BAKER — Baker School’s football team honored its 1983 and 1993 state championship teams Friday night at Doug Griffith Memorial Stadium, where it beat District 1-1A rival 21-13, earning a spot in the playoffs.
The Royals (3-4, 0-2) didn’t make it easy for the Gators (7-0, 2-0), threatening to send the game into overtime within the fourth quarter’s final minute.
"This is a great victory to have," running back Richard Stroheker said. "The mistakes drug us down bad, but after we shook it off, it got better."
The mistakes Stroheker referred to were the team's four penalties and a turnover. The Gators also missed a 32-yard field goal from kicker Malcolm Griffith in the first quarter.
Stroheker was on the defense that kept the Royals offense from scoring in deep Baker territory. He also scored the Gator’s first touchdown on a 20-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Jon Beck.
Tailback D.J. Thomas, the driving force behind the Gator offense, ran the ball 27 times for 226 yards and two touchdowns.
Baker’s offense kept it on the ground most of the night, gaining 259 yards. Beck completed only three passes in seven attempts for 64 yards and one interception.
Quarterback Tate Upton’s 50-yard Jay touchdown pass to A.J Nash and two field goals from Dakota Smith kept the Royals in the game.
"It was a great football game between two small community rivals," Baker Coach Matt Brunson said. "To be on the winning side made it even greater."
The Gators plan to remain undefeated during the school's Friday night homecoming game against Franklin County.
Baker ends district play on Nov. 1 at Northview. The game’s winner will be the district champion.
Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Matthew Brown at 850-682-6524 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @cnbMatthew.