Archive for Wednesday, November 15, 2000

Baker receives late bowl bid

Wildcats to meet Campbellsville, Ky., on Dec. 2

November 15, 2000


Baker University's football season isn't over.

The Wildcats will meet Campbellsville (Ky.) College in the KWTO Bowl on Dec. 2 in Bolivar, Mo.

"Our kids deserve it," BU coach John Frangoulis said. "Obviously, our goals were set higher conference-wise, but I think it's great. The kids will have a good time."

The KWTO Bowl named after a Springfield, Mo., radio station debuted last year when Evangel pounded North Greenville (S.C.) College, 34-9.

The postseason contest matches the highest-ranked teams from the Heart of America and Mid-South conferences that fail to reach the NAIA playoffs.

Baker finished third in the HAAC with an 8-2 record. The Wildcats were ranked No. 17 in the final NAIA poll. Campbellsville wound up 7-3 and ranked No. 15 in the poll.

"They only take 16 teams for the playoffs," Frangoulis said, "so a lot of damned good teams don't get to go to the postseason. That's why we feel good about this."

Baker's only official losses were to Benedictine and MidAmerica Nazarene. Both those schools are ranked in the NAIA Top 10 and will play first-round playoff games on Saturday.

Baker also dropped a three-point decision to Graceland in Lamoni, Iowa, but that game was later forfeited because the Yellowjackets used an ineligible player.

Baker features an explosive passing game with junior quarterback Levi Schuck throwing to senior wide receiver Mackie Valentin. Schuck ranked second in the conference in passing while Valentin was first in receiving yards (913) and touchdown receptions (10).

Schuck, who ranked third in the league in total offense, tossed 14 TD passes, but threw a league-high 19 interceptions.

Baker also features a defense that allowed just 15.0 points a game. The Wildcats' defensive ringleaders are free safety Mark Emry, who led the league with six interceptions; linebacker Eric Moore, who had 11 sacks; linebacker Mickey Ramsey, who averaged 12.6 stops a game; and NAIA All-American tackle Carlos Grace.

Emry and Moore also blocked five kicks each.

Baker will also have a defensive bonus with the return of linebacker Jason Montgomery, last year's tackling leader who missed all 10 regular season games with a torn bicep muscle.

Montgomery, a 5-foot-9, 201-pound senior out of Topeka Hayden, suited for last Saturday's regular-season finale against Missouri Valley, but didn't play.

"Yes, he will play," Frangoulis said. "He's been running for the last six weeks and he received (medical) clearance this week."

Frangoulis plans short practices on Thursday, Friday and Monday, then resumption of full-scale drills on Nov. 27 after the Thanksgiving break.

The Wildcats will depart for Bolivar on Nov. 30. Kickoff will be 1 p.m. at Southwest Baptist University's Plaster Stadium.

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