BAKER — There's no question Baker can run the football.
Jalen Ciurleo and Junior McLaughlin, each coming off 1,000-yard rushing campaigns, ensure that. As does Jayson Moore.
But this is not a one-note offense. Last Friday's 35-6 win at Holmes County validated that.
Kalee Ciurleo connected with Derek Peoples on a 30-yard post route on the game's first series to kick off the scoring, then later Kalee hooked up with Junior McLaughlin for a 59-yard score.
By night's end, Jalen hauled in five targets from his brother for 157 yards. McLaughlin had two catches for 131 yards.
The total damage from the aerial attack: 325 yards and four scores, a tally that accented 188 rushing yards and a rushing score by McLaughlin.
"Being able to throw the vertical ball like that will open up the run game," Brunson said. "That's our goal, to be balanced."
The balanced offense will head to Vernon Friday for a 7 p.m. kickoff. Both teams are 1-0 after Vernon upset Freeport 28-14 on the road.
"Coach Gerald Tranquill, it's his first year and he's got a very athletic team," Brunson said. "They run a spread formation kind of like us that fits the personnel. They have four capable wide receivers and a 6-foot-1, 210-pound quarterback (in Jacob Fisher) that's very athletic. They run him quite a bit and he can throw pretty well, too."
Senior back Chris Williams also ran all over Freeport for two scores and 100-plus yards, and the defense created five turnovers in the opener.
Of course Baker's defense flexed its muscle as well Friday night, holding Holmes County to less than 100 total yards of offense and a single touchdown.
"The difference from our Final Four team two years ago to last year's team that made the state championship, it all hinged on our defense," Brunson said. "We truly believe in that saying that defense wins championships."