BHS terrific in final tune-up
GARNETT It was final tune-up time for the stretch run ahead here Friday as the Baldwin High School Bulldogs were hitting on all cylinders in thrashing the Anderson County Bulldogs 55-8.
Whatever Baldwin High fans wanted, they got. There was a 28-0 first quarter lead. It was 41-0 at halftime. There was offense, there was defense and there was a good dose of special teams, too.
"We played an entire game," said coach Mike Berg. "We came out from the start to finish and executed. The kids were hitting on all cylinders offense, defense, special teams."
BHS would have, should have scored on the game's first offensive play. Senior quarterback Tyler Inzer faked to fullback Caleb Mason on the option play and then scampered untouched 59 yards for an apparent touchdown. But, an official bit the fake like everyone else in Garnett's ancient football stadium. He blew the play dead, thinking Mason had the ball.
Didn't matter. Nine plays later, Inzer swept in for a 12-yard touchdown run after the Bulldogs had covered those same 59 yards ... again. Senior kicker Hans Broers added the first of his seven successful extra-point kicks and the rout was more than in motion.
All it took was seven more seconds to prove it. On the ensuing kickoff, Anderson County tried a reverse hand-off and fumbled. Sophomore Micah Mason scooped it up and went six yards for the score. Another Broers kick made it 14-0 just barely four minutes into the game.
BHS scored on its next two drives, too. Inzer got the first on a 30-yard run and C. Mason got the second with a one-yard plunge that capped a 51-yard drive that was set up by M. Mason's first interception of the season. Two Broers' kicks and the Bulldogs had a 28-0 lead.
It was more of the same in the second frame. BHS scored on its first drive with M. Mason covering the final 11 yards of a 55-yard drive. Just before halftime, BHS used the pass to set up and score a touchdown. First Inzer hit tight end Brian Lauridsen with a 17-yard pass, which set up a 16-yard scoring strike to wide receiver Andrew Hannon. That put BHS up 41-0 at halftime, with Anderson County trying to enjoy its homecoming festivities.
Baldwin High had two more scores up its sleeve in the third quarter. First, the Bulldogs drove 76 yards in just four plays. All the yardage came on the ground, with Inzer covering the final 29 yards for the touchdown. After forcing yet another punt, BHS again started to drive. This time Berg inserted second-teamers midway through the drive and they finished it off. Senior Aaron Lewis scored on a one-yard plunge, Broers added the kick and BHS was up 55-0 with 2:39 left in the third quarter.
From there, Berg substituted freely. The game remained a shut out for Baldwin High until Anderson County finally crossed the goal line with just two seconds remaining.
The victory moved BHS's record to 4-1 on the season heading into Friday's Frontier League showdown against Eudora. After that comes the all-important district games against Paola, Louisburg and Spring Hill. The Anderson County game was a good place to jump off into the real fray.
"It was a great way to get ready for the upcoming games," said Berg. "It's going to a good way to get ready for the defending league champions."
Eudora won the league title last year with just one loss. The Cardinals also beat BHS 41-21 last year. But, both teams are different this year and it's most clear by comparing last year's and this year's Anderson County games. Both were big wins for BHS. But, last year the Bulldogs had 525 yards in total offense, with 412 of those through passing. This year BHS had right at 500 yards in offense, but 398 of those came on the ground.
"That was probably our best game offensive line wise," Berg said of this year's effort. "We came off the ball and dominated. That's what you've got to do to dominate the offensive line. Daniel Musgrave and Charles Barnes (both juniors) have done a great job filling in for Dan Hamilton (another junior who has been injured). Our seniors Witt Hinton, Mark Gastelum, Chapin Deel and Adam Halford did a great job as always."
The big guys in the trenches opened the holes for a bevy of BHS backs. Most notably, M. Mason had 222 yards on 17 carries, Inzer had 89 yards on seven totes and C. Mason added 57 yards on seven carries. M. Mason now has 794 yards for the season on 92 carries for a 8.6-yard-per-carry average. Inzer has 391 yards on 42 carries (9.3) and C. Mason has 232 yards on 33 carries (7.0). That trio offers a potent option that was clicking Friday night.
"That's why the option works so well," he said of the triple-pronged attack. "We worked on it real hard this week. Tyler Inzer give him a lot of credit made some great reads and Caleb Mason made some great runs and fakes."
Berg was also pleased with the defense, which shut out Anderson County until the late score against second-teamers. Bulldog defenders only gave up 177 total yards and most of that came in the second half.
"I was real pleased with our secondary play," he said. "I thought our JV played better this week, too."
Everything will need to be working on all cylinders again this week against Eudora. After an opening loss to Paola, which still remains unbeaten and atop the league, Eudora hasn't been beaten.
"We are looking forward to the challenge," said Berg. "We know they are a very good team and have played all the good teams and done well. We are excited about the challenge.
"They are pretty much the same as a year ago on offense, with two back sets and they're living and dying by the sweep and trap," he said. "They're throwing the ball some, too. They try to dominate the line of scrimmage. They have a big offensive line and speedy backs. Their special teams are good, too."
Game time at Liston Stadium is 7 p.m.
"I'm glad to be back home. I think we're very capable of being competitive," Berg said. "We're the underdogs and there are some thing we need to improve on."
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