BAKER – Walking across the Baker campus, it’s obvious that this isn’t just another week and Friday’s football game with Sneads is more than another game.
It is, in fact, Homecoming 2012, as Baker hosts the Pirates in a 7 p.m. game at Doug Griffith Memorial Stadium.
The Gators (3-3) are coming off a heartbreaking 41-34 loss to Freeport in their District 1-1A opener and have lost two straight. However, Coach Matt Brunson said his team is still headed in the right direction.
“I thought it (the game with Freeport) was a great 1A football game,” he said. “Our kids fought hard right to the last possession. Freeport did a good job and made a couple of plays and got the touchdown that put them ahead.
“We’ve lost two close games in the last two weeks (to Freeport and Bozeman), but our football team is getting better and better,” he said. “I do believe that they are laying the foundation and playing Baker Gator football and we are going to reap success for years to come because of the effort of these guys.”
The Wing-T offense Sneads runs will challenge Baker’s defense.
“They’ve got a couple of backs that are big, physical backs and they’ve got a quarterback that is very athletic,” Brunson said. “And they run some option off of their Wing-T set, which, I think, is a good deal. We are going to have our hands full containing them.
“I think we can be physical up front and keep doing what we’ve been doing. I think our team, although we’ve lost a couple of close ones, has gotten better each week. I think we are still improving.”
Brunson said the key to stopping Sneads is for the Gators to read their keys and be disciplined in defending the run lanes.
“We’ve got to be disciplined,” he said. “It’s kind of like defending the option, you have to have your eyes in the right spot and make sure you are covering the right thing.”
Brunson isn’t concerned about the distractions often associated with Homecoming.
“Here, it’s not that big of a deal,” Brunson said. “Our guys are mature and they go out and practice and prepare because they want to win a football game.
“They understand that this week a lot of people are coming to town to see them play that won’t get to see them play any other time. We beat a pretty good Bozeman team at Homecoming last year so I’m not going to worry about their focus.”