Football loses homecoming game to Clarke University


Courtesy of Baker University Athletics

The Baker Football Team plays against Clarke University on Sept. 24 at 1 p.m. with a losing score of 20-19. The game took place at Liston Stadium and featured the Homecoming coronation during halftime.

On Sept. 24, the Baker football team faced off against Clarke University on Homecoming Day and fell just short of a victory, due to a late push in the fourth quarter by the Clarke Pride resulting in a final score of 20-19.

Baker University played against the Pride and defeated them in the Homecoming football game back in 2019. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, this matchup did not fall in their favor this year and resulted in their third loss this season.

“We played hard, but we failed to execute every time we needed to,” senior defensive back Jaleel Laffitte said. “Our team understands that this hasn’t really happened in recent history, but we see it as adversity that we need to overcome, which will motivate us to work even harder.”

Entering the second quarter down 0-10, the Wildcats battled back and tied the game going into halftime after a fumble recovery by senior defensive end Marcus Johnson. This led to a quick eight-yard touchdown by junior running back Cole Fisher. Not long after that, Baker tacked on a field goal before time ran out.

During the halftime break, the Homecoming royalty awards were announced. The three victors this year were seniors Christian Spitz, Libby Pirie and Mercedes Ruiz. All candidates are active in many groups on campus. Ruiz, who is part of Mungano, Student Senate, Parmentors and the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Working Group, was especially proud of being named to the court. 

“Baker royalty gave me the opportunity to represent the POC at Baker! As a PWI (predominately white institution) we’re obviously the minority but winning solidifies that any POC at Baker can be successful and establish a presence through getting involved and making connections,” Ruiz said. “To everyone that voted for me, this one is for the POC!” 

Once the game got rolling again, the Wildcats came out ready to roll. They pushed for a 19-10 lead thanks to a blocked punt that led to a two-point safety and another touchdown scored by senior running back Darian Lewis. Despite Baker’s best efforts, however, they could not hold off Clarke after an interception late in the fourth, giving the Pride the opportunity to score the winning field goal as time ran out on the clock. 

Regardless of their current record, the football team has cultivated a winning culture over the last several years and is not ready to back down.

Our team has always had good morale and we have a lot of trust in each other. So, keeping spirits high comes easy to us,” Laffitte said. “The big change we will make this week is focusing on limiting our mistakes.”

The Baker football team is now 2-3 on the season and is looking to bounce back in their game this Saturday, Oct. 1 at Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa.