Basehor The number 13 hadn't been a lucky number in the lives of Basehor-Linwood running backs Matt Dukes and Joey Barlow.
That is, until Friday when the two rushers' made the numeral meaningful.
With a 7-0 lead and time running out in the third quarter of Basehor-Linwood's Class 4A-District 6 game with Tonganoxie, the two backs rushed for three consecutive 13-yard runs, propelling a long scoring drive that sealed the Bobcats 15-0 victory.
"They were just normal runs," said Dukes, who rushed for 91 yards Friday. "But they were really important to the game."
That's an understatement.
The seven play, 64-yard drive coming all on running plays not only gave the Bobcats a big cushion but it signaled the end of Tonganoxie's comeback chances.
Before the drive, Basehor-Linwood (4-4) stopped the Chieftains on a fourth-and-1 play in their own territory.
After the scoring drive, the Bobcats defense caused a turnover this time intercepting Tonganoxie quarterback Troy Morando on their own 10.
"That really took the wind out of our sails," said Tonganoxie coach Mark Elston of the sequence of big Bobcat plays. "They just executed."
It wasn't that Basehor-Linwood dominated Tonganoxie Friday.
The Bobcats did move the ball effectively in the first half but came away with only one touchdown, coming on an 8-yard run by Dukes midway through the second quarter.
"They weren't really able to stop us," said Basehor-Linwood coach Paul Brown, "instead we stopped ourselves. I really think we did a good job of executing our game plan."
While the Bobcats did mix things up with a few touch passes, the game plan was pretty much to feed the ball to Dukes and Barlow and allow quarterback Nick Verbenec also in the mix.
It worked too, especially in the third quarter on their second scoring drive.
Barlow, who rushed for 70 yards Friday, took the first hand-off for a 4-yard gain before bursting for the first 13-yard run up the middle.
Dukes followed suit with a 13-yard gain of his own and Barlow matched him with a scamper for another 13 yards. Finally Dukes broke the trend, this time breaking several tackles on a 20-yard rush going all the way to the Chieftains' 3-yardline.
Two plays later Verbenec scored from 2 yards out.
"I was getting a little nervous," Dukes admitted about Tonganoxie closing in before the scoring drive. "We just had to trust each other and it worked."
Barlow attributed the Bobcats' success to tough practices.
"It's a pretty big win, but we have to come out this week and take it seriously," said Barlow of playing Kansas City Piper on Thursday night.
Actually, the Bobcats could lose Thursday and still advance to the state playoffs. They clinched the District 6 title Friday with help from Lansing, which defeated KC Piper 23-0.
Basehor-Linwood 15, Tongie 0
Tonganoxie (5-3) 0 0 0 0 0
Basehor (4-4) 0 7 8 0 15
B Dukes 8 run (John Clouse kick)
B Verbenec 2 run (Verbenec run)