BAKER — Baker School’s football team puts its perfect record on the line Friday night when the 5-0 Gators travel to Panama City to play North Bay Haven Academy.
Game time is 7 p.m.
The Buccaneers (2-2) are in their first season of varsity football. They beat Rocky Bayou Christian 28-20 and Freeport 48-39. Their two losses were to South Walton (47-20) and Wewahitchka 34-13.
North Bayis coached by Jared Hale, a former standout at Arnold High School, where he played for his father, James Hale.
Gator coach Matt Brunson expects to see Jared Hale use a lot of schemes his father used at Arnold.
"They (the Buccaneers) are very similar to Arnold when his (Jared Hale's) dad was there," Brunson said. "They are going to be somewhat in a spread look, but they use a tight end more often. They are in a shotgun zone and zone read.
"They've got a nice little offensive package. They have a very athletic quarterback and they have two or three skill guys."
With a five-man front, North Bay’s defense will be similar to Baker's.
The Gators are coming off an impressive 56-14 win over District 1-1A rival Freeport in which tailback D.J. Thomas ran for 221 yards and five touchdowns on just 12 carries. Thomas now has 968 yards and 15 touchdowns on the season.
Baker has rushed for 1,611 yards as a team. The Gators also have thrown for 560 yards to average 449 yards in total offense a game.
"We are more physical than a lot of people we play as a result of how we play and how we attack the line of scrimmage," Brunson said. "Our offensive guys (linemen) and our fullbacks play with very good pad level.
"Coach (Chip) Weems has been with me a long time and he does a good job of getting those guys' knees bent and braced in there so they can get movement. Brandon Engler isn't the biggest fullback, but he's a very aggressive football player. They knock some holes and then our tailbacks, D.J. Thomas and Richard Stroheker, do a good job of finishing runs."
Brunson isn't expecting a letdown after the big district win when the Gators go out of district play Friday night.
"Our guys really are hungry for victory and they want to win every one," he said. "Our guys have played well every Friday night and I expect that to continue.
"You just keep pounding, pounding, pounding (with the run) and eventually they start taking on water."
Randy Dickson is the Crestview News Bulletin’s sports editor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet him @BigRandle, or call 682-6524.
WANT TO GO?
What: Baker at North Bay Academy
When: 7 p.m. Friday