BLHS football eliminated with loss at Tonganoxie
Tonganoxie With a win Oct. 25 at Perry-Lecompton, the Basehor-Linwood football team gave itself a chance at a playoff bid in Thursday’s regular-season finale at rival Tonganoxie. Unfortunately for the Bobcats, though, the hosting Chieftains had other plans.
BLHS trailed by just eight points at halftime, managed just 69 yards of offense in the second half of a 29-14 loss at Beatty Field. The loss eliminated the Bobcats (3-6, 1-2 Class 4A District 2) from playoff contention, while THS (8-1, 3-0) clinched its second straight district title.
The Bobcats scored on their first possession when quarterback Tim Sanders hit Dalton Inlow on a crossing pattern on third-and-18 deep in Bobcat territory. Inlow beat the defense and went 74 yards for a score, then Sanders hit Jahron McPherson on the two-point conversion to make it 8-0.
The Chieftains answered with a 16-yard scoring run by Cole Holloway, capping off a drive of 10-straight running plays, and quarterback Tyler Ford added a conversion on the ground to tie it up midway through the period. The Chieftains took the lead on the second play of the second quarter when Holloway scored from five yards out, but the Bobcats responded on the ensuing drive when Sanders connected with Bryan Crowe on a 36-yard touchdown pass.
“We felt like we could take advantage of the fact that the field was so sloppy,” BLHS coach Steve Hopkins said. “The receiver knows where he’s going and the defender doesn’t, so that was our thought going in.”
Ford threw a touchdown pass of his own to Jared Sommers with 6:12 left in the half, and THS took a 22-14 lead into the locker room.
The Chieftains drove deep into BLHS territory on their first drive of the second half, but Inlow intercepted a pass by Sommers at the Bobcat 14. The THS defense got the ball back with a fourth-down stop inside the 25-yard line, and Holloway scored his third and final touchdown on an eight-yard run late in the third quarter.
Holloway’s score provided the only second-half points, as BLHS went three-and-out or turned the ball over on downs on its final three drives.
Sanders threw for 217 yards — just one off his season-high — but was just 5-of-15 in the second half. He spent most of the final two quarters on the run and was sacked five times.
“We really felt like Tim had some things he could exploit with his legs,” Hopkins said. We were really trying to spread them out and take advantage of that, but it just got too sloppy. There was no footing for someone like us. We just had no running game and you just can’t be one-dimensional.”
As a team, the Bobcats ran for just 11 yards on 21 carries. Meanwhile, the Chieftains racked up 252 yards on the ground, including 151 by Holloway.
BLHS could still have earned a playoff spot despite the loss, but it needed Perry-Lecompton to defeat Jeff West in Thursday’s other district game. JWHS, which defeated the Bobcats in overtime on Oct. 18, clinched the runner-up spot with a 21-7 win against the Kaws.
“The overtime loss really stung,” Hopkins said. “That made it where we were in a desperate mode for the last two weeks. I thought the kids responded well to that, but you just don’t want to be in that mode after the first game of district.”
Score by quarters
BLHS 8 6 0 0 — 14
THS 8 14 7 0 — 29
BLHS — Dalton Inlow 74 pass from Tim Sanders (Jahron McPherson pass from Sanders), 10:56
THS — Cole Holloway 16 run (Tyler Ford run), 7:16
THS — Holloway 5 run (Eric Tate kick), 11:25
BLHS — Bryan Crowe 36 pass from Sanders (pass failed), 10:31
THS — Jared Sommers 16 pass from Ford (Tate kick), 6:12
THS — Holloway 8 run (Tate kick), 3:32
BLHS: Tim Sanders 17-11, Alex Jackson 1-1, Jahron McPherson 2-0, Bryan Crowe 1-(-1); THS: Cole Holloway 27-151, Shane Levy 14-74, Tyler Ford 13-27.
BLHS: Sanders 11-24-0 217; THS: Ford 4-5-0 47, Sommers 0-1-1 0.
BLHS: Dalton Inlow 2-83, Crowe 3-64, Austin Rowland 1-32, Layne Roberts 1-15, McPherson 1-12, Boston Henry 3-11; THS: Sommers 2-29, Maleak Gibson 1-11, Levy 1-7.