Baker football wins third straight with 26-6 victory over William Jewell

Story by Kyle Davis

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Running back Richie Bryant’s 228 yards of total offense fueled the Baker Wildcats past William Jewell College 26-6 Saturday at Liston Stadium.

The Cardinals struck first, leading 6-0 on a 19-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Drew Witman to Taylor Gallagher, before Baker blocked the extra point attempt. This would be the only points William Jewell would score in the game.

“Right now, as a team, I felt our focus was a little off, which is a natural thing playing an 0-7 football team, even though it was William Jewell,” head coach Mike Grossner said. “We did enough to control the game and win.”

The Wildcats won by 20, but missed three field goals and dropped two passes in the end zone, which would have extended the lead.

A high snap over the head of the William Jewell punter into the back of the end zone for a safety put Baker on the board first. The Wildcats then took a 12-6 lead into halftime with a one-yard touchdown run by Bryant, and a field goal by kicker Derek Doerfler.

It was two big plays in the second half that allowed the Wildcats to break free and run away with the win.

Quarterback Mack Brown threw his only touchdown pass of the game to Bryant for 77 yards, to extend the lead to 19-6. Brown finished the game completing nine of 21 passes for 130 yards and a touchdown. The touchdown reception was the only catch for Bryant, who also rushed for 151 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries.

Grossner said the offensive line has been playing well and allowing the offense to shine.

“We’ve really come together as an offensive line,” Grossner said. “If you don’t have those guys up front, none of these numbers are being put up by Mack and Richie.”

For the second time in as many games, linebacker Matt Brock found the end zone. Last week, it was an interception return for a touchdown against Graceland University, and this week, defensive back Colton Miller forced a fumble on a sack, which was then recovered by Brock and returned 92 yards for a touchdown.

Brock also grabbed an interception, one of two thrown by Witman. Defensive back Robert Woodall recorded the other pick.

“Our defense rallied,” Grossner said. “When we needed a stop or a big play, our defense got it.”

Baker’s defense made life tough for the William Jewell offense, recording seven sacks and forcing three turnovers. Defensive end Andrew Patch had 2 1-2 sacks and eight tackles while defensive lineman Levi Calhoun led the Wildcats with 14 tackles and 1 1-2 sacks.

Baker is on a three-game winning streak, and is 5-3 on the season, heading into a matchup against Evangel University, 2-6, at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in Springfield, Mo.