The Baker Orange

Football suffers second straight loss

Story by Chad Mullens, Writer

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The seventh-ranked Baker University football team suffered its second straight setback on Saturday, losing to the Culver-Stockton College Wildcats, 38-24.

Head Coach Mike Grossner was not impressed with his team’s effort, calling the performance “average” on multiple occasions.

“I’m being real with these guys. There’s no more sugarcoating it,” he said. “You’re either a college football player, and you come to a place to win championships, or don’t play college football.”

Grossner believes his Wildcats had many opportunities to take over the game, but they surrendered the ball to Culver-Stockton five times.

“In the first half we were dominating, but at halftime we had five turnovers,” he said. “You just can’t do that.”

Those five turnovers resulted in 14 points, a relatively low number, but ended up being the margin of victory for Culver-Stockton. Junior quarterback Jake Heller threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown with just 0:25 left in the first half and put CSC up 28-14.

The Wildcats were missing injured sophomore quarterback Nick Marra and freshman quarterback Logan Brettell, who has shown starting ability in his first two games but was relegated to kicking duty as a precaution. The combined efforts of Heller and sophomore Adam Lomenick produced 175 yards on 20 of 35 passing, with no touchdowns and two interceptions.

“We’ve got to get better quarterback play,” Grossner said. “We’ve got to get a kid who will step into the huddle and lead us down the field, and we didn’t get that today.”

Baker’s strength was in the running game, where senior running back Camren Torneden had the highest rushing output of his career with 252 yards and three touchdowns, two of which came from more than 60 yards out.

“You could tell (Torneden) was playing 60 minutes of football,” Grossner said. “I’m never going to be worried about him being ready to play.”

CSC scored 28 points in the second quarter, the most given up in a quarter by the Wildcats all season, and the 38-point total given up by the visiting Wildcats was the highest total from a BU opponent this year.

Grossner was not pleased with the Wildcats’ pass defense, as they gave up 283 yards and four touchdowns.

“(CSC was) able to take advantage of a few mismatches on our corners,” Grossner said.

Baker also had its first game of the season without a sack on the quarterback and lost junior defensive lineman Myron Tipton during the game. The Wildcats had multiple key injuries in the game, losing senior center Michael Lisher, Tipton and junior receiver Jeremy Immenschuh to apparent leg injuries.

“We’re not going to make excuses,” Grossner said. “One guy gets hurt, next guy in. We’ve got 130 players on scholarship, so we ought to have that next guy step in and play well.”

The Wildcats fought back in the second half starting with a 60-yard Torneden scamper into the end zone, ultimately cutting the lead to seven in the fourth quarter when Brettell hit a 32-yard field goal to make the score 31-24. Culver-Stockton then answered back with a 10-play, 75-yard drive to take a 38-24 lead.

BU will look to get back on the winning track next weekend against Central Methodist University. The Eagles will enter the game with a 4-5 record, last losing to Evangel University 34-10. The game will take place at 1 p.m Saturday in Fayette, Missouri.

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