Bulldogs bite Broncos hard
After two weeks in which the Bulldog offense sputtered, Baldwin High School took some of its aggression out on the Spring Hill Broncos, winning by a score of 49-20 Friday night to snap a two-game losing streak.
For coach Mike Berg, the lopsided win was good to see after BHS had stubbed its toe the last two weeks against Gardner and Louisburg in games where turnovers and penalties made the difference.
"It really was good to get back on track," said Berg. "We had two really close games that we lost and we needed to get on the winning track as we get ready to head into district play.
"We did it without making mistakes," he said. "We worked hard on that last week in practice and I think it carried over into the game. We only had two penalties and no interceptions or fumbles. We scored on every possession the first half and it showed if we do things right, we can score every time."
Junior Micah Mason had 162 yards on 18 carries and three touchdowns, senior Brian Lauridsen and junior Brian Turk combined for 137 yards and a touchdown apiece on only 13 carries, and junior Jason Kesinger had 88 yards passing and a touchdown on six completions to lead the Bulldogs to the victory. The Baldwin defense also played well, allowing Spring Hill 134 yards rushing in 45 tries, with only 55 of those yards coming before the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs also had a shut out going before the second string came in for the fourth quarter.
"We had a great week of practice going into this game and we were extremely confident that we would break out of our offensive slump," said senior tight end Ryne Jackson. "Micah, Lauridsen and B.T. really ran the ball well for us."
Mason started his three touchdown performance with a 33-yard touchdown run on BHS's first possession. Senior Justin Goff added the extra point to get the Bulldogs rolling. The Bulldog defense then stopped a Spring Hill drive by forcing a turnover, and Lauridsen ran for his touchdown on a five-yard tote. After the extra point by Goff, the Bulldogs were up 14-0. That was the score as the first quarter came to an end.
The next score for the Bulldogs came from Mason in the second quarter on a one-yard run, his second of the day. Goff's extra point was good, and the Bulldogs were ahead 21-0. Baldwin then aired it out for the second score of the half on a 17-yard pass by Kesinger to junior Andy Hannon for the touchdown. Goff's extra point attempt was blocked, but the Bulldogs continued to blank the Broncos through the first half, and went into the locker room with a 27-0 lead.
"We played a really great first half, everything was clicking and both our offense and defense did their jobs well," said Lauridsen.
The Bulldogs didn't slow down in the third quarter either. Turk scored on a 26-yard run, Mason finished his hat trick with a 28-yard run, Goff made both his extra points and the defense again shut down the Spring Hill offense to put the Bulldogs up 41-0 at the end of the third quarter.
The second team came in for the fourth quarter, and allowed Spring Hill to score 20 points, but Baldwin managed to score another touchdown, a 13-yard run by sophomore Luke Halford, and the Bulldogs added the two-point conversion, also scored by Halford, to give the Bulldogs the 49-20 win.
"After two close games we were really fired up for this game. We were running on all four cylinders throughout the game, and we got a little revenge after losing to them last year," said Lauridsen.
The Bulldogs had 453 total yards, with 365 of those yards coming on the ground. Spring Hill's bulk of yardage came through the air however, with 183 of the Bronco's 317 yards attributed to passes. Baldwin was almost mistake free, with only two penalties for 10 yards and no turnovers. Spring Hill was not so lucky. Although they had relatively few penalty yards (four penalties for 20 yards), the Broncos had four turnovers one interception and three fumbles.
"Everything went well," said Berg. "I was very happy with our defense again. Holding them to 55 yards going into the fourth quarter was amazing. That's 1.6 yards per carry. That's pretty good.
"On offense, we didn't put the ball on the ground, everyone carried out their fakes and the linemen blocked until the whistle," he said. "The intensity level was there."
"We did well, but it isn't really anything to brag about, we still have a lot to do," said senior lineman Daniel Musgrave.
The Bulldogs hope to keep up the tempo when they play at Eudora Friday at 7 p.m.
"This is a big game for us to find out where we're at," Berg said of the Eudora matchup. "They are the only undefeated team in the league and have been playing good football."
Eudora runs a power-I with lots of misdirection. The Cardinals rely on Andrew Pyle, their standout senior running back who has gained 3,000 yards in the last two years.
"They have a lot of big linemen who get after it and they go to their main weapon, which is Pyle," he said. "We're going to have to play error-free football. Our lineman have a big challenge. We have to win the battle in the trenches. They are an excellent team and are very well coached."
(Signal editor Jeff Myrick contributed to this story.)