The Basehor-Linwood Bobcats host a familiar playoff foe on Friday night when Bishop Miege comes to town for a sub-state clash for a chance to advance to the state championship game.
The Bobcats enter the game 10-1 following a 28-7 win over Paola last Friday. The Stags enter at 9-2 following a 55-21 upset over Louisburg, who previously was undefeated going into the sectional game. The Stags are a familiar opponent for the Bobcats as the two have met in the playoffs in 2014, 2016 and 2017. The Stags have won all three matchups to end the Bobcats’ season. The game also will mark the final home game for the senior class. Despite the possible emotions, head coach Rod Stallbaumer hopes it will not be an issue for the team.
“We would hope that emotions are not too high for this one,” Stallbaumer said. “I think the ability to keep an even keel this season has been one of our factors to success. This is obviously a big game but we have talked a lot about not getting too high or too low reacting to events. We need to play with confidence and determination.”
Along with keeping an even keel, Stallbaumer also said the work ethic, embracing roles and selflessness have been huge factors.
“It is hard to identify any one thing in the success of a team,” he said. “We have had a lot of players embrace their role and work really hard to helping our team achieve success. We have been very balanced, not relying on any one player offensively or defensively this season and had a lot of guys contributing. That unselfishness, guys playing for each other has been a huge factor to our success.”
The coach said a big focus this week has been understanding and prep with the game plan. The team has also spent time on film study and chalk talk as well as usage of the scout team to get ready for the game.
Stallbaumer said sustaining drives will be a big key for success on Friday.
“(Bishop) Miege is very good,” Stallbaumer said. “They have been able to dominate the line of scrimmage all season and have a great offensive and defensive line. They are extremely sound defensively and are always in the right places, they force you to make a lot of plays to get down the field and score. We will need to make plays in order to sustain drives and score. Offensively they are similar to us in the fact that they are very balanced run/pass and have a lot of weapons. Their running back is very fast and able to score from anywhere on the field. They have some very fast receivers as well. Avoiding the big play and keeping the ball in front of us will be critical to our success defensively. We will also need to have success in the special teams to try to win the field position battle.”
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. The winner of Friday’s game will advance to the 4A state title game against the West winner between McPherson and Goddard. The state championship is Nov. 24 at Hummer Sports Complex Football Stadium in Topeka.
The Leavenworth Times will be covering the game Friday. Follow our Twitter @LVTSportsGuy for updates.