Offense sparks Wildcats to road win
Mack Brown and Richie Bryant combined for more than 400 yards of offense to lead the Baker University football team to victory Saturday.
The Wildcats’ quarterback and tailback helped Baker (2-2, 2-1) defeat rival Benedictine College 35-24.
“Benedictine is our rival and they are always hard to beat at home,” coach Mike Grossner said. “We’ve now gotten three in a row on them.”
Brown was thrilled to pick up a Heart of America Athletic Conference road win.
“It’s definitely a big win, especially in Atchison,” Brown said. “That’s one of the toughest places to play. Benedictine straight hates us.”
Brown completed 28 of 39 passes for 365 yards and three touchdowns Saturday. He earned HAAC offensive player of the week honors for his performance, which also included a touchdown run.
Attempting that many passes isn’t Grossner’s favorite offensive philosophy, but he admitted if Brown is efficient, it can lead to wins.
“We tied the school record with 28 completions,” Grossner said. “The previous week we tied the school record with 42 attempts. I know that’s not a winning formula, but if our quarterback is being efficient with the ball and we’re running the ball, we can do some damage.”
The Wildcats did run the ball with success Saturday. Bryant carried the ball 21 times for 134 yards in the victory. He scored on a 4-yard run late in the game to seal the victory.
“We basically ran the clock out in the fourth quarter with a long drive,” Grossner said. “We just ran the ball, primarily with Richie.”
Baker fell behind 3-0 in the first quarter and trailed 17-14 halftime, despite a chance to score in the closing minutes of the second quarter. After an intense halftime speech, the Wildcats came out and played better in the second half.
“We missed a scoring chance to take the lead on the last play of the half,” Grossner said. “At halftime, I was angry that we were tied or behind. We let them know it as a staff.”
The Ravens were the first team to score in the third quarter. However, their 10-point lead was short lived. Brown found Brad Fawcett on a 65-yard pass that scored a touchdown two plays later.
At the end of the quarter, Brown scrambled in from 13 yards out to give Baker a 28-24 lead. Bryant scored the final touchdown with 4:10 on the clock.
“We played very well as an offensive and defensive unit,” Brown said. “We made big plays when we needed to on both sides of the ball. Our offensive line really stepped up and helped our running and passing games get going.”
On Saturday, the Wildcats will return home for a HAAC game against Graceland University. The game will begin at 2 p.m. at Liston Stadium. It will be Baker’s homecoming game.
“I think they are the best 0-4 football team in America,” Grossner said. “They have speed all over the field. They are scary fast. We’ll have to play really well to beat them. I’m glad it’s homecoming and we’ll be looking to taste a home victory for the first time this season.”