BHS blasts Prairie View in final tune-up
Fresh off crushing Prairie View 48-0 Friday night, Mike Berg's Baldwin High School Bulldogs can now put their sights on the "real season." District play starts Friday at Liston Stadium against Spring Hill.
"It's a start of a new season," said Berg, head coach of BHS for the last seven years. "We told our team everyone starts off with a new record. We had a good preseason and now we have to carry that to the next level."
There's another angle to shoot for, too. Paola beat Louisburg Friday, so BHS is tied for the Frontier League lead. The Bulldogs have the lone loss to Louisburg. Paola still has to play Ottawa and Gardner.
"We're tied for first, no matter how you look at it," he said of the small and large school split in the league. "We need somebody to beat them."
But, the Bulldogs' first Frontier League title in years isn't the main emphasis.
"We're just ready to get districts started," said Berg. "Our goal now is to beat Spring Hill, wrap up the league title and win the district championship.
"We've finished second the last two years in district, but we want to have that home game in the first round of the playoffs," he said.
The Bulldogs had an easy go of it in their final tune-up for districts Friday at Prairie View. BHS had 410 total yards to 164 for Prairie View. It wasn't close from the start.
BHS scored two first-quarter touchdowns, one on a 1-yard bootleg by junior quarterback Jeremy Wright and the other on a 13-yard run by tailback Klay Garrison. Senior Emery Baughan added both extra point kicks for a 14-0 lead.
The Bulldogs turned that to a 28-0 bulge at halftime on a pair of long touchdown runs by senior tailback Austin Inzer. Inzer's first score came on a 55-yard gallop just into the second quarter and he followed that about three minutes later with a 48-yard glide into the end zone. The kick failed after the first score, but senior fullback Robert Floersch ran in the conversion on the second.
BHS also had two touchdowns in the third quarter, one on a 14-yard run by Garrison and the other on a 73-yard punt return by junior Aaron Hannon. Senior fullback Brandon Cone closed out the scoring in the fourth frame on a 1-yard plunge.
"It was a fun game," said Berg. "From the start, we said to our team this is a team we needed to dominate. We haven't put a whole game together for awhile. It was good from start to finish. We had the opportunity to play a lot of players that deserved some varsity playing time. They played very well, the kids that haven't played too much.
"We had a lot of players run the ball successfully," he said. "We were able to work on our passing game in a lot of different formations. It's good to be able to do that before districts."
In all there were 12 different Bulldogs who carried at least once Friday. Inzer topped the list with 112 yards on just five carries. Garrison had 55 yards on 11 totes and senior Ricky Baker had 60 yards on just three carries. Wright was six of eight passing for 91 yards and no interceptions. He also added 28 yards rushing on four carries. One of the more remarkable statistics was a four-yard pass from Blake Weiden to senior Andreas Brandenberger late in the game. The crowd went crazy with the catch by Brandenberger, his first in varsity action.
BHS will now move its focus to Spring Hill, which has a 1-5 record on the year, compared to the Bulldogs' 5-1 mark. Spring Hill lost to Gardner last week.
"They are very small up front, with the biggest player at 220 and one lineman who is 170 pounds," said Berg. "Right now, they're skill kids are as good as we've seen. Right now, the offensive line isn't as physical as we've seen.
"They run an offense that's hard to describe," he said. "They bunch it up together with tight splits and try to get outside on you. They use to toss sweep a lot and throw the ball quite a bit off play action. On defense, they're multiple with a 4-4, we've seen some 5-3 and some 5-2."