‘Cats capture third conference title

Story by Bailey Conklin, Sports Editor

The Baker football team defeated Evangel 26-6 Saturday, earning the team’s third-straight Heart of America Athletic Conference South Division title.

Freshman JD Woods was the first to put Baker in motion with a 31-yard touchdown run two minutes into the game. The extra-point from senior Clarence Clark put the Wildcats up 7-0 in the first quarter.

Woods led the Wildcats with 111 total rushing yards against the Crusaders, while freshman Nate Pauly collected 99 rushing yards of his own.

Senior Abram Garcia showed his strength in the second quarter kicking three field goals, extending Baker’s score to 16-0. Garcia first kicked a 40-yard field goal, then followed up with 39 and 38-yard field goals.

The Evangel offense responded in the third quarter with two field goals. Evangel junior Derek Roberts kicked a 34-yard field goal for the Crusaders early in the quarter. Roberts then doubled Evangel’s score with a 31-yard field goal with eight minutes left to play in the third quarter.

Despite the Crusaders scoring efforts, Baker led Evangel 16-6 in the ‘Cats last regular season game.

With the ball back in Baker’s hands, Clark caught a 60-yard touchdown pass from freshman Marco Aguinaga. After an extra-point attempt from Clark, the Wildcats extended their lead to 23-6.

In the fourth quarter, Garcia kicked one more field goal for Baker at a distance of 22 yards. After Garcia’s early scoring effort in the fourth quarter, the Wildcats held the 26-6 lead for the entirety of the quarter.

Aguinaga went 38-26 as the Wildcats quarterback, throwing for 259 yards.

On the Wildcats defense, junior Landon Decker recorded two sack for the Wildcats and sophomore Grant Elston and junior Nate McLaurin earned one interception each.

After defeating Evangel, the Wildcats are now 4-1 in the Heart South Division and 10-1 overall.

With the regular season complete, Baker has earned a berth into the NAIA-FCS Playoffs. In the first round, the Wildcats will host Georgetown at 1:07 p.m. Saturday at Liston Stadium.