By NICK SLOAN, NJSloan212@gmail.com
For the first time this decade, the Basehor-Linwood Bobcats have lost a regular season game.
And for the first time in the Piper senior class' history, the Pirates have defeated Basehor-Linwood in football.
That senior class was instrumental in Piper's 35-22 win on the road at Basehor-Linwood Friday night - a win that vaults Piper immediately into the Kaw Valley League race.
Senior Paul Jones got the fun started with a 12-yard touchdown with just under two minutes left in the first quarter.
On the ensuing drive for Basehor-Linwood, there was trouble.
Piper senior cornerback Keaton Cofield intercepted a pass from Bobcats quarterback Zac Hevel. The interception set up the Piper offense, which took advantage moments later. Matt McDonald, also a senior, scored from four yards out to push the Piper advantage to 14-0.
As you would expect, the KVL champions fought back.
Tanner Garver connected with Ben Johnson on a 46-yard touchdown pass at the 9:31 mark of the second quarter. A two-point conversion cut the Piper advantage to 14-8.
However, as much as Basehor fought for the lead, Piper kept it all night and responded when it was absolutely necessary.
After taking the 14-8 lead into halftime, Tanner Eikenbary went to work for the Pirates.
Eikenbary connected on a 37-yard touchdown pass to Cliff Rangle. An extra point later, it was again a two-score advantage at 21-8.
Garver scored his second touchdown of the night to cut the lead back down to five. Once again, the Pirates fired back from their offensive ships.
Eikenbary hit Sean Eskina on a 39-yard touchdown pass at the 8:14 mark of the fourth quarter to push the Piper advantage back up to 12 points.
As they did throughout the game, Piper's defense made a big play when it mattered most.
Basehor drove down to the Piper 16-yard-line when it was one of Piper's young talented players that made a huge play.
Sophomore linebacker Colton Beebe nailed Basehor running back Drew Potter two yards into the backfield, turning the Bobcats over on down.
From there, Piper put the ballgame away. McDonald scored his second touchdown of the night, this one coming from 11 yards out, extending the lead to 35-16.
With the win, Piper improves to 1-1 on the season. Basehor-Linwood falls to 1-1 on the year.