Bobcats thump Kaws to keep postseason hopes alive
From the start of the second half, Basehor-Linwood began a powerful running game that allowed Tim Sanders and company to go to work in a 37-16 win Friday at Perry-Lecompton.
Jahron McPherson found a hole on the first possession of the third quarter, resulting in a 12-yard carry for a Bobcat first down. The Bobcats would maintain control of the ball for the next 4:49 before McPherson scored a nine-yard touchdown, giving the Bobcats the lead for good.
Before McPherson’s 12-yard run, the Bobcats (3-5, 1-1 Class 4A District 2) spent most of the first half struggling to pick up the blitz, and picked up penalties.
“Although we made some plays on offense (in the first half), we had far too many negative plays and penalties, negating big plays for us, and we gave up three quarterback sacks,“ BLHS head coach Steve Hopkins said. “The defense gave us the ball over and over again, however, so we were able to get the two scores.”
After McPherson’s touchdown, the Bobcat defense forced a quick punt and Sanders drove his squad down the field, setting up McPherson for a 39-yard run that was called back for an illegal hit.
The Bobcats later widened their lead to 29-0 and weren’t seriously threatened by the Kaws (3-5, 0-2) again for the rest of the game. Hopkins said he chose not to pass in the second half because he felt like the Bobcats “had some holes to run at and that made a big difference.”
Sanders ended up throwing for 85 yards and one touchdown with no interceptions. He ran for 87 yards, second only to McPherson’s 172 yards, and two touchdowns. McPherson rushed for more than half of the Bobcats 293 yards on 22 carries.
“McPherson had a great game for us, and he was about an inch away from going all the way,” Hopkins said.
The Kaws gained 200 yards on the ground, but the Bobcat defense teed off on quarterback Mitchell Bond, forcing four fumbles and an interception.
“I really thought our defense played well in controlling the line of scrimmage,“ Hopkins said. “(Defensive lineman) Nick Chaney was our second leading tackler from his position, which is unusual as linebackers nearly always lead in tackles.
“In fact, Cory McCleary, our middle linebacker, had the most tackles largely because our defensive line did a good job at times of keeping their offensive line off of the linebackers.”
McCleary led the team with 12 total tackles and played on every special teams play, while Chaney made eight tackles, including one for a loss, while effectively shutting down the gaps.
The Bobcats will travel Thursday to Tonganoxie (7-1, 2-0) in the hopes of stopping the Chieftains defense and making a playoff appearance.
“We have to start better in picking up blitzes as Tongie plays defense really well, and when they do blitz, it can be a problem,“ Hopkins said. “They are a veteran team which makes few mistakes. We need to avoid negative plays on offense such as penalties and drive the ball effectively, much like we did in the second half last week.
“It will be a great game Thursday with much at stake, which is what you hope for when you enter district, so we hope to play well,” Hopkins said.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Beatty Field. The Bobcats can win the district outright with a win and a Jeff West loss at Perry-Lecompton. All possible district outcomes are available here.