Baldwin — Shawn Tarango probably won't be asked to walk non the Baker track team. But the senior quarterback and the Wildcats hope to run wild against Central Methodist Saturday.
Baker, 2-0 overall, 1-0 in the Heart of America conference, will face the Eagles at 1:30 p.m. at David Field in Fayette, Mo.
"We need to play like we can play instead of making so many mental mistakes," Tarango said. "One of these games is going to be scary when we start clicking and everyone cuts down their mental errors. We have a very explosive offense."
Tarango and the Baker offensive unit has had early-season woes in the new system under first-year coach Steve Schottel. But the Wildcats are averaging 348 total yards and 22 points per game.
"We're grasping things slowly," Schottel said. "We're still running a base offense. We're not an attacking team yet like we want to be. We'd like to have more no-huddles, but we have enough mental errors when we get in the huddle and call a play."
Baker clobbered the Eagles last year at Baldwin, 48-14. CMC is winless entering Saturday's game.
"If Northwestern beat Notre Dame, we know that anybody can beat anybody," Tarango said. "We just have to go out there and play no matter who we're playing. It doesn't matter if it's Baldwin junior high."
Tarango rushed for two 12-yard touchdowns in the Wildcats' 17-7 victory over Graceland last Saturday. The 6-3, 216-pounder rushed for 44 yards on seven carries. Tarango already has 54 rushing yards in two games after running for 57 yards last season.
"I have to be able to run the ball in our offense," Tarango said. "I always liked to, but no one thought I could. This year's offense is different. Last year, I sat back and threw the ball. This year, I'm going to have to run."
Tarango rushed for a touchdown in last year's 49-26 victory over Culver-Stockton. As for the last time the Coalinga, Calif. native rushed for two scores, well that was a while.
"High school?" Tarango pondered. "It was probably my senior year in high school."
Tarango, who transferred from Bakersfield (Calif.) Junior College three years ago, passed for 1,238 yards and was the conference's third-leading passer last season as a part-time starter with Russ Grimes. But Grimes is gone and Tarango is more at ease.
"Nothing's been given to me," Tarango said. "We still have Jaime Bethke who's a good quarterback. But's it's easier to concentrate on plays than what's going on off the field."
Tarango hasn't been off to a torrid start, completing 13 of 31 passes for 294 yards. But the Wildcats were 6-1 last year when Tarango started and are 2-0 this season.
"We're still learning and once we get the offense going, there's no telling what we can do as a team," Tarango said.