Big plays boost Bulldogs over Trojans
OSAWATOMIE -- Baldwin High School senior Aaron Mills gave the Bulldogs an offensive spark by scoring two touchdowns in their 27-16 win over the Trojans here Friday.
Mills scored on an 80-yard reception and a 92-yard kickoff return. They were the first two touchdowns for Baldwin in the victory.
"They were big plays," coach Mike Berg said. "His speed was a big factor tonight."
Mills was very excited to get the win Friday.
"I can't explain it," Mills said of the victory. "To come out and get the win is one of the best feelings I have felt in a while. It feels great."
Mills helped Baldwin score on its first possession of the game. On the Bulldogs' third play, senior Blake Wieden found Mills wide open on a pass. Mills ran down the field untouched for an 80-yard score, giving BHS an early 7-0 lead.
"It was a really good way to start the game," Berg said. "That's what we were striving for."
Mills remembered the play, because once he caught the pass, he had a clear path to the end zone.
"Coach was running some stuff to see if it would work and I guess it did," Mills said. "He (Wieden) threw it out to me, I took off and nobody caught me. I was off to the races."
Baldwin's next two possessions saw the Bulldogs give Osawatomie the ball on fumbles. Sophomore Logan Schiller did intercept a Trojan pass to help BHS.
With 4:10 left in the half, Osawatomie did score a touchdown on a 40-yard pass. The extra point missed and Baldwin maintained a 7-6 lead at the break.
The Trojans took a quick 9-7 lead in the third quarter with a 34-yard field goal. But Baldwin answered back. Mills caught the kickoff at the 8-yard line and ran straight up the BHS sideline for a 92-yard touchdown return.
"I swear I didn't even see a red shirt," Mills said. "I caught the ball, got to the wall and didn't see a red shirt. It was a straight shot all the way down to the end zone. I told Kyle (Smith) right before the kick, 'I'll see you in the end zone.' It was fun."
Just like that, Baldwin regained the lead, 13-7.
Unfortunately that lead didn't last long. The Trojans put together a nine-play, 69-yard touchdown drive. They led 16-13 with11:56 left in the game.
BHS didn't roll over, though, but instead marched two drives down the field that covered 108 yards in nearly seven minutes of game time.
"We are really proud of our team," Berg said. "They showed character. We got down in the second half, but our offensive line came off the ball during the last two series and blocked like we know they can."
The first drive was capped off with a 9-yard touchdown run from junior Jared Dykes. Three plays later, Wieden intercepted a Trojan pass. Then, sophomore Sam Beecher helped the Bulldogs with seven rushes for 54 yards, including a 12-yard score with 3:26 remaining in the game.
On the Trojans' last drive, BHS senior Zach Austin hit OHS quarterback Jordan Soucie, whose pass was intercepted by BHS senior Nick Jackson.
Berg said the win could be credited to the whole team.
"It was just a total team effort," Berg said. "We had some defensive pass rush and that helped at the very end. We are happy to come away with a win."
The Bulldogs now return home for their homecoming and the first game of district play.
"Everybody is going to feel so good coming into districts and homecoming," Mills said. "That win was a good thing for us."
They will play De Soto at 7 p.m. Friday at Baker University's Liston Stadium.
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