Baker football rolls over Avila 41-17
Baker University generated 398 yards total offense, rolling to a 41-17 victory over Avila in Heart of America Athletic Conference football on Saturday at Liston Stadium.
The Wildcats (1-3 overall and 1-2 in the HAAC) rushed for 233 yards and passed for 165 yards.
“We got the monkey off the back,” coach Mike Grossner said. “It was getting heavy. It felt more like a gorilla. We played a tough early season schedule and had a chance in all three games. I think we finally put some things together Saturday, especially offensively.”
Wildcat freshman quarterback Jake Morse scrambled nine yards for a touchdown in the first quarter. Five minutes later, Morse connected with sophomore Jesse Green for a short touchdown to put the Wildcats ahead 13-0.
“I do whatever I can to get the first downs, whether it be with my legs, handing the ball off or throwing it,” Morse said. “I just did whatever I could to help the team win.”
Green, a 2008 graduate of Baldwin High School, was excited to catch his first collegiate touchdown Saturday.
“That was awesome,” Green said. “It’s always great to catch a touchdown. I thought Jake was going to throw to the guy in the corner, but it came to me, which made me happy. It was great.”
Freshman Aaron Terrill scored Baker’s next touchdown. He ran 23 yards for the score to give BU a 20-0 lead. Terrill (four carries for 69 yards and a touchdown) and fellow freshman Scott Meyer (18 carries for 88 yards and a touchdown) led Baker’s rushing attack.
“Scott had a big second half,” Grossner said. “He picked up some big yards and blocked well for us. We utilized him in the second half.”
Avila scored 10 unanswered points to close the Wildcats’ lead to 10 points. Then freshman Xavier Lewis killed the Eagles’ momentum.
Lewis broke loose for a 99-yard kickoff return to extend Baker’s lead to 27-10. The long TD tied a school record. Gary Stauffer (1964) and Derrick Watts (1988) also had 99-yard TD kickoff returns.
“That was our knockout punch,” Grossner said. “Plays like that can kill momentum quickly. It was nice. It also helped give our team a boost of confidence.”
Avila scored early in the third quarter to once again close Baker’s lead to 10 points. The Wildcats responded again with another touchdown.
Baker was forced with a fourth-down-and-4 attempt from Avila’s 24 yard line and Grossner gambled. He rolled snake eyes as Morse threw a quick pass to freshman Kyle Bolton, who turned the slant pass into a touchdown.
“It would have been about a 42-yard field goal,” Grossner said. “I felt like at that point we needed seven points and I felt confident in our defense. Jake did a great job of stepping up and Kyle caught it and took it to the end zone. It was a big play. That was a big confidence booster for Kyle.”
The Wildcats will be idle this week before they play Oct. 2 at Culver-Stockton College (0-3). Kickoff is set for 2 p.m.