BAKER — It will be a good summer for the Baker School football team coming off a 41-34 win over Chipley in Thursday's spring game at Doug Griffith Memorial Stadium.
Baker Coach Matt Brunson, long known for his love for power football, showed he's willing to keep up with the times as the Gators unveiled a shotgun, hurry up attack.
And while there remain some kinks to work out, Baker showed it will have plenty of firepower in the fall.
"The main thing was, with us trying to implement a new offensive scheme, I felt like we got our shotgun snap down," Brunson said. "I felt like our kids understood what to do. We played with a little tempo. And we played physical too.
"I think as the second half wore on our guys were more physical than their guys. We take pride in pad level and playing with leverage and winning the line of scrimmage. I think overall we established that we are still going to do that no matter what formation we are in."
The Gator second team and junior varsity won the first half 14-12. And with the score carried over into the second half, a 14-yard touchdown run by Austin Davis at the horn assured Baker of claiming bragging rights in second half as well.
The Davis run lifted the Gator starters to a 27-22 second half win.
Big plays were plentiful in the new offense.
First-team quarterback Jon Beck opened things up early in the third quarter with a 66-yard pass to David Oglesby to set up a 4-yard touchdown run by Austin Martin with 6:11 left in the third quarter. Josh Mayhew added the extra point.
Chipley responded with a 15-yard scoring run from Arian Sims. The Tigers converted on the 2-point conversion with 2:14 left in the third. The fourth quarter was a mix of defense and offensive fire power.
Chipley stopped Baker on a fourth-and-goal at the 3-yard line only to have Gator linebacker Alante Coleman intercept a pass in the end zone on the next play to put the Gators up 28-20.
After a quick touchdown by the Tigers, Martin scored on a 34-yard run for his second touchdown of the night to put Baker up 35-26 with 3:34 left in the game.
Martin's touchdown was set up by a 36-yard pass from Beck to Jacob Nixon.
Neither team was through scoring yet.
Chipley answered with a 73-yard touchdown pass from Trey Thurman converted the 2-point to pull Chipley to within a point at 35-34 with 2:01 showing on the clock.
Baker then drove 70 yards in the final two minutes to seal the win.
"That (winning) was big for our kids going into the off season," Brunson said. "I thought we had a good plan and our guys executed well and hopefully we will get everything in during the summer and be able to play some good ball (in the fall).
Zach Brown scored on 20-yard run for the Baby Gators and Jamaal Day scored a 35-yard touchdown pass from Tom Crowson.
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Randy Dickson is the Crestview News Bulletin’s sports editor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet him @BigRandle, or call 682-6524.