BAXTER SPRINGS ó†On a very rainy Friday night at John R. Hughes Memorial Stadium, Coach Don Bigbyís Baxter Lions (0-2) hosted Coach Clint Riderís Southeast Lancers (2-0). The Lancers got on the board first at the 8:55 mark in the first quarter on a quarterback keeper by Southeastís Josh Thompson. The PAT failed leaving the score at 6-0 in favor of Southeast. Baxterís first offensive possession was four and out turning the ball over on downs back to the Lancers with only36 yards to cover to find the end zone.
The second touchdown of the night was again on a quarterback sneak by the Lancers' Thompson. The two point conversion attempt by Southeast's Caleb Biancarelli was successful with 5:59 to go in the first quarter. On the next Baxter offensive drive, the Lions were plagued by quarterback sacks on first and second downs.
The Lions' sophomore quarterback Cody Rowe was dropped in the backfield on first down by the Lancers Brody Houston and Trevor Lewelyn for a loss of nine yards. Second down and 19 saw Rowe go down again for a loss of four yards. The Lions' habit of the night of shooting themselves in the foot on offensive started with a false start making it third and 23. Lionís senior running back Amos Bindel rumbled for eight yards before being pulled down by Southeastís Jason Reed making it fourth and fifteen. Baxter junior Derek Barnes punted it away. The Lancers went four-and-out. Baxter took over at the Southeast 29. It was back to another dose of Bindel running hard for the Lions. Baxterís Bindel picked up 6 yards on first and ten. The Lancers Biancarelli sacked Baxterís Rowe for a loss of 5 yards. The Lionís Rowe tossed to Bindel for no gain on third and nine and ended the first quarter with the score 14-0 in favor of Southeast.
The second quarter opened with Baxterís Barnes punting it away on fourth and eight for 23 yards. The Lancers then picked up one first down before stalling out at their own 45. Southeast elected to punt the ball back to Baxter making it first and 10 at the Lions 12 yard line. It was a steady dose of Bindel running again with three straight rushes netting a total of 15 yards and picking up a Baxter first down. While resting Bindel, Bigby opted for freshman Tevan Berry to carry the ball in which he picked up a yard. The Lions went to the air on second and nine that saw Rowe hook up with tight end Tyler Minor for a five yard gain. Bindel ran again for Baxter on third and five netting a gain of three. After considering going for it on fourth and two, Bigby changed his mind and had his Lions punt after a false start penalty made it fourth and seven. Barnes punted it away once more. Southeast drove deep into Baxter territory fueled by three first downs, but Barnes came up with a fumble recovery on the Lancers second and seven at the 12 yard line. Next for Baxter, it was back to the ground with Bindel. Baxterís Bindel netted one yard on first down from their own fifteen yard line. On second and nine, Bindel ran off another three yards. At third and five, Rowe hit Nick Abernathy for a one yard pick up. Facing fourth and four, the Lions elected to punt with 30 seconds left in the half. With 25 seconds left, Southeast put together a scoring drive. On first and second downs, the Lancers' passes from Thompson fell incomplete. Southeastís Thompson found Daniel Peak for a 34 yard gain and the first down making it first and goal at the five. The Lancerís scored the next play with five seconds left in the half on another Thompson to Peak pass for the touchdown. The PAT failed leaving the score at 20-0 at half time.
The Lions' Amos Bindel had 54 yards rushing while Rowe had 55 yards passing in the contest. The Baxter defense stepped up this game. Defensive back Kacey Elias had two solo tackles and an assisted tackle. Defensive back Barnes recorded two solo tackles and an assisted tackle. Defensive back Abernathy had two broken up pass attempts and an assisted tackle. Linebacker Trey Price drug down the offensive for three solo tackles. Linebacker Julius Rikat had two solo tackle. Bindel pick up a solo tackle playing linebacker. Defensive back Gavin Nowlin had a solo tackle. Linebacker Tevon Berry got on the score sheet with an assisted tackle. Defensive lineman Justin Arnall had an assisted tackle. Defensive lineman Tanner Brown recorded a solo tackle. Defensive lineman Stephen Wolfe gave Baxter a solo tackle and an assisted tackle with his play. Defensive lineman Mike Turcotte chipped in with a solo tackle. The defensive work horse of the night for the Lions was junior linebacker Hunter Cox, who had four solo tackles and two assisted tackles on the night.
Coach Bigbyís first words after the game were, ďThe defense did a lot better.Ē
The third quarter started with Baxter receiving the kickoff at their own thirty-eight yard line. The Lionís Rowe threw for a 7 yard loss to Abernathy. On second and seventeen caught the screen pass from Rowe and picked up 12 yards making it third and five. Bindel moved the sticks, and it was first and ten for Baxter in Lancer territory. Bindel would rush again picking up for 4 yards to make it second and six. Rowe had the quarterback keeper on the next play netting 3 yards. It was then third and three at the Lancer 32 yard line. The Lions would gain 5 more yards on the Bindel run picking up the first down. Then, the wheels fell off the offense for the Lions. Baxter was flagged for offsides costing them -5 yards. The next play Rowe hit Abernathy for a gain of 2. With it now third and eight, the Lions tried some trickery with a double reverse to Abernathy that netted zero yards. On fourth and eight, Bigby went for it with a screen pass from Rowe to Bindel for a gain of seven yards which left the Lions short by one.
The Lancers received the ball back on downs at their own 27 yard line. After marching the length of the field, Southeastís Thompson hooked up via the airways with Peak for a touchdown with 3:06 remaining in the third quarter. The two point conversion failed leaving the score 26-0.
The next Baxter possession saw the Lions pick up a first down and then have a 21 yard pass play from Rowe to Barnes that was all for not as the Lions fumbled the snap on the very next play with Southeast recovering. Southeast picked up a first down at the Lions 41 yard line at the end of the third quarter with the score 26-0 Southeast Lancers.
The fourth quarter started with the Lancers picking up another first down to the Baxter 23 yard line.
But, Southeast would go four for more attempts and out on downs. The Lions struggled on their first possession of the fourth quarter with their own three and out, resulting in a punt by Barnes. Next, the Lancers would put together another scoring drive which saw a steady dose of running by Thompson and Biancarelli.
Southeast started at the Baxter 49 yard line, but was penalized with an offsides call, moving the ball back to their own 36 yard line to set up first and fifteen. Thompson would rush for 3 yards for Southeast. Biancarelli followed with an 11 yard scamper to take it to the 38 yard line. Thompson would keep for two yards moving the sticks in the process. On first and ten the pass by Thompson was incomplete. On second down, Thompson would keep again for a gain of 4 getting the ball 14 yards from pay dirt. Biancarelli found the end zone on second and eight at the 6:00 mark in the fourth quarter. The PAT was no good making the score 32-0 in favor of Southeast. The Lions shot their selves in the foot again on the next possession with negative yardage plays and ultimately a fumble on fourth down that caused a turnover on downs to Southeast. It started with Rowe being sacked by the Lancers Joseph Smith for a loss of 5 on the play. Bindel would rush next netting no yards on the play. Rowe tried the pass to Kacey Elias on third down for a loss of 7. Fourth down saw the fumble, but Baxter jumped on top of the ball for not as it was turned back to the Lancers at the Baxter 10 yard line. Southeast had first and goal and could not punch it in the end zone with the ball being turned back over to the Lions on downs. The Lions did not give up on their last offensive possession of the night. Bindel would rush two times for 17 yards. Rowe connected with Barnes for another 21 yard pass play, but it was all for naught as Bindel would rush one more time as the clock expired making the final score Southeast Lancers 32 and the Baxter Lions 0.
ď(We've got to find an offense," Bigby said after the game. "We keep shooting ourselves in the foot. We will work this week to find a way to score on offense."
With the loss the Baxter Lions fall to (0-3) on the season and the Southeast Lancers remain perfect at (3-0)
Next week, Bigbyís Lions are on the road at Erie for another CNC matchup scheduled for a 7 p.m. kickoff.