Baker University is hot. Haskell Indian Nations University is not.
The two schools’ football teams will conclude their seasons at home today with the Wildcats riding a four-game win streak and the Fightin’ Indians hoping to end a four-game skid.
Baker will meet Central Methodist at 1 p.m. at Liston Stadium in Baldwin City. HINU will tangle with Peru (Neb.) State at 2 p.m. at Haskell Stadium.
The Wildcats (6-3), ranked No. 24 in the NAIA weekly poll, returned to the Top 25 for the first time since early in the season after knocking off Evangel last week. It was BU’s sixth win in the last seven games after opening with two losses.
Three Baker standouts — quarterback Mack Brown, running back Richie Bryant and kicker Derek Doerfler — will wrap up their collegiate careers today.
Brown, a four-year starter, is the school’s all-time leading passer with 8,071 yards while Bryant ranks No. 3 in career rushing with 3,300 yards.
Doerfler is the most prolific kicker in program history with school records for field goals in a game (5), season (23), career (46) and longest field goal (62 yards).
Meanwhile, Haskell (3-6) has only one senior bowing out today — Jered Jones, an offensive lineman from Eufaula, Okla.
Unlike Baker, the Indians started fast this season, winning three of their first five, then injuries began to take a toll, particularly at quarterback. Ryan Alden (shoulder) hasn’t played in two months and back-up Dwayne Butler (knee) missed a month.
Tailback Malcolm Coleman has been the focus of the HINU attack most of the season. The 5-foot-9, 190-pound sophomore from San Diego, Calif., has rushed for 791 yards, but he was held to just 15 yards in last Saturday’s 38-14 loss to Southwestern Assemblies of God U.
Tarell Ramsey has been the most effective receiver with 30 grabs for 346 yards and five touchdowns, including a seven-yard reception from Butler in the SAGU game.
The loss to SAGU assured Haskell of its 10th straight losing season since joining the NAIA in 2000.