Flags fly in Wildcats’ win
On a night when Baker University alumnus and current Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy was inducted into the Baker athletic hall of fame and honored at halftime, the Wildcats football team participated in a display more worthy of a Pee Wee league audience than an NFL coach.
So paltry were the offensive performances of both Baker and opponent Central Methodist on Saturday night, each team actually had more penalties than total points.
Still, somebody had to win, and despite trying its hardest seemingly to give the game away, Baker emerged with a hideous 13-7 win at Liston Stadium.
"We were horrible," Baker head coach Mike Grossner said. "It was absolutely the ugliest win I've been a part of in a long time."
Baker (5-3, 5-2 in conference play) committed 16 penalties for 154 yards, or five yards more than it gained all night offensively, and the Wildcats had two game-clinching touchdowns called back because of penalties.
Meanwhile, CMU, which committed 10 penalties for 81 yards, scored its only touchdown after back-to-back pass-interference calls on Baker that set up a first down inside the BU 15-yard line.
"It was really frustrating," Wildcat wide receiver Marcus Nolan said. "You see a long touchdown run and a touchdown in the corner (taken away). That's 14 points off the board, and we let them hang in there."
The only saving grace in the contest came from the leg of Baker kicker Derek Doerfler, named NAIA special-teams player of the week two weeks ago for hitting a game-winning 62-yard field goal. And even he struggled on this night, missing his first two field-goal attempts before nailing his last two to account for the winning points.
"He did bail us out, but that's been going on for four weeks now," Baker quarterback Mack Brown said. "It feels like routine now, which is bad because if we're going to win next week and the week after, we're going to have to put points on the board."
Not even an impassioned pregame speech from McCarthy could prevent the mess that followed on the field.
"I am a little embarrassed we didn't play well in front of him," Grossner said, "but we got the win."