Baker football looks to bounce back against Benedictine

Story by Kyle Davis

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The Baker Wildcats will look to extend their winning streak against Benedctine College to four straight Saturday at Liston Stadium.

The games during the streak have all been close, with Baker only winning by a combined 19 points in the last three games.

“Benedictine is always a tough game,” head coach Mike Grossner said. “We’ve won three in a row but they’ve all been difficult. They’re very big and physical.”

Baker is coming off a 52-30 loss against No. 3 Lindenwood University. The Wildcat offense came to play and its 30-point performance is the second highest point total Lindenwood has allowed this season.

“Knowing that we could drive the ball against a team like that was really a confidence booster for our offense and our offensive line,” senior Richie Bryant said. “I think we are going to be on a roll from here on.”

Lindenwood, which averaged 57 points per game entering the contest against Baker, was able to come up with several big plays, including a 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown after the Wildcats had cut the Lions’ lead to seven.

“I was proud of how hard the kids played,” Grossner said. “It was just one of those games, probably three or four times there was a crucial opportunity and we didn’t capitalize.”

Despite the loss, there were several other bright spots for the Wildcats. Baker did not turn the ball over and has not committed a turnover in 10 quarters.

Baker also set several records against the Lions. Baker set a team record for completions in a game, 37, and quarterback Mack Brown set the individual school record for completions with 36. Brown was 36-47 for 260 yards and a touchdown against the Lions.

Brown broke his own record for completions, which was the 33 completions against Morningside College last season in the playoffs. Bryant threw the other passing touchdown when he connected with fullback Evan Branscum in the end zone for his first career touchdown pass.

Kicker Derek Doerfler also made history, tying the Baker record for career field goals, 41, with a 41-yard field goal against Lindenwood.

The Baker defense recorded back-to-back shutouts before giving up 52 points to Lindenwood.

Junior Brandon Hill said he is confident the defense will bounce back and the squad won’t dwell on the loss to Lindenwood.

“We just have to think about who’s next and try to just get better,” he said.

Benedictine is a game ahead of Baker in the HAAC standings, at 3-3, after blanking Avila 31-0. Baker is looking to improve to 3-3 with a win Saturday. All three of the Wildcat losses have come against ranked teams.

"You've got to keep in perspective that we're only half-way home," Grossner said. "There's a lot of good football left to play."<br/>