BAKER — Two District 1-1A football teams heading in opposite directions square off Friday night when Baker School’s Gators travel to Freeport to take on the Bulldogs at 7 p.m.
Baker is riding high with a 4-0 record and has yet to score less than 35 points in a game. The Gators’ potent offense could spell bad news for a Freeport team off to a 0-5 start and whose defense is giving up an average of better than 51 points per game.
Gator senior tailback D.J. Thomas, who has scored 10 touchdowns while rushing for more than 700 yards, could have another explosive game against the Bulldogs.
Despite what the numbers might say, Baker coach Matt Brunson isn't overlooking the Bulldogs.
"This is a big game because it's the first game of district play and because we haven't been successful against Freeport in a couple years," he said. "We lost a close one in overtime at their place two years ago. And then last year they beat us on a last-second touchdown in a pretty high-scoring game.
"Coach (Jim) Anderson does a great job ... those guys have been battling Northview, and we want to get to where they have been. We need to beat these guys to get there."
The Bulldogs suffered a huge loss during the off-season when senior quarterback Gabe Moore elected to step away from football to concentrate on a budding track career.
Brunson doesn't expect many changes in the Freeport offensive scheme, even without Moore at quarterback.
"Again, Jim Anderson does a great job and his fingerprint is all over this team," Brunson said. "They play tough; although they don't have the big national (caliber) athlete at quarterback, they will be battle-tested and ready for the Baker Gators.
"Don't put it past Jim Anderson to go to any lengths to try and set a trap for Baker."
Brunson expects to see a mix of run-and-pass from the Bulldogs. He said they have a little package that uses some power football and they also will mix things up and go into a shotgun formation and throw the ball around.
Freeport runs a defense similar to the five-man front the Gators use.
"The last couple of years, it's been kind of a chess match because we are so similar defensively," Brunson said.
Brunson looks forward to taking the Gators to Freeport and expects an exciting game.
"It's a good little 1A atmosphere, just like I think we have here at Baker," he said. "They have a great tradition started there.
"We love to compete with Freeport and our guys will be amped up and ready to go Friday night."
Want to go?
What: Baker at Freeport
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Randy Dickson is the Crestview News Bulletin’s sports editor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet him @BigRandle, or call 682-6524.