CANTON, MO. There's a first for everything and Culver-Stockton finally got its first victory against Baker.
Culver-Stockton edged Baker, 21-20, Saturday afternoon at Ellison Poulton Stadium for its first win over Baker in the 16-year series.
Baker fell to 2-3 overall and 1-3 in the Heart of America conference, while Culver-Stockton (1-5, 1-4) won its first game of the season. BU has lost three straight games -- all to winless opponents.
"This was their first win ever against us and it was homecoming for them. They definitely came out with spirit," BU junior Seth Turner said. "They knew we haven't been playing well and came out strong."
Trailing 21-7 in the fourth quarter, BU rallied to within one point with two late TDs. Freshman Jaime Bethke relieved injured quarterback Shawn Tarango and led a 12-play, 82-yard drive. Bethke ran for a four-yard touchdown to pull within 21-14 with 8:30 left.
On the ensuing possession, Culver-Stockton drove to BU's 47. CSC fumbled and Baker's T. J. Sauder returned the fumble for a 59-yard touchdown with 6:25 left. Trailing 21-20, Baker tried for a two-point conversion, but Bethke was stopped a yard short.
"We didn't come here to tie; we came up here to win a football game," BU coach Steve Schottel said. "The players wanted to win and we came up short."
Baker held Culver-Stockton on its next possession, but the Wildcats couldn't advance the ball past the BU 40. A Bethke pass on fourth-and-16 fell short of wideout Travis Miller with 1:42 left.
"We were confident we were going to win even if we didn't get the two," Schottel said. "We made them play offense and stopped them. But using our timeouts earlier hurt us at the end."
Culver-Stockton led 21-7 at halftime after a Bill VanBuskirk fumble recovery and a Chad Jeffries 59-yard interception were returned for touchdowns. Baker had four turnovers in the game.
"The interceptions early in the game hurt us," Schottel said. "The turnovers were big. You often talk about the keys to winning a game and that was definitely it today."
Baker's defense actually allowed one touchdown -- a four-yard keeper by quarterback Chad Hermida on the game's opening series. BU allowed 250 total yards and held CSC scoreless in the second half.
"Defensively we did a good job," linebacker Tim Howe said. "We had a little breakdown early in the game, but we regrouped and played hard afterwards."
Baker will entertain Evangel at 7 p.m. next Saturday at Liston Stadium.