BAKER — Baker versus Rocky Bayou is a mismatch, plain and simple.
History, numbers, this year's results ... everything supports this narrative.
In the all-time series, Baker is 7-0. The latest win was a 56-6 victory, which proceeded point cushions of 25, 13, 22, 22, 40 and 39.
Baker also has quadruple the numbers.
And this year, the Gators are 3-0 with a 101-26 point differential entering Friday's trip to Meigs Middle School, the home field of Rocky Bayou. Meanwhile, the Knights are 0-3 and on the wrong side of a 142-63 point differential.
Regardless, Baker head coach Matt Brunson isn't overlooking the Knights.
"I got a lot of respect for coach Childers, Josh, who I coached his sophomore and junior years," Brunson said. "He does a great job with the Rocky program and they're just down a bit in numbers this year. Our goal every Friday night regardless of who we're playing is to get better. We're not focused on who we play."
In lieu of the insurmountable odds, Rocky Bayou head coach Josh Childers is focused on a win.
"It's about winning the smaller battles, going toe-to-toe with them each quarter and holding them to certain yards and gaining a certain amount of yards each quarter," he said. "We're hoping those small goals add up to the big goal of a win."
Getting there against a team Childers called "really aggressive, very disciplined, fast and strong" will be an uphill battle.
Baker's run game features two 1,000-yard backs in Jalen Ciurleo and Junior McLaughlin and another, Jayson Moore, who's a threat to eclipse the century mark on any given night. In a 34-13 win at Vernon, all three eclipsed 100 rushing yards. In last week's 32-7 victory at Rutherford, Ciurleo racked up 72 yards on a team-high 12 carries, McLaughlin had 69 yards and a touchdown on five rushes and Moore had 64 yards and a score on 11 touches.
Quarterback Payton Rockwell, replacing an injured Kalee Ciurleo who remains day to day and will sit out Friday, capped off the Gators' 300-yards rushing night with 95 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
"It's a bend-but-don't-break mentality in containing them, keeping them in front of us, slowing them down and eliminating the big play," Childers said.
But the Gators' defense is just as daunting, allowing less than nine points per game and averaging more than three takeaways.
"We just have to try and counter their strengths the best we can," Childers said. "With them being very aggressive, hopefully we can get them to over-commit and take themselves out of a play. They're just so fast and wherever they go, they go there with a bad attitude. So we'll have to run some misdirection and try to throw them off their game."