Gators pound out win over Tigers (photo gallery)

Baker football

D.J Thomas turns the corner around right end against Graceville on Friday as he helped lead the Baker School football team to a 42-27 win over the Tigers.

RANDY DICKSON / News Bulletin
Published: Saturday, August 31, 2013 at 01:38 AM.

BAKER — A pair of Class 1A playoff contenders squared off at Baker School's Doug Griffith Memorial Stadium on Friday as Baker hosted Graceville in the 2013 football season opener.

Powered by a 205 yard, four-touchdown rushing performance by senior tailback D.J. Thomas the Gators beat the Tigers 42-27 in a game that wasn't decided until Thomas scored from one yard out with 1:16 left in the fourth quarter.

The fourth Thomas touchdown might have the score that sealed the win for the Gators, but an 80-yard pass play from Jon Beck to Austin Martin with 8:42 was likely the straw that broke the collective backs of the Tigers.

Faced with a third down and 18 at their own 20-yard line, Gator coach Matt Brunson called for the quick pass to Martin at wingback. The pass only covered about 10 or 15 yards in the air and Martin did the rest outrunning the Graceville defense to the end zone.

See Baker-Graceville football game photos>>>

"We were running the football very successfully and they had about nine guys up around the line and we kind of hit a little pop pass and got a wingback behind the safety and Austin Martin did an awesome job," Brunson said. "Jon Beck made a good play in getting Austin the ball, and Austin made a good catch and that was the turning point in the ball game.

"What made that possible is the way our line blocks and the way our backs run hard. The running game we've got opens that stuff up later on."

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