Bulldogs rout Wildcats 35-7
DE SOTO -- Baldwin High School opened district play with a dominating victory here over the Wildcats Friday.
The Bulldogs (5-2, 1-0) rushed for 421 yards and five touchdowns as they cruised to a 35-7 win over De Soto (4-3, 0-1).
"This is a new season for us and we told our kids before the game that everybody is 0-0 in the state," BHS coach Mike Berg said. "We played a very good ball club tonight with a lot of team speed. I am proud of our defense and how they corralled them."
Baldwin's Luke Weaver was excited to win Friday, although the Bulldogs did allow one Wildcat score.
"This was a great way to start things off," Weaver said of beginning district play. "Our defense did exceptionally well tonight. One deep bomb stopped us from getting a shut out. I would have liked a shut out, but I'll take seven points."
Baldwin controlled the line of scrimmage and time of possession from the opening snap. BHS carried the ball 55 times for 421 yards, while the Wildcats rushed the ball 27 times for 81 yards.
BHS running back Sam Beecher led the way with three touchdowns. He scored on runs of 34, 20 and 27 yards. Jared Hall and Gabe Mason scored the other touchdowns for BHS.
All three backs carried the ball for about the same yardage. Beecher rushed for 148 yards, while Mason had 138 and Hall gained 127.
"We are running back by committee and I have told the guys that from day one," Berg said. "They have accepted that role. They all had some big runs. Our offensive lineman keep blocking and blocking."
Berg also said the Bulldog ground game took control in the second half, which it has done in several games this season.
"In the first half we were getting minimal yards, but then we finally started getting some big chunks in the second half," Berg said. "That's what this offense does. It just wears teams down."
Baldwin had a 14-0 lead at halftime, but De Soto looked as if it might mount a comeback early in the third quarter. The Wildcats drove 71 yards, but Baldwin's Zach Durr intercepted Erik Hill's pass.
BHS then drove 97 yards in 14 plays. Mason's touchdown gave BHS a 21-0 lead at the end of the third quarter.
De Soto did rebound with a score of its own. Dylan Burford rushed in for a four-yard touchdown. Then Baldwin took the wind out of the Wildcats' sails.
Baldwin recovered the on-side kick. Then Mason broke loose on a 46-yard run before Hall scored three plays later on a three-yard run.
"I don't get the ball very often, because I am the fullback," Hall said. "I just told myself I was going to run as hard as I possibly could every time I got the ball."
BHS scored its final touchdown on its next possession. After the Bulldogs stopped a fourth-down attempt, Beecher ran a sweep around the left side for a 27-yard touchdown. The 35-7 lead was enough for the Bulldogs, as they didn't allow the Wildcats to rally during the final four minutes.
Baldwin will travel to Spring Hill while De Soto will head to Eudora. Both games begin at 7 p.m Friday.
"Our goal is 3-0 in districts," Hall said. "We've got one down and two to go."
Baldwin -- 7 7 7 14 - 35
De Soto -- 0 0 0 7 - 7
B -- Sam Beecher 34 run (Logan Schiller kick)
B -- Beecher 20 run (Schiller kick)
B -- Gabe Mason 5 run (Schiller kick)
D -- Dylan Burford 4 run (Burford kick)
B -- Jared Hall 3 run (Schiller kick)
B -- Beecher 27 run (Schiller kick)