Baldwin blows by Broncos, 45-6
Spring Hill — The Baldwin Bulldogs found themselves alone atop the Frontier League standings Friday after vanquishing Spring Hill, 45-6.
The victory coupled with Eudora’s 28-14 loss at Paola, left Baldwin the only undefeated team in the league. Considering the Bulldogs have already downed Paola 28-9, fans and players may be looking ahead to the regular-season ending Eudora matchup and the chance to end the Cardinals recent dominance.
Coach Mike Berg is having none of it.
“One game at a time,” he said. “Baldwin has to take care of Baldwin, and we’ll see where everything falls.”
Berg, nonetheless, admits the team is a treat to coach.
“We have some speed. We have good receivers. We have size inside with our backs. It’s a special team.”
Against Spring Hill, sophomore twins Jake Katzer, who finished the night with three rushing touchdowns, and his twin brother, Joel, crashed inside while senior quarterback Chad Berg and running back Cornell Brown found the edge for big plays.
“Jake is a very good running back,” coach Berg said. “He is a pounder. He likes to run up inside and break tackles. His brother is the same way. Having Joel and Jake adds another dimension to the team.”
Jake Katzer said he was happy with his offensive game but less so with his play on the other side of the ball. Through the Bulldogs’ first three games, the sophomore was the team’s leader is solo tackles with 21 and total stops with 32.
As a team, the sophomore said the Bulldogs came out a little flat.
“We didn’t have school today,” he said. “School probably helps keep us focused. The coaches kept on us. We played better the second half.”
Katzer’s summary was spot on, his coach said.
“Coaches don’t like kids to have school off,” Berg said. “We want to have the same routine. We did get them up to eat breakfast, but I think they went back to bed and slept all day. It did take us a while to get going, but I liked how we came out the second half and really played with focus and intensity.”
Despite early sluggishness, Baldwin opened the game with a 10-play, 72-yard drive, capped by Brown’s 17-yard touchdown on a first-and-15 draw play.
The Bulldogs wouldn’t get on the scoreboard again until Jake Katzer scored from 24 yards out with 4:52 to play in the second quarter. Berg set the Bulldogs up with a short field when he ended a Spring Hill threat with an interception he returned to the Spring Hill 42-yard line.
Baldwin then scored on its final drive of the first half, as it has every game this season. Berg ended the short two-play drive with a 83-yard touchdown run, the Bulldogs’ longest play from scrimmage this year.
The third quarter was all Baldwin. The Bulldog defense stuffed the Broncos on their first possession, forcing a fourth-and-24 punt from the Spring Hill 21-yard line. On the ensuing 35-yard drive, Berg connected with Michael Burton on a 23-yard pass to set the Bulldogs up inside the 10-yard line. Two plays later, Katzer would rush for a three-yard touchdown.
Katzer would find the end zone again with 4:21 in the third quarter on an eight-yard touchdown run. The big play of the eight-play, 68-yard drive was senior Tucker Clark’s 37-yard run.
Following another Spring Hill three-and-out, Brown set the Bulldogs up with a 29-yard punt return to the Bronco 47-yard line. Four plays later, Berg ended the drive with a 27 touchdown run with 1:09 left in the third quarter.
Junior Matt Michals would complete Baldwin’s scoring with a 36-yard field goal with 2:12 remaining in the game.
Baldwin will next play at 7 p.m. Friday against Frontier League foe De Soto. The game will be homecoming for the Bulldogs.
Baldwin 45, Spring Hill 6
Baldwin 4-0 (2-0) 6 25 17 3 – 45
Spring Hill 1-3 (0-3) 0 0 0 6 – 6
Baldwin scoring: Brown 23-yard run (kick failed); Jake Katzer 24-yard run (Brown seven-yard run for two-point conversion), Chad Berg 83-yard run (Matt Michels kick); Jake Katzer three-yard run (Michels kick); Katzer eight-yard run (Michels kick); Berg 27-yard touchdown run (kick good); Michels 36-yard field goal
Spring Hill: Ryker Johnson 17 pass to Drew Cygan (kick failed)