Bulldogs cruise to another district road victory, 49-22
SPRING HILL -- After two three-and-outs, the Baldwin High School football team scored on its next four possessions as it put Spring Hill away early here Friday night.
Baldwin (6-2, 2-0) won the game 49-22 after the Broncos scored two late touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Five BHS players scored touchdowns in the victory.
"That was a really tough team to defend tonight," coach Mike Berg said. "They spread you out the width of the field and the length of the field. Our guys are a little worn out, but it was a hard-fought win for us. It wasn't pretty, but we got the win."
Friday's victory was the second straight district win on the road for the Bulldogs. They defeated De Soto the previous week 35-7.
With two wins secured and their final district game to be played tonight, the Bulldogs have assured themselves a spot in the bi-district round Tuesday.
"It feels good to win a couple," junior Logan Schiller said of the first two district games. "We have a big game coming up against Eudora."
BHS did begin Friday's game a bit slower than usual. On its first two possessions, Baldwin only gained six yards on six plays. Each team traded punts before Baldwin finally broke the ice.
The Bulldogs scored quickly on a five-play, 64-yard drive. Junior Sam Beecher broke loose on a 39-yard scamper to score the first touchdown of the game.
Baldwin added another touchdown before the first quarter ended. One play after Beecher had a touchdown called back for holding, senior Gabe Mason rumbled in for a 34-yard score.
"They came out really hard and playing well," senior Drew Berg said of Spring Hill. "They came out and hit us in the mouth and we weren't ready. Our offensive line picked it up and got us some big holes for our backs after the first couple of drives."
BHS continued to pour it on during its next two possessions. Senior Jared Hall rushed for the next score as he ran in from four yards out.
Baldwin scored its last touchdown right before halftime. Beecher nearly scored on a sweep, but he fumbled the ball on the one-yard line. The ball rolled into the end zone, where Mason recovered it for a Bulldog touchdown. Baldwin led 28-0 at half.
"I think we got our confidence back and the guys started playing hard," coach Berg said. "That's what they need to do all of the time."
Baldwin didn't stop its onslaught at halftime. It came out of halftime and threw a 75-yard touchdown pass for a score. Drew Berg connected with senior Zach Durr for a touchdown to give BHS a 35-0 lead.
However, the Broncos did answer with their first score. Then they intercepted a BHS pass and drove deep into BHS territory before Schiller intercepted a Spring Hill pass at the three-yard line.
"I just happened to be at the right spot at the right time," Schiller said. "I thought we played really well defensively. I thought we stepped it up in the secondary."
The Bulldogs then drove 97 yards in nine plays. The drive was highlighted by Hall's 60-yard run down to the Broncos' nine-yard line. Mason finished the drive with a 10-yard run after the Bulldogs were backed up five yards for a false start.
Baldwin scored on its next possession when Beecher threw a pass to senior Jesse Green on a halfback toss. The play went for 19 yards and gave BHS a 49-8 lead.
Schiller kicked his seventh and final extra point of the night, nailing all seven Friday.
"I was kicking pretty good," Schiller said. "A couple almost got blocked, but I was kicking good."
Once Baldwin's junior varsity players entered the game, Spring Hill scored two late touchdowns to close the gap a tiny bit. It wasn't enough as BHS rolled to its second straight road win.
"We are really excited right now," Drew Berg said. "Our goal is to be 3-0 in districts and we've got a shot at doing that Thursday. It's going to be a great rivalry game between two good teams."
Baldwin returns home for its final district game. BHS will host Eudora at 7 p.m. Thursday at Liston Stadium.
"We got two wins on the road, which is important in districts," coach Berg said. "We are just ready to be back at Liston."