Baker runs to victory over Avila
Behind sophomore running back Ramon Barber's 209-yard, two touchdown rushing night, the Baker University Wildcats walked away with a 22-3 win over Avila in rain-soaked Liston Stadium Saturday night.
That's what a new offense and new weapons, such as Barber, a transfer, can do. Head Baker coach John Frangoulis liked what he saw.
"He was great tonight," Frangoulis said of Barber's Saturday performance. "We haven't had 200 yards rushing in a game in five or six years."
Barber's performance included touchdown runs of 61 yards and 16 yards, both coming in the second half. It was the first time he's been able to run like that since tearing his right ACL two years ago.
"I've been waiting for this moment for so long," said Barber, who says he's still not completely healed.
But he's hoping the Baker fans are as happy as his coach was.
"I hope they're happy," Barber said of the fans. "I can't hear anything when I'm out there running."
Baker opened the game with an 80-yard touchdown drive. The 16-play trip across the Wildcat's new football field was capped by a one-yard plunge by Scott Lane. Bryan White added the conversion and a 25-yard field goal about seven minutes later to give Baker a 10-0 first-quarter lead.
Barber then had his 61-yard dash on a third-down draw play that caught Avila napping. The kick failed, but the Wildcats were up 16-0. Avila made it 16-3 just before halftime with a 45-yard field goal.
Barber closed out the scoring with his 16-yard touchdown run with 5:35 left in the third quarter. A two-point conversion failed and the final 22-3 score was secured.
Baker had 250 total yards to 129 for Avila. Most of the Wildcat's offense came from the run, with 212 yards. Quarterback Martin Updike completed four of 14 passes for 38 yards.
Defensively, Baker was led by Eric Moore who had 11 tackles (nine unassisted) and a sack. Matt Tripplett had an interception and fumble recoveries were turned in by Matt Majors, Luke Thompson and Karl Barron. Majors and Thompson had eight tackles and Barron six. Thompson and Barron also had sacks.
Next up for the Wildcats is a road game to Canton, Mo., to take on Culver-Stockton. Game time is 1:30 p.m. The following Saturday, Sept. 28, Baker will play host to Lindenwood at Liston Stadium in a 7 p.m. start.