fourth quarter, but he elected to keep them in to preserve the shutout and prove a point.
“We left our kids in, he has to leave his kids in,” BLHS coach Steve Hopkins said. “I have no problem with Lucas was doing. That’s exactly right.”
Hopkins asked a handful of his starters if they wanted to rest up and make sure they were healthy going into districts, but quarterback Tim Sanders and running back Jahron McPherson wanted to stay in the game.
Good thing they did, because the Bobcats broke up the shutout when Sanders connected with McPherson on a 12-yard touchdown pass with 40 seconds remaining in the game.
Things started out slowly for both sides, specifically Bonner Springs as the two teams played 12 minutes without a score.
“When you don’t play well offensively, you go out there and aren’t sure of yourself,” Aslin said of last week’s 23-9 loss to Mill Valley. “The kids did a great job of making the adjustment (in the final three quarters).
“(BLHS) followed the blueprint of Mill Valley. They jammed the box with nine guys and made us throw the football,” he said.
BSHS finally broke the tie when Luciano Fasani hit a 43-yard field goal with 10:49 left in the first half.
On BLHS' next drive, they went four-and-out and ended up punting from its own 14-yard line. However, the punt went two yards — giving BSHS a very short field.
“The offense definitely took advantage of some field position the defense gave them,” Aslin said.
After a false start by the Braves, Knernschield broke three tackles before finding the end zone on a 21-yard run — his first of three touchdowns on the night.
His second one came on a 9-yard pass that quarterback Jordan Jackson flipped to him with 26 seconds left in the half.
That touchdown was set up after Basehor-Linwood fumbled a double reverse, giving Bonner Springs the ball on the BLHS 12-yard line.
“Our goal right now is to get better and be ready going into district and to compete well,” Hopkins said. “Every time something good would happen we would have a bad penalty or we’d fumble a snap.”
Coaches say it every year that the nice thing about Kansas and district play is that every team is back to 0-0 and has a chance.
“The example I gave before the game is Holton and Ward have the same record. Holton is on a 19-0 run and Ward is on a 0-and-whatever run. We’re not 2-4 in our minds. We need to focus on we’re 0-0 and we want to be 1-0.”
Both the Braves and Bobcats will play their final home game to begin district play on Friday. Kickoff for each is a 7 p.m. BSHS hosts DeSoto and BLHS hosts Jefferson West.