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Archive for Sunday, September 16, 2001

Baker slips past Culver-Stockton

Jones’ late interception helps BU slog way to wet, wild 19-14 victory

September 16, 2001

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— It rained all day Saturday in Baldwin.

Before the game, the stands at Liston Stadium were full of umbrellas and rain ponchos.

But just before Baker University's football game against Culver-Stockton College the rain stopped. The umbrellas were stuffed under seats and ponchos were removed.

But the dozen or so large puddles of water on the field were still there and the mud didn't dry.

At the end of the game, though, it didn't matter how sopping wet or dirty the Wildcats were they beat Culver-Stockton, 19-14.

"Bad weather is Baker's weather," said Baker cornerback Darrell Jones. "When we have bad conditions like this it gives us an edge. This is good defense weather."

Jones should know better than anybody. His game-breaking interception in the fourth quarter led to a late Baker touchdown.

Trailing 13-12, Culver-Stockton had the ball at midfield, but on third-and-16 Jones stepped in front of a receiver, caught the ball and scampered 20 yards to the Culver-Stockton 40-yard line.

"I was playing the quarterback on that one," he said. "My coach told me to keep dropping back because it let us see everything. I just saw the ball and did what I was supposed to do."

He also gave the momentum back to Baker.

Eight plays including a crucial third-and-long defensive pass interference penalty in the end zone later, Baker quarterback Martin Updike found receiver Todd Hitchcock in the end zone.

"That was really a broken play," Hitchcock said. "I saw what was happening and just tried to make a play instead of being a robot out there and doing what the play called for."

That's one time Baker coach John Frangoulis won't get on a player for not doing what he was supposed to.

"That was a good job by the quarterback on that play to make something happen," he said. "The play fell apart but we got something out of it."

Culver-Stockton did come back and threatened to score. With just over a minute remaining, C-S had a first down on Baker's 20-yard line. But after two running plays of small gains, Culver-Stockton's quarterback threw two incompletions, including an overthrow to an open receiver in the end zone on fourth down.

Baker got the ball back, but could not earn a first down, and, instead of punting, Frangoulis opted to take a safety.

"In that situation I will do that every time," he said.

Baker trailed 12-6 at halftime, but took the lead early in the third quarter when Updike found Scott Rieger behind coverage at the Culver-Stockton 20-yard line. Rieger caught the ball, turned toward the end zone and outran a defensive back and gave the Wildcats a 13-12 lead.

"I think because of the condition of the field this is the kind of game that all that matters is field position and turnovers," Frangoulis said. "We got a big interception and our punter is one of our major weapons. With this field it really limited what both teams could do.

"Getting the win, no matter how we got it, is what mattered."

Baker 19, Culver-Stockton 14

Culver-Stockton (2-1) 12 0 0 2 14

Baker (2-2) 6 0 7 6 19

First Quarter

CS: D.J. Johnson 3-yard run. Kick failed 12:01

BU: Gerrad Speer 1-yard run. Kick failed 8:14

CS: Clint Grothaus 6-yard run. Kick blocked 0:16

Third Quarter

BU: Scott Rieger 43-yard pass from Martin Updike. Michael Brennan kick 6:33

Fourth Quarter:

BU: Todd Hitchcock 5-yard pass from Updike. Kick blocked 9:03

CS: Safety :16

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