Basehor into semis with win over Ottawa

By Andrew Robinson PrepsKC staff writer
Posted: November 12, 2016 - 12:53 AM

Basehor-Linwood’s 48-14 victory over Ottawa on Friday night in the Kansas 4A-I sectional championship put an already undefeated team in the history books clinching the Bobcats’ (10-0) first sectional championship in school history.

Senior running back Chas Rollo summed it up as best he could.

“Indescribable,” he said. “It just feels good.”

What started as a back and fourth game through the first quarter ended as a rout after Basehor-Linwood strung together several defensive stops and its offense was able to capitalize.

“I was just happy we played four quarters again,” said Basehor-Linwood coach Rod Stallbaumer. “We kind of strayed from that and put together a much better game this week.”

After taking a 7-0 lead just two minutes into the game, the Bobcats allowed Ottawa (7-3) march down the field using a run-heavy attack to answer and trail 7-6 after a missed PAT.

But seven plays later in the first quarter, Basehor-Linwood used a seven play drive capped by a six-yard touchdown run by senior wide receiver Zach McKnight to take a 14-6 lead and they never looked back.

Ottawa coach Rob Hedrick said he regretted some of his playcalls early in the game, particularly a fake punt when the Cyclones were down 21-6 in the second quarter.

“They’re a really good team and I just made some god awful calls in the first half,” Hedrick said. “We were moving the ball and we tried to go for the big play.”

Both coaches said they knew stops early could be a difference maker. The Bobcats were the team to accomplish that goal thanks in part to three Ottawa turnovers. Basehor-Linwood’s defensive success was all the more notable considering the Cyclones hadn’t scored fewer than 38 points in its last five games, all victories.

“They’re an explosive offense” Stallbaumer said. “They have a lot of talented players and we knew were gonna need to get stops.”

Down 28-6 at halftime, Ottawa was set to receive the ball in the second half with an opportunity to score and chip away at its deficit, but the Cyclones fumbled the kickoff and Basehor-Linwood was able to score three yards later, seemingly putting the game out of reach for good.

Stallbaumer and the Bobcats relied on a heavy dose of Rollo all night. He finished the game with 169 yards on 22 carries, two rushing touchdowns and a receiving touchdown. Rollo’s prowess on the ground opened the Bobcats’ passing game which featured a heavy amount of screen passes on the edges that picked up quality yards.

Senior quarterback Justin Phillips finished the game with 264 yards through the air on 18 completions out of 26 attempts. He also threw for two touchdowns.

“They had a lot of big guys up front. We hit them on the outside with our speed and that seemed to get to them,” Phillips said.

Now, Basehor-Linwood turns its attention to a sub-state matchup against Bishop Miege next Friday night. It’s a game and opportunity that Stallbaumer and his team are certainly happy to have.

“Miege is the top of the heap,” he said. “It’s going to take a great week of practice. We’re excited about the challenge.”