Baker — Matt Brunson has a message that should make 1A state title contenders cringe.
"We've yet to play our best football," said the Baker football head coach.
This sounds implausible.
Baker is 9-0. Has outscored foes 398-158. Has yet to be played to within a single score.
Yet, according to Brunson, this team can be so much better.
"We're still putting it all together," he said. "Every week we're improving."
Brunson noted that the Gators "turned the corner" last week in the second half of a 42-25 win over Northview.
This week's trip to 1-7 Graceville should offer little resistance, the Tigers serving as the final tune-up for a Gators team that's all but wrapped up a No. 1 seed and home-field advantage in the Region 1-1A playoffs.
That this would be considered a cupcake game for Baker sounds crazy. After all, the last meeting between the teams was an instant classic.
On that Nov. 18 night in the region finals, Graceville led an 11-0 Baker crew 14-7 in the fourth quarter. Back-to-back scores by Jalen Ciurleo scored and Logan Rickmon completed the comeback.
This year Brunson would prefer to avoid the drama.
"There's a culture in this building where everyone's on the same page, everyone's all in," Brunson said. "We're not looking past anyone."
The team concept is embodied by the diverse talents on the gridiron.
The Gators' ground game is averaging 300-plus yards and four touchdowns a night, although Jalen Ciurleo is currently on crutches as a caution as the team awaits an MRI on his right knee.
Quarterback Kalee Ciurleo and an aerial attack featuring go-to wideout Derek Peoples has thrived behind a dominant offensive line.
The special teams has shined as well, along with a defense allowing just 17 points a night.
Added up, there's no area where Baker lacks talent or confidence.