The Baker Orange

Baker football to face Benedictine Oct. 11 at Arrowhead Stadium

Story by Jim Joyner, Sports Editor

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The Baker Wildcat football team is set to play Benedictine College in the inaugural NAIA Gridiron Challenge at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., on Oct. 11.

The NAIA Gridiron Challenge will be a doubleheader that features three of the teams that tied for the Heart of America Athletic Conference championship in the 2013 season.

Baker will take on Benedictine in the second game of the doubleheader at 7 p.m. Missouri Valley College and MidAmerica Nazarene University will kick off at 3 p.m. for the opening game.

Baker, Missouri Valley, and Benedictine split the regular season conference title last season, finishing in a three-way tie. The three are all ranked in the NAIA Preseason Top 25 with Baker at fifth, Missouri Valley at seventh, and Benedictine at 11th.

With 16 returning starters, the Wildcats will seek revenge over the Ravens under the lights of the fifth largest stadium in the NFL.

Benedictine beat Baker 42-28 in the Wildcats’ only regular season loss of 2013. Baker led in the fourth quarter 28-20 before giving up 22 consecutive points. Also in that game, the Wildcats surrendered nearly 700 yards from scrimmage. After this loss Baker didn’t allow more than 20 points in any conference game.

Arrowhead Stadium has played host to many college football games. The Border War between Kansas and Missouri was played there from 2007 to 2011, and five Big 12 championship games have been played there.

What more than likely inspired this new series to take place was the Fall Classic at Arrowhead, a game between top-tier Division II rivals Pittsburg State and Northwest Missouri State from 2002 to 2013. 2014 is the first season since 2002 that Pittsburg State and Northwest Missouri State will not be playing at Arrowhead.

Tickets in advance will be $18 for adults and $8 for students. Tickets can also be purchased on the day of the game at Arrowhead stadium, $20 for adults and $10 for students.