Sunday, December 4, 2016

Number 2 Baker Football Wins Thrilling, 45-41, win over Number 9 EOU to Advance to the NAIA National Championship Game


Press release submitted by Tyler Price, Baker University Assistant Athletic Director

BALDWIN CITY, Kansas – In arguably one of the greatest games in the history of Baker University football, the number 2 Wildcats defeated number 9 Eastern Oregon, 45-41, to advance to the NAIA-FCS National Championship Game on Saturday, inside Liston Stadium.

The Wildcats completed a 17-point comeback Saturday to move onto the national title game for the first time since 1986.

Clarence Clark had 217 receiving yards for the Wildcats, earning the NAIA-FCS Offensive Player of the Game award, as he scored on the game-winning drive on a 77-yard TD pass from Logan Brettell with 38 seconds left, as the Wildcats trailed 41-38 at that time.

After falling behind 7-0 early, the Wildcats answered with a 29-yard pass from Logan Brettell to Damon Nolan to tie the game midway through the first quarter.

Early in the second, Clark’s 34-yard field goal gave Baker a 10-7 lead, before the Mountaineers responded with a touchdown pass to go ahead 14-10.

The Wildcats then scored 14 unanswered points, the first touchdown coming from a 75-yard pass from Brettell to Clark, the second an 8-yard pass to Nolan. Brettell finished the game with six touchdown passes, bringing his season total to 51.

The 2016 CoSIDA College Division Academic All-American of the Year went 27-of-46 for 406 yards.

Clark finished with eight catches for 217 yards and two TD’s and Nolan had three TD’s for 109 yards receiving.

Cornell Brown led the team in rushing with 121 yards and the Wildcats outgained the Mountaineers, 532-399.

After taking a 24-17 halftime lead, the Mountaineers went on a tear, scoring 24 unanswered points to lead 41-24 with 7:35 left in the game. EOU’s attack was led by Zach Bartlow, who had three touchdown passes, and running back Alfred Gross, who finished with 137 rushing yards and a touchdown.

Brettell started the rally for Baker, as he hit Nolan in the end zone for the third time with 4:13 to go. Then, down 41-31, Brettell hit Cornell Brown for an 8-yard touchdown following a bad snap on an Eastern Oregon punt.

Then on the final Baker drive, Brettell found Clark on the first play, with Clark racing to a 77-yard score to put the Wildcats up 45-41 with 0:38 remaining.

The 14-0 Wildcats will now take on number 4 University of Saint Francis (Ind.), who took down previously undefeated Reinhardt University (Ga.) 42-24 Saturday.

The game will take place on Saturday, Dec. 17 at 5 p.m. CST in Daytona Beach, Florida inside the Municipal Stadium.

Wildcat head coach Mike Grossner now has 98 wins in his impressive 13-year career at Baker which puts his second all-time, as he surpassed legendary head coach Emil S. Liston on Saturday.

For all information regarding the game including tickets, and hotel properties, please click here.

 NAIA Football Box Score

Team1234T
Eastern Oregon710101441
Baker (Kan.)71702145

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