After Baker was nipped by Benedictine in the quarterfinals of the NAIA playoffs last year, the rematch between the two schools has been the most anticipated game on the Wildcats' schedule this season.
Baker, 6-1 overall, 5-0 in the Heart of America Conference, will conclude its biggest back-to-back challenge today. The Wildcats, ranked ninth in NAIA Div. football, will play the 16th-ranked Ravens at 3 p.m. at Amelia Earhardt Field in Atchison.
"After last year's loss, it shouldn't be a problem getting up for this game," BU coach Charlie Richard said. "There has been a bitter rivalry develop with Benedictine in the past few years."
The Wildcats upset Evangel, which was ranked fifth at the time, 51-13 last week. The Ravens, 4-2, were handed a 28-26 defeat by Missouri Valley last week.
"They came within a field goal of going to the national championship game last year and they only lost five players from that team, so they're still awfully good," Richard said.
The main concern for Baker will be shutting down Benedictine's star tailback, Don Brown. Brown is fourth in the country in rushing, averaging 156 yards per contest. The Wildcats faced the nation's leading rusher, Derrick Clark, last Saturday.
"Brown is a better running back than Clark, because of the other things he does," Richard said. "He returns kickoffs and punts, so he can hurt you there too. He doesn't have the yardage as Clark does, but he's so tough and quicker than Clark."
Baker dealt the Ravens a 33-20 last year in Baldwin, but fell 21-14 in the postseason in Atchison.