Baker sees win slip away
LAMONI, Iowa Wet, cold, nasty and a loss were the results of Baker University's trip to take on Graceland here Saturday night. Graceland survived a last-second scare to walk away with a 24-21 win.
The game came down to six seconds left with Baker on Graceland's one-yard line, trailing by three. Baker head coach John Frangoulis opted against a game-tying field goal and tried one last play.
"We came up here to win the game," Frangoulis said. "If given another chance I'd do the same thing. Kickers were falling down all night, it was so sloppy and muddy."
In fact, only minutes before the Wildcats had missed on a field goal attempt that would have tied the game. Sloppiness may have been a factor as BU quarterback Levi Schuck and tailback Kevin King missed connections on a handoff, fumbling the ball away as the clock expired giving Graceland, 2-1, the 24-21 triumph.
"I liked our chances of running it into the end zone," Frangoulis said. "Had we not fumbled that very well may have happened."
Baker lost four fumbles and Schuck threw two interceptions one returned 40 yards for a touchdown by Graceland's Matt Serviolo.
Baker came up with four interceptions of its own in the turnover-plagued, soggy game by Eric Moore, Brock Bult, Joe Zubek and Darrell Jones and the Cats Jarrod Scott recovered a fumble.
In the second half, the Wildcats were down to their No. 3 tailback (King) after starter Howard Verdell suffered a season-ending leg injury in the second quarter.
Verdell had been subbing the last two games for regular Terence Spencer who is expected to be ready for Saturday's homecoming game against Central Methodist after suffering an elbow injury in practice nearly three weeks ago.
King, a 5-foot-9, 183 pound senior, led Baker with 29 yards on 20 carries. The Wildcats finished with only 78 yards on the ground. Graceland's Brian George, who was the No. 8-ranked rusher in NAIA stats last week, finished with 126 yards on 17 carries and scored three touchdowns.
Schuck completed 12 of 26 passes for 203 yards, including a 53-yard TD pass to Mackie Valentin in the first quarter.
Baker, now 2-1 and 1-1 in the Heart of America Conference, will probably drop from the NAIA poll after climbing to No. 23 last week.
The Wildcats Saturday homecoming kickoff against CMU will be at 2 p.m. Moore and Manny Duran led BU with 10 tackles apiece.