Bulldogs fall to Timberwolves in playoffs
OVERLAND PARK ― Baldwin High School's football season came to an end here Tuesday after the Bulldogs dropped the final two games of the season.
Baldwin (6-4) fell to Blue Valley Southwest in the Class 4A bi-district playoff round. The Timberwolves won 27-6 after scoring 20 unanswered points to finish the game.
“I just feel so bad for our 12 seniors,” coach Mike Berg said. “There is only one team that won't feel this pain at the end of the season, but it's always so hard to say goodbye to the players who have worked so hard and been the leaders of this program. They are great kids and fun to be around. It ends too abruptly for them and the coaches.”
The Bulldogs were also defeated last week at home by Eudora. The Cardinals won 28-14, winning the district title and forcing the Bulldogs to play on the road Tuesday.
Baldwin and Blue Valley SW played in the bi-district game a year ago. BHS won 26-7 at Liston Stadium. The Timberwolves returned almost the entire team from that roster.
“We are proud of our team,” Berg said. “We ran into a really good option team tonight. Their quarterback knows how to read the option well. Sometimes we weren't in the right place or tackling who had the ball. You have to be really disciplined when you play a team like that.
“They've been playing 5A and 6A teams all year,” he said. “They've gotten better from it, even though their record didn't show it. That's the same team we played last year and they gave us a good ball game last year.”
The Timberwolves struck first on their opening possession of the game. They drove the field and scored on a 15-yard run, taking an early 7-0 lead.
Both teams exchanged punts before Baldwin got on the scoreboard. Junior Tyler Cawley scored Baldwin's only touchdown of the game. He ran one yard for the score. BHS drove 80 yards in 11 plays to score.
The Timberwolves answered with an 80-yard drive of their own. They marched 80 yards in 10 plays to take a 14-7 lead. It remained that way until the second half.
“We had a couple of turnovers that hurt us,” Berg said. “We had a couple of penalties that stalled drives. It was closer than the score reflects. When you don't take advantage of your opportunities, good teams are going to bite back at you and they did.”
Baldwin lost one of its best players during the middle of the second half. Junior Dayton Valentine went down with a leg injury and never returned.
“Dayton's been a great player,” Berg said. “We lost 230 pounds of man on both sides of the ball. It's tough to lose him. I think the kids realized he was gone and that affected them some. We still had chances to scores, but we didn't execute.”
Blue Valley SW hit a big run in the third quarter, taking a 21-7 lead. It came one play after the Bulldogs threw the first of two interceptions. The Timberwolves added another score with 6:10 remaining in the game to seal the victory.
The Bulldogs had 12 seniors on the roster, but many younger players filled in spots. Berg hopes they will dedicate time to getting better in the offseason.
“We do have some experience coming back,” Berg said. “We have some kids that will help us that weren't on varsity, but they are very talented. They have to make the decision on how much work they want to put in between now and next fall.”
Score by quarter
B ― 0 6 0 0 – 6
BV ― 7 7 7 6 – 27
BV ― Chance Nelson 15 run (Ben Lewis kick)
B ― Tyler Cawley 1 run (Austin Kraus kick missed)
BV ― Aaron Ramsey 11 run (Lewis kick)
BV ― Ramsey 54 run (Lewis kick)
BV ― Dylan O'Dell 1 run (Lewis pass failed)