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Archive for Saturday, September 4, 2004

Inzer carries Baldwin past Gardner

September 4, 2004

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— Austin Inzer didn't sell pop, popcorn or programs Friday night. That's about it.

Inzer ran for two touchdowns, passed for another score and caught a TD toss to fuel Baldwin to a 34-7 season-opening high school football win over Gardner-Edgerton at Liston Stadium.

Never before -- not even in Little League -- had Inzer had a night like that.

"I never played Little League," said Inzer, a 6-foot-1, 180-pound senior tailback. "I was a runtback, a bench warmer. I didn't start hitting the weights until the seventh grade."

Inzer hit the Trailblazers with a haymaker in the first quarter, escaping for touchdown runs of 39 and 40 yards, then throwing a 36-yard TD pass off the tailback option to a wide-open Aaron Hannon streaking down the middle.

Inzer almost single-handedly had given Baldwin a 20-0 lead after the first 12 minutes, and he wasn't done.

In the second quarter, after the 'Blazers had marched 88 yards in 11 plays to cut the gap to 20-7 and seemed to have regained momentum, Inzer bolted down the middle, snatched a pass from quarterback Jeremy Wright between two defenders and raced into the end zone for a 35-yard score and a 26-7 BHS lead.

"It wasn't me," Inzer said. "It was our line and the coaching. The coaches had a great game plan. We have about eight guys who could have had just as good a game as me."

That wasn't false modesty because coach Mike Berg really did spread the wealth. Nine Bulldogs carried the ball. Inzer, in fact, accounted for four TDs with just eight touches.

He threw only the TD pass, caught just the TD pass and carried the ball a mere six times for 110 yards.

That's a far cry from last year when Baldwin had Micah Mason, a workhorse tailback who was the focal point of the offense.

"We don't have one superstar this year," Inzer said. "We have a lot of them."

Still, Inzer's light shone a lot brighter than the others Friday night.

"The thing about Austin is that he was able to keep his speed and put on weight," Berg said. "That's the key for him. He can run, throw and catch."

Inzer helped the Bulldogs compile 252 yards rushing and 120 yards passing, but Berg was quick to note he had returnees at quarterback (Wright) and five experienced offensive linemen.

"Our backs feel confident with Jeremy and running behind those brutes," Berg said.

Baldwin didn't have a single turnover and, although the 'Dogs were penalized seven times, the flags cost them only 46 yards.

"We didn't execute like it was our first game," Berg said. "We executed like it was mid-season. We play three (Class) 5A teams in the first four weeks, and to knock one of them off ... I'm very proud."

The 4A Bulldogs will face another 5A foe Friday when they travel to Paola.

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