BAKER — Defense took a holiday Friday night as the Baker School football team hosted Walton at Doug Griffith Memorial Stadium.
The Gators and Braves combined for 16 scores and 113 points. The offenses ran a combined 107 plays for 790 yards. And the teams were flagged for 260 yards on 28 penalties.
When the final horn sounded the Braves, led by Azende` Rey’s six touchdowns, had a 65-48 win.
Things looked different in the early going as the Class 1A Gators turned a pair of early turnovers by the Class 4A Braves into a quick lead.
An errant snap over the head of Walton quarterback Jace Fielder was recovered by Baker’s Jalen Ciurleo at the Walton 25-yard line 70 seconds into the game.
Austin Davis capped the short drive that took four plays with a 1-yard touchdown run with 9:42 left in the first quarter. Josh Springle added the extra point to make it 7-0 Baker.
Fourteen seconds later Oakley Kimbrel scored for the Gators on a 22-yard fumble recovery and less than three minutes into the game Baker (2-2) was up 13-0.
But the Braves (4-0) came roaring back behind Rey who scored the first of his TDs on a 39-yard run with 7:30 left in the first quarter.
The Gators with a 10-play, 80-yard drive that ended with Jon Beck finding Jamaal Day with a 12-yard touchdown pass.
A 1-yard touchdown run for Walton by Rey was followed by a 50-yard scoring run by Baker’s Beck as the first quarter ended with Baker up 27-13.
The rest of the game belonged to Walton. The Braves scored 28 unanswered points in the second quarter. Sandwiched between touchdown runs by Rey of nine yards and a yard was a 30-yard interception return by Juanyeh Thomas and a 55-yard pass and catch from Jaces Fielder to Kelvic Thompson.
Fielder scored on a 31-yard run in the third quarter and Rey scored his fifth touchdown of the game to go along with a Thomas Brack field goal.
Montea Barto scored the first of his two touchdowns for Baker in the third quarter. He picked his second touchdown in the fourth quarter. Baker’s last score came on a 51-yard pass from Beck to Dillon Nixon.
Even with the game well in hand late in the fourth quarter Walton head man Jimmy Ray Stephens kept most of his starters in the game giving only Rey a little break in the final three or four minutes of the game. By that time the dynamic senior had finished off his big night with his sixth touchdown.
Baker Coach Matt Brunson admitted Walton’s speed was probably the difference in the game.
“Our kids competed to the end,” he said. “We knew Walton would probably win in the speed department. Mr. Stephens (Walton coach Jimmy Ray Stephens) and his group did an awesome job right up to the final whistle."