Archive for Thursday, September 20, 2001

Wildcats drop offensive showdown

Allen’s 283 rushing yards not enough to defeat Bashor-Linwood

September 20, 2001

In a game played in the shadow of a national tragedy, the De Soto and Basehor-Linwood football teams provided fans with an entertaining diversion.

Some Wildcat players said they were unable to divert thoughts of the terrorist attacks during the game. In fact, they said the events provided motivation for the offensive fireworks in De Soto's 49-27 loss.

"We went out and played hard for the people in New York," said De Soto running back Michael Allen who lit up Basehor-Linwood for 283 yards rushing on 28 carries and scored three touchdowns. "It was terrible what happened to them. They were a key part of our motivation tonight. I think both teams went out and played their hardest for them."

Jim Stevens, who plays on both sides of the line agreed with Allen, saying, "I think we had them in the back of our minds tonight. We had a pregame dedication for them and just played our hardest."

De Soto head football coach Brad Scott, who thought his team played for a full four quarters despite the loss also had the terrorist victims on his mind as the two teams took to the field.

"Almost everybody's been involved in 'Friday Night Lights' at some point in their life," Scott said. "I think it's important we show the world we're not going to let those actions affect our lives. We won't let it get to us."

Allen opened the scoring early in the first quarter. The Wildcats forced the visitors to punt on fourth down. Allen took over from there, going 39 yards on De Soto's first play from scrimmage.

The Bobcats rallied to take a 15-7 lead going into the second quarter when they scored on back-to-back possessions with touchdown runs of four and 19 yards by Joey Barlow and John Clouse respectively.

Allen, who had 45 yards rushing on De Soto's next possession, tied the score with a 15-yard burst.

A fake punt was instrumental on the drive.

Sophomore Luke Young picked up a key first down when he romped 23 yards after taking the snap from center on the fake at the Wildcat 43 yard line.

The Bobcats posted four more scores before De Soto would get back on the board. Two of the scores came before halftime on a four-yard run, by Clouse, and a 15-yard pass from Nick Verbenec to Colby Reynolds.

After scoring runs of 14 and eight yards by Verbenec and Brandon Buck respectively, Allen made short work of De Soto's next possession. He danced and juked 69 yards for a score to bring the tally to 42-21 with 3-minutes, 40-seconds remaining in the third quarter.

Basehor-Linwood scored on a 32-yard aerial and Greg Francis hit paydirt for De Soto from three yards out to bring the final score to 49-27.

"We played a good game," said Stevens. "We just gave up three big plays on defense and had three passes dropped on offense. Otherwise we would have been right in the game."

Basehor-Linwood converted on eight of 11 third down tries, compared to just five of 12 opportunities for De Soto. B-L also out first downed the Wildcats 19-12.

The Bobcats rushed for 372 yards and passed for 118 more for a total offense of 490 yards, compared to 344 rushing yards and 14 through the air for 358 yards of total offense for De Soto.

De Soto had just three penalties for 15 yards, while the Bobcats amassed 83 yards in penalties after drawing the yellow flag 10 times.

Both teams punted twice and De Soto lost two fumbles to one for B-L.

Besides Allen's 283 yards, quarterback Greg Francis ran for 29 yards on 11 totes. Young had 23 yards on one carry and Logan Smith rushed for nine yards on four carries.

Francis connected on just two of 12 passes for 14 yards. Several of his passes were dropped by receivers.

On the other end of those aerials were Jake Hodge, for 10 yards, and Justin Haub latched onto one worth four yards.

A slew of backs ran the ball for the Bobcats with Clouse leading the way by rushing for 121 yards on 16 carries. Barlow chipped in 86 yards on nine carries, Jeff Lackner toted the ball eight times for 72 yards and Verbenec rushed for 60 yards on nine carries.

Verbenec connected on four of 10 passes for 118 yards.

De Soto travels to Tonganoxie tomorrow night to take on the Chieftains at 7 p.m.

"We just need to go out and play on offense and pick up the defense," said Stevens on the game with Tonganoxie. "If we can do that and everybody keeps their head, we can win any game remaining on our schedule."

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