LIBERTY, Mo. – Baker and William Jewell are well aware of the storylines for Saturday’s rivalry game, the 84th and last meeting between two of the charter members of the Heart of America Athletic Conference. After 40 years in the HAAC, Jewell will join the Great Lakes Valley Conference in NCAA Div. II. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. in Liberty, Mo.
The Wildcats (4-4 overall, 4-3 HAAC) enter play riding a two-game winning streak with victories over No. 20 Benedictine and Graceland.
The Cardinals (3-5, 3-4) have lost two of their past three games, falling to No. 9 Missouri Valley and No. 4 MidAmerica Nazarene.
Baker holds a 44-35-4 advantage over the Cardinals with three consecutive victories over Jewell.
“It’s always one of those games the alumni are circling on their schedules when the season starts,” said Baker head coach Mike Grossner.
Three years ago the Wildcats trailed 13-12 on homecoming at Liston Stadium. Sophomore Derek Doerfler was called on the field to attempt a 62-yard field goal into a gusty crosswind. The desperation kick sailed through the uprights with only 39 seconds remaining and lifted the Wildcats to a stellar 15-13 come-from-behind victory. Doerfler accounted for all the scoring with five field goals.
In 2008, the Wildcats rallied from a 14-0 halftime deficit. Baker went on a 38-14 tear in the second half, including another clutch field goal from Doerfler. With the game tied 28-28 with less than a minute left, Doerfler connected on a 29-yarder. William Jewell fumbled later in the game near its goal line and Baker added another touchdown to extend the lead to 10.
Last season the Wildcats forced four key turnovers and rolled to a 26-6 victory.
Former Baker defensive backs coach Jerod Kruse is in his first season as head coach of William Jewell. Mack Brown, Baker’s all-time leading passer after starting four years (2006-09), is in his first year as wide receivers coach at Jewell.
Freshmen Scott Meyer and Aaron Terrill average 49 and 38 yards rushing, respectively, to lead Baker.
Defensively, the Wildcats are led by Matt Brock (91 tackles), Adam Steele (75) and Calvin Pearce (60).
The Wildcats’ home finale is 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6, against Evangel.
A live broadcast of the game can be heard by clicking here