Baldwin deals St. James football 56-18 defeat
Baldwin City Baldwin unloaded its many weapons Friday on St. James Academy, romping to a 56-18 victory against the visiting Thunder.
The Bulldogs (3-0) scored on eight of their first nine possessions. So efficient was Baldwin’s offensive firepower that it could overcome penalty misfires that again plagued the team.
Baldwin offense was on target from its first possession, which ended with sophomore Jake Katzer’s 24-yard touchdown run. The Bulldogs then benefitted from two Thunder fumbles, which setup the Baldwin offense for short-field drives of 44 and 34 yards.
It took Baldwin just one play to score after getting the ball 44-yards out. Quarterback Chad Berg completed a lateral pass to Cornell Brown, who then found senior Tim Craig behind the Thunder defense.
Craig also caught a 24-yard TD pass from Berg to complete a three-play drive on the second short-field opportunity.
Leading 21-0 after the first quarter, it was Baldwin’s turn to be generous, fumbling the ball away on its own 8-yard line.
The Thunder (1-2) cashed in when sophomore quarterback Alex King scrambled for a touchdown on fourth and goal from the 5-yard line.
King’s arm would lead St. James down the field on the visitors’ next possession, which ended with a touchdown pass to Jake Blade and brought St. James to within 13-points at 28-15.
The Thunder couldn’t get back in the game, however, because it was unable to stop Baldwin. The Bulldogs started their next drive at their 28-yard line with 5:40 left in the half.
For the third-straight game, Baldwin would score on its last possession of the half. But unlike the first two games in which the team had to execute its hurry-up offense to score before halftime, this time the Bulldogs went on a 14-play drive that bled more than 5 minutes off the clock before Brown scored from 3 yards out with 26 seconds left in the half.
“We want to be a ball-control offense, and if we can use up the clock and give it them with no time — I think they had it for 18 seconds — that gives us momentum going into the locker room,” coach Berg said.
St. James couldn’t move the ball on that last possession, nor could it accomplish anything on offense in the second half.
“A-plus,” Berg said of the grade he’d give the Bulldog pass defense. “We had a defensive line that put pressure on the quarterback. He made some short throws, but that was our game plan — keep everything underneath and nothing over the top.”
Baldwin, on the other hand, scored three third-quarter rushing touchdowns, two on a 44-yard-run from Berg and a 69-yard dash from Brown, who broke a tackle in the backfield to get loose. Brown's night also included a 60-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.
The Thunder will wrap up a three-game stretch of road games when it travels to Ottawa for a 7 p.m. Friday kickoff.