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Saturday, 25 August 2012 22:30

No. 18 Baker Wins at No. 11 OU, 27-20

Senior wideout Kyle Bolton had 129 yards of total offense on Saturday Senior wideout Kyle Bolton had 129 yards of total offense on Saturday

OTTAWA, Kan. – The NAIA’s Game of the Week lived up to the hype, as No. 18 Baker University came into No. 11 Ottawa’s home turf and took home a tough 27-20 victory to open up 2012 with a win.

Saturday marked the first road win for Baker against a non-conference opponent since 2000 when they defeated Southwestern, 21-3.

Baker created the first turnover of the night with 11:38 left in the first quarter, when senior Ryder Werts tipped a Jacob Johnson pass and Emmerson Clarke picked it off.

Baker got the ball all the way down to the five-yard line but couldn’t punch it in, but former Baker soccer and baseball player Steven Stewart nailed home 22-yard field goal from the left hash to give BU a 3-0 lead. Saturday night was the first football game of any kind Stewart had competed in.

Ottawa responded with a touchdown on its next drive as Johnson found wide receiver Sean Wilkerson for a 19-yard touchdown pass to put OU up, 7-3 with 4:45 left in the first.

Johnson threw his second pick of the day, when freshman safety Preston Schenck picked off the pass and gave Baker the ball on its own 35 yard line.

Stewart put Baker on the board again in the second quarter with a 44-yard field goal to bring the Wildcats within one, 7-6.

On Baker’s next possession, senior Kyle Bolton came around on a reverse and took the handoff 60 yards nearly going all the way to pay dirt, getting knocked out of bounds at the OU 20. 

But the Baker offense stalled and had to punt the ball back, as junior punter Bryan Williams pinned the Braves back to the 15 yard line. 

Just before halftime, Ottawa made its biggest play of the first half, as Johnson completed a 45-yard pass to Michael Baer to the Baker 30 yard-line. The BU defense held Ottawa to just a field goal try and the Wildcats 6-5 defensive lineman Lucas Roepke reached his paws up and blocked the 25 yard attempt by Jeff Stamp and the ball was recovered at the OU three yard line. 

Baker couldn’t advance the ball away from its own end zone and punted it back to OU. Then Stamp knocked home a 38-yard field goal and put the Braves up, 10-6, at halftime.

With 8:09 left in the third quarter, backup quarterback Sam Vossen threw a perfect fade pattern to Dylan Perry in the end zone to give Baker the lead back, 13-10.

Bolton set that up with a big 37-yard reception that put the Cat’s in the red zone. Bolton finished the night with 129 yards of offense, 60 yards rushing and 69 yards receiving.

Ottawa tied it up at 13-13 with a 25-yard field goal by Stamp with 11:39 to go in the game.

Then a bobbled snap by Johnson that went into the Ottawa end zone gave Baker the lead for good, as Werts recovered the ball for a touchdown.

Then Clarke picked off his second ball of the game and took it 48 yards to the house to put Baker up for good 27-13.

OU scored one last time with 29 seconds remaining, but it wasn’t enough and the Wildcats went back to Baldwin City with another win over the Braves.

“What a gritty and tough victory for our guys,” said Baker head coach Mike Grossner. “I’m so proud of the way we stuck with the game plan and fought all the way until the end.”

Junior transfer Dillon Baxter led Baker in rushing with 84 yards on 23 carries and Vossen came in for injured starting quarterback Jake Morse in the first quarter and threw for 129 yards with two picks and a touchdown.

The Wildcats will hit the road again next week to take on HAAC opponent, Peru State at 1 p.m. 

STATS: Baker 27 - Ottawa 20


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