Posted: Saturday, October 18, 2014 12:00 am
In watching film on Friday’s opponent, Highland, Basha coaches noticed a few coverage schemes they deemed advantageous. Quarterback Ryan Kelley more than took advantage.
The sophomore Kelley threw for 444 yards and six touchdowns as Basha got back in the win column with an offensive explosion in a 48-31 victory at Highland.
Kelley completed 20-of-28 passes and threw for 203 yards in the second quarter alone as the Bears (5-3) racked up 550 yards and held off Highland’s second-half comeback attempt.
“We saw the coverages they were in and it allowed us to some things,” Basha coach Gerald Todd said.
Kelley understatedly elaborated: “It seemed there were holes that were just really open.”
Nearly all of Kelley’s receivers benefited. Jared Schmidt racked up 230 yards and two touchdowns on eight receptions. Hunter Rison had 105 yards and three touchdowns. Doc O’Connor also eclipsed the century mark with 102 yards and a pair of touchdowns. O’Connor also threw a 32-yard touchdown (to Rison) late in the first half that helped the Bears to a 34-10 lead at halftime.
But Josh Chadwick and the change to Keegan Michelson at quarterback in the second half sparked the Hawks (5-3). Chadwick carried the ball 34 times for 273 yards, including 111 in the second quarter, and Michelson threw two touchdowns to Tyler Johnson — who had three touchdowns in all — as Highland pulled within 10 points, 41-31, to start the fourth.
But Chadwick fumbled struggling for extra yardage and Basha’s Austin Williams picked off Michelson twice in the final period to seal what could end up as a pivotal road win for postseason seeding.
“We stepped up and took care of business,” Todd said. “Our defense bent but didn’t break. They made the two huge plays there were very, very special. Those two interceptions were huge.”
Highland racked up 464 yards of offense but turned it over four times and it could have been more. The Hawks fumbled five times but were able to pounce on three to maintain possession.
“You can’t turn the ball over against good football teams,” Highland coach Pete Wahlheim said. “I thought we had them scrambling there a bit in the second half, and we knew we could run the ball, but couldn’t finish.
“We had a tough time getting off the field on defense. They’re passing game is awfully tough. We were dropping eight (into coverage) and still had problems. Credit (Kelley), he’s a good one.”
Kelly’s six touchdowns were on throws of 24, 81, 5, 31, 28 and 2 yards.
“Our offense was just working the entire game,” Kelly said.
BASHA 48, HIGHLAND 31
Basha 7 27 7 7 — 41
Highland 7 3 21 0 — 31
H — T. Johnson 22 pass from Wallin (Schmidt kick)
B — Rison 24 pass from Kelley (Thompson kick)
B — Schmidt 81 pass from Kelley (Thompson kick)
B — O’Connor 5 pass from Kelley (Thompson kick)
B — Rison 31 pass from Kelly (Thompson kick)
B — Rison 32 pass from O’Connor (run failed)
H — Schmidt 32 FG
H — Chadwick 7 run (Schmidt kick)
B — Schmidt 28 pass from Kelley (Thompson kick)
H — T. Johnson 79 pass from Michelson (Schmidt kick)
H — T. Johnson 10 pass from Michelson (Schmidt kick)
B — O’Connor 2 pass from Kelley (Thompson kick)
First downs 22, 24
Rushing 22-74, 47-297
Passing 21-29-476-1, 8-14, 167-2
Fumbles-Lost 1-1, 5-2
Penalties-Yards 6-50, 4-36
RUSHING — Basha: Kelley 8-39, Reed 8-20, Griffin 2-14, Bloomquist 2-5, O’Connor 1-4, Dean-Gibson 1-(-8). Highland: Chadwick 34-273, J. Egbo 2-19, Dv. Egbo 1-19, Russell 4-8, Wallin 6-(-22).
PASSING — Basha: Kelley 20-28-444-1, O’Connor 1-1-32-0. Highland: Michelson 5-9-115-2, Wallin 3-5-52-0.
RECEIVING — Basha: Schmidt 8-230, Rison 4-105, O’Connor 7-102, Dean-Gibson 1-33, Griffin 1-6. Highland: T. Johnson 4-121, McBeth 1-28, Rasmussen 1-9, S. Smith 1-7, Chadwick 1-2.