by David Brox, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kansas 4A districts started Friday night with a bang in the SHUKC area. Basehor-Linwood was hosting the Piper Pirates who came out strong just as you would expect. The game featured a lot of turnovers, big plays, intrigue, drama and excitement. The final score was 48-34 which is a story in of itself.
Basehor-Linwood who honestly haven’t been tested this season found themselves trailing 14-0 after a very slow start. JJ Letcher by hell or high water was going to do everything needed to get this win scoring from 4 and 53 yards to establish a 14-0 lead. I spent the first half having a good chat with Coach McBride and he noted after the first TD that it was the first time the team trailed all season. When you haven’t faced adversity it is always interesting to see how a team will respond and like most good teams Basehor did just that.
Basehor scored the final 17 points of the half highlighted by 1 and 47 yard runs by Justin Phillips. The 47 yard run was crippling to Piper as it happened right before the half. Piper missed 2 wide open receivers for walk in TD’s. The second of which was picked off setting up Phillips 47 yard run. Good teams respond and Basehor clearly shook off the bad start to take a 17-14 lead into the half.
Piper has consistently gotten off to good starts in the second half of ball games and yes it was JJ Letcher scoring for Piper. This time he picked off his area leading 8th pass and returned it 42 yards for a TD. Piper had seized momentum again from Basehor who were going to be facing a seasons worth of adversity in one night.
Again Basehor-Linwood responded behind the hard running of Chas Rollo and I felt a sense of pride in how Rollo ran the ball last night. I know I made a big deal about JJ Letcher coming into the game but the theme from the Basehor sideline was that this is Rollo’s house and he was going to have a say in this game. The young man ran with a lot of power at different points just refusing to be brought down. I want to make sure I emphasis his effort tonight because it really impressed me. He exhausted himself and played a major roll in Basehor answering Piper’s every charge. Props to him.
Basehor-Linwood took a 24-21 lead on a fumble into the end zone that was recovered by the TD machine Luke Murphy. The Bobcats added a field goal to push the lead to 27-21 and at this point the game went into a bit of a lull.
Now is a good time to note that I am not a real journalist. My notes are twitter for the highlight plays but this is the sequence of events and my thinking.
This is either the flaw or the beauty of district play and the point system. Up 27-21 instead of focus on running out the clock Basehor-Linwood still needed to have scoring in the back of their head. They were driving to put a final nail in this game when Piper recovered a fumble.
My immediate thought were story lines. Piper trailing by 6 with 6+ minutes left is about to march down the field. Letcher had just picked up a first down on a few nice runs and you could cut the drama with a knife. In a moment though that story line disappeared. The drive stalled with 4 and change on the game clock and Piper could have easily decided to go for it and possibly ending the game there but Coach Brindle chose to punt. With two players back for Basehor and kicking into the wind the Piper punter kicked the ball past both pinning Basehor inside the 10.
So the new story line in my head kicked off. Basehor-Linwood up 6 looking to run out the last 4 minutes of the game imposes their will and defeats Piper. Well that story line went in the toilet very fast with a 3 and out and little time coming off the clock. Piper with 2 plus minutes had the ball at the 50 yard line and ready to steal this game on the road. It is at this moment that all hell broke loose at Basehor.
Like a flash Jordan Goodpaster rolled out and found an open JJ Letcher running a post corner for a TD. In that moment Letcher solidified himself as one of the top play makers in the state in my opinion. The young man literally willed this team to a win. As the extra point sailed through the upright the story line was going to be 100% on Letcher’s performance. Coach Brindle had done it again with some subtle but effective coaching moves to open district play. I will share the picture later but I have a sweet shot of Letcher catching the winning TD. Sweet gold for a game recap having a picture of the game winning catch. Basehor-Linwood surely couldn’t answer the bell a fourth time!
CJ Watson answered the question in a flash taking the kickoff into the Piper red zone. Watson darted and weaved through the Piper kick coverage like the metaphorical roller coaster we were all watching in the final minutes of the game. Chas Rollo put the final stamp on this game rumbling into the endzone to reclaim the lead. Eric Scott added a 2 point conversion.
There was a bit more madness with INT at the end but Rollo’s TD was the signature score in the final sequence of events.
Great competitive 4A game! Enjoy it now.
Tonganoxie outlasted Atchison in OT 22-16. Jordan Brown with two TD’s to help Tonganoxie overcome a 16 point deficit.
Washington gets a 30-10 win over Harmon
Wyandotte blitzes Sumner Academy 35-6
Blue Valley North defeats Mill Valley 52-23
Lansing defeats Turner 14-7
Bonner Springs falls to Pittsburg 35-14
Baldwin broke a 13 game winning streak defeating Bishop Ward 60-0. 41-0 at the half and goodness the situation at Ward is apparently dire. I talk about the consequences of the monopoly on talent for bigger Catholic schools but kids flat out are not heading to Ward anymore. With Coach Hurla gone I don’t know that they are going be pulling the baseball kids either. They are going to have to do some serious soul searching if they want to see that program pick back up.
Schlagle plays Saturday at 1. I will get an update out on Stallions later today.
Great night and great conversation!