BAKER — Baker football closes out the 2012 season Friday as the Gators hit the road and travel to Vernon to play the Yellow Jackets.
Game time is 7 p.m.
The Gators (5-4), who were eliminated from the playoffs last week in a 40-6 loss to Northview, can still post a winning season with a victory over Vernon.
Baker finished last year with a 7-3 record; a 13-7 two-year record would be the Gators’ best in a decade.
“It would be 13 wins in two years and that is the first time it has been done in 10 or 11 years,” Baker coach Matt Brunson said. Our kids are real hungry for a successful season and to end with a win.
“Our guys will prepare well and practice well this week. They will go down there with one thing in mind — and that’s to win the game. But we’ve got to be able to establish the play action pass off the strong run game and then stop the Jackets.”
Friday’s trip to Vernon will be the first time Brunson has coached against the team that gave him his job as a head coach 15 years ago.
“I got my start there in the football season of 1997 so I’m looking forward to it (going back)” he said. “This will be my first time in 13 years that I’ve been back over there (as a coach), and to take a team into the friendly confines of Vernon Stadium will be special.”
Vernon also is a place that saw Brunson celebrate many big events in his personal life.
“I’ve got a lot of friends in Vernon I made the four years I was there,” he said. “I was married while I was there and my first child was born. There are some great memories — but I’m expecting a quality opponent and a charged environment, and I’m looking forward to it.”
The season has not been kind to the Yellow Jackets. Injuries have piled up as losses have mounted in a 1-8 campaign. Brunson refuses to take anything for granted as the Gators prepare for what he expects to be a tough Vernon squad.
“Vernon’s got a couple of very athletic receivers,” he said “They spread it out and throw it around and they can hit a big play at any time. They are kind of like Northview or Bonifay (Holmes County); they are four wide, or maybe two-by-two (receiver set) or three-by-one (receiver set).
“Those kids at Vernon are tough. They’ve dealt with some injuries and their running back, Peter Dobbs, got hurt. They’ve been without him, but again, they are very dangerous because they spread it around and throw it.”