BHS beats SFT in preparation for Cardinals
A playoff berth and a match-up with undefeated Eudora were awarded to the Baldwin High School football team when it beat Santa Fe Trail 27-8 at Liston Stadium Friday night.
"It was very important," said coach Mike Berg. "We have to win every game from here on out. That is the approach we are taking."
The Bulldogs (7-1, 2-0) played the Cardinals (8-0, 2-0) Thursday at Liston Stadium. It was the final district game for both schools and determined seedings for the playoffs.
On Friday, Baldwin hosted SFT for its second district game and came away with a close win.
"We played with a lot of heart, but sometimes our minds weren't there," Mason said. "We went hard every down, but we didn't have the mental part of the game sometimes."
The game was a battle to see which team would be able to run the ball down its opponent's throats. The style of play didn't surprise Berg.
"It was a physical game, like we thought it would be," Berg said. "Santa Fe Trail never quits when they play and they play hard for four quarters."
Baldwin ran for 223 yards, while SFT racked up 160 yards on the ground.
"We had to stop their running in this game and we knew that," Berg said. "We missed some tackles, but did do a good job."
Baldwin took its first drive of the game for a touchdown, as it drove 82 yards in 15 plays. Senior John Brown scored on a one-yard run to give Baldwin an early 7-0 lead.
Berg believes he knows why the Bulldogs jump on their opponents early in games.
"We execute well at the beginning of the game, because we are fresh and we know what to expect since we work on it all week," Berg said. "We have a lot of kids playing both ways and they lose focus and forget to do the little things right in the second half."
After SFT punted, BHS sophomore Kevin Callahan recovered a fumble on a SFT punt return, leaving the Bulldogs with great field position on the SFT 31-yard line.
It took Baldwin five plays to punch the ball in, when senior Jeremy Wright hooked up with senior Rusty Flory for a six-yard touchdown pass. After a missed extra point, Baldwin led 13-0.
On the Bulldogs' next drive, Brown ended a five-play, 56-yard drive with a 13-yard touchdown run. Neither team scored during the rest of the half, as Baldwin led 19-0 at halftime.
"In the first half I thought we played great on both sides of the ball," Berg said. "In the second half, we came and didn't block or tackle very well."
The Chargers put points on the board on its second possession of the second half. They drove 90 yards in seven plays and scored on a four-yard run by senior Chris Sadler. The drive included a 47-yard and 24-yard run.
"We had some good stops, but we a couple big plays got away from us," Mason said.
Baldwin added the final score of the game late in the fourth quarter. Wright scored a touchdown on a five-yard run to give Baldwin a 27-8 lead.
Wright said the win will help the Bulldogs with tonight's game.
"It gave us a little momentum going into Eudora," Wright said. "We will be ready to go."
Berg thought the team lacked concentration during the second half.
"I think we lost our focus," Berg said. "We thought we had the game wrapped up. We were still playing hard, but we were making mental mistakes, not physical. We missed some blocks and didn't tackle very well."
Wright said the Bulldogs have a few problems from Friday night to work on.
"A lot of our problems had to do with turnovers," Wright said. "Our red zone offense kind of struggled also."
"We came out pretty intense the first half, but it's one of those stories where we play one half and not the other," Wright said. "That is something we have to work on for Eudora."