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Archive for Saturday, September 30, 2006

Baker hits road for Eagles

Undefeated away from home, Wildcats hope to rebound from shutout

September 30, 2006

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Baker University's football team, smarting from a shutout loss to Evangel, will try to regroup today when the Wildcats face Central Methodist.

Kickoff for the Heart of America Athletic Conference clash will be 1:30 p.m. in Fayette, Mo.

The Wildcats (2-2 overall, 2-2 HAAC) are 2-0 on the road with victories over Benedictine and William Jewell. Both of Baker's losses were at home, to Graceland and Evangel - co-champs of the HAAC in 2005. Evangel blanked Baker, 24-0, last week.

"We have played well on the road because there are less distractions for our players," Baker coach Mike Grossner said. "We are able to keep focus on the task at hand and take care of business."

Central Methodist (1-3, 0-3) has lost three in a row since opening with a 20-8 victory over Westminster. The Eagles, who haven't lost to Baker since 2003, suffered a 19-3 setback to Avila last week.

With six regular-season games remaining, Baker needs a victory over Central Methodist to keep its hopes of a conference championship alive.

"We must go on the road in a tough atmosphere," Grossner said. "This game can be a launching point for the second half of the season."

Freshman quarterback Mack Brown has completed 49 of 107 passes for 539 yards and four touchdowns to lead Baker. Junior punter Ryan Smith ranks second in the HAAC with a 38.2 yard average.

Linebacker Danny Pike, a freshman from Lawrence, will miss the rest of the season because of a leg injury suffered Saturday.

Pike underwent surgery Tuesday and is expected to make a full recovery by next season, Grossner said.

The Wildcats will return home next Saturday for a 2 p.m. homecoming game against Missouri Valley.

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