Archive for Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bulldogs qualify for playoffs with win over Kaws

Baldwin High School junior Ryan Rogers, center, follows his blockers during a run in the second quarter Friday. Rogers scored one touchdown as BHS defeated Perry-Lecompton 36-21 to qualify for the Class 4A playoffs.

Baldwin High School junior Ryan Rogers, center, follows his blockers during a run in the second quarter Friday. Rogers scored one touchdown as BHS defeated Perry-Lecompton 36-21 to qualify for the Class 4A playoffs.

October 29, 2009

It’s not how one begins the season, but it’s how they finish, as the old cliché says.

That couldn't be truer than for the Baldwin High School football team. It opened the season with six straight losses. When things looked bleak, the light clicked on for BHS.

On Friday night, the Bulldogs won their second consecutive Class 4A district game and clinched a spot in the playoffs next week.

“We’re sitting 2-0 right now and we’re feeling good,” coach Mike Berg said. “It’s a great time to win. We’re putting things together at the right time of the season. The kids played so hard and I’m so proud of them.”

The Bulldogs defeated Perry-Lecompton 36-21 to earn a playoff berth. It was the second straight year the Bulldogs beat the Kaws in districts.

“I’m so excited,” junior Ryan Rogers said. “It’s a real relief to be in the playoffs after the beginning of our season. Earlier in the season, we would have lost that game. We got pinned deep early and we would have come out and lay down. Tonight we fought back, got back in the game and we won.”

Now the Bulldogs will battle rival Eudora for the district title. Kickoff will be at 7 tonight at Liston Stadium.

“It’s a big game,” Berg said. “Eudora has had a great season and they’re a great football team. They always line up as a great team, so we will have to come out and play well.”

On Friday, the Bulldogs didn’t start the game well. They fumbled the opening kickoff, but recovered on their own 3-yard line. Four plays later, they punted from deep in their end zone.

Perry-Lecompton took possession at the Baldwin 28-yard line. The Kaws ran five plays before scoring a touchdown. Their 7-0 lead came 2:04 into the contest.

“We had some adversity in the first quarter where we didn’t catch the opening kickoff,” Berg said. “Then we didn’t have a very good punt and gave them seven points. We asked our kids if they wanted to fold their tents or keep fighting back. I’m so proud how they fought back and played the rest of the game.”

Baldwin responded with a touchdown of its own. BHS marched 69 yards in 12 plays, 11 of which were rushes. Junior Josh Hoffman ended the drive with a 3-yard run.

However, the tie game wouldn’t last long. One play after the kickoff, Perry-Lecompton ran 70 yards for the score. The Kaws’ running back rushed right through the middle and he was off to the races.

Once again, the Bulldogs responded. They rushed the ball six times for 43 yards. Junior Will Von Bargen scored the touchdown to tie the game.

“That was our game plan,” Berg said. “We wanted to run inside and outside. We emptied our whole playbook on them.”

Both teams exchanged touchdowns early in the second quarter. Perry-Lecompton connected on a 43-yard pass. Baldwin answered with a 33-yard strike from Von Bargen to senior Camdon Schwartz.

Late in the third quarter, Rogers recovered a Kaws’ fumble on the Baldwin 23-yard line. Seven plays later, he scored on a 1-yard run. Baldwin had its first lead of the game, 28-21.

“Our offensive line really stepped it up tonight,” Rogers said. “They were making holes everywhere. We were just hitting the holes, making blocks for each other and running hard.”

The Bulldogs lost a fumble on their next drive, giving the Kaws a shot to tie the game. However, the Bulldogs’ defense held tight on a fourth down and sacked the Kaws.

Baldwin responded with a 40-yard run by Hoffman. He later ran 24 yards on the drive. Senior Sam Foye ended the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run.

“It was a complete game,” Berg said. “Our defense played well after the first quarter. Our offense controlled the line of scrimmage. We gave the ball to various people and they all ran well.”

The Bulldogs racked up 498 yards of offense on the Liston Stadium turf. They rushed for 421 of those yards as juniors Rogers and Hoffman did most of the damage on the ground.

The Bulldogs racked up 498 yards of offense on the Liston Stadium turf. They rushed for 421 of those yards as juniors Rogers and Hoffman did most of the damage on the ground.

Junior Braden Souders sealed the game with an interception. He picked off the Kaws’ quarterback on the Baldwin 22-yard line with 3:21 left in the game. BHS ran out the clock to win the game.

“Execution was what was so good tonight,” Berg said. “Our kids stayed at home, did their job and didn’t try to do too much. Our kids were trying to do too much at times. If we play assignment football, we’re a pretty good football team.”

Senior Heath Parmley, who missed the previous three games because of an injury, returned Friday. He agreed with his coach and hopes the team plays a full game tonight.

“It feels pretty good right now,” Parmley said. “We’re improving, but we still have to work on playing a full four quarters. We have to work on playing a full game and we should be all right.”

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