CRESTVIEW — Thursday night, Jack Foster Stadium saw Gators on the field for the first time in over a decade.
Baker Coach Matt Brunson and Crestview Coach Tim Hatten decided to bring back a rivalry that neither of them ever experienced during their coaching careers.
“We were really eager to play this game,” Hatten said, adding his players were happy to play against guys they played either with or against in middle school.
The Bulldogs got a 60-yard play on offense in their initial drive only for the Baker defense to hold them to three points.
The Gators answered back with a big play of their own and did their usual ground-and-pound the rest of the way to get a touchdown and take the lead.
Unfortunately for the Gators, Jayson Moore’s touchdown would be the only score for the Baker Varsity.
Crestview continued taking chunks of yardage in big plays, with Rod Bouchard’s arm making Hatten’s choice for replacing graduating quarterback Rusty Moorer — himself on the sidelines working the down marker — a little clearer.
The Bulldog defense also scored with a 95-yard pick-six.
By the end of the third quarter, the Bulldogs led Baker 38-7.
In the fourth quarter, the Junior Varsity squads faced off with Baker scoring a touchdown with the final drive of the game.
Despite the rout at the hands of Hatten’s deep, sizeable bench, Brunson isn’t worried about what his Gators have to look forward to in the fall.
“We’re going to be just fine in our league,” said Brunson, also complimenting Hatten’s team on their successful 2016 season.
Both coaches look forward to making this Yellow River Rivalry a regular spring exhibition in future seasons.