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Baker finally bags their Bucks


By Gerry Steele

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The last time a Baker football team defeated Pendleton, none of the current Bulldogs, and many of the current Baker coaches, weren’t even born.

The last Baker win in the series was 37 years ago, a 21-12 victory in 1975 by the Dwight Berry-coached Bulldog in Baker. Baker’s last victory at Pendleton was a 21-13 win in 1967 by the Gary Mires-coached Dawgs. That was the year Baker played Jesuit in a playoff game at the BHS stadium, tying the Crusaders 33-33 but failing to advance after losing the total-yardage tie-breaker.

Both of those long streaks ended Friday night.

The Bulldogs (4-1) rallied in the second half at the Pendleton Round-Up Grounds to hand the Class 5A Buckaroos (1-4) a 48-29 non-league loss.

“The kids were just outstanding,” said Baker coach Dave Johnson, who was a Pendleton asisstant coach from 1987-92.

“Once again, they were making the plays in every aspect of the game. We’re really proud of their character,” Johnson said.

“They just keep making the plays and not giving up. You could just see their confidence swell.”

Trailing 29-26 with 9:19 left in the game, Baker scored the final 22 points of the contest.

Dane Bachman got things started with a 96-yard kickoff return for a score.

On the play, Pendleton kicked off from the Baker 45 after a roughing the kicker penalty was marked off from the previous conversion try.

Bachman had to circle back and corral the ball at the Baker 4. Then, once he cleared the first wall of tacklers, he raced untouched for the go-ahead touchdown.

“Dane didn’t handle the ball real well to start,” Johnson said. “Then, after he slipped through that first crack, it was off to the races.”

Trent Taylor, who finished with 112 yards rushing, and quarterback Braden Phillips each added short running touchdowns down the stretch.

Baker trailed 7-0 after one quarter.

The Bulldogs then drove 37 yards for the go-ahead touchdown. Phillips did the honors, scoring from the 1 with 2:43 left in the first half. Phillips then added the two-point conversion giving Baker an 8-7 edge.

Pendleton quickly answered, needing just five plays to regain a 15-8 advantage.

That’s where the score remained at halftime after Baker blocked a 28-yard Pendleton field goal try with 6 seconds left in the half.

Baker then fumbled the second-half kickoff and Pendleton quickly took advantage to build its lead to 22-8 with 9:26 left in the third quarter.

“We talked at halftime about the mistakes we made in the first half, and then we come out and make another mistake to start the third quarter,” Johnson said.

“But the kids didn’t get down. Instead, they picked up their pace. My hat’s off to the boys.”

Baker pulled within 22-14 on a 22-yard Phillips pass to Bachman. The big play on the drive was a third-down Phillips pass for 48 yards to Dan Stinson.

“I thought Dan Stinson did really well,” Johnson said.

“He had been injured, and this was his first extensive playing time for a while.”

Bachman then picked off a Pendleton pass and returned it to the Pendleton 36.

Phillips later followed a lead block from Taylor for a 17-yard touchdown run, pulling the Bulldogs to within 22-20 after three quarters.

Baker took a 26-22 lead two plays into the fourth quarter when Phillips found Ben Baxter out of the backfield for a 34-yard TD strike.

Pendleton then took its last lead at 29-26 before Bachman’s kick return started Baker’s final rally.

Johnson said he liked the way Baker played in all aspects of the game.

“Our offensive front was ominous,” he said. “They gave our backs some great protection.

“And, once again, hats off to the special teams. ‘Defensively, the kids responded well. We knew Pendleton would throw the ball much like Payette, and they did really well in the first half,” Johnson said.

In fact, Pendleton completed its first 10 passes.

Baker now has a week off before opening Greater Oregon League play Oct. 12 at home against Mac-Hi.

“This was a great confidence builder for the boys,” Johnson said.

Baker     -                   0   8   12   28 — 48

Pendleton              -  7   8     7     7 — 29

    P — Polhamus 12 pass from Johnson (McCallum kick)

    B — Phillips 1 run (Phillips run)

    P — Holcomb 1 run (Holcomb run)

    P — Johnson 8 run (McCallum kick)

    B — Bachman 22 pass from Phillips (Kick failed)

    B — Phillips 17 run (Run failed)

    B — Baxter 34 pass from Phillips (Kick failed)

    P — Johnson 3 run (McCallum kick)

    B — Bachman 96 kickoff return (Bachman pass from Phillips)

    B — Phillips 4 run (Taylor kick)

    B — Taylor 2 run (Taylor kick)

Individual statistics

     Rushing —Baker: Taylor 17-112, Phillips 18-86, Dolby 1-2, Baxter 1-(-1). Pendleton: Holcomb 24-97, Johnson 6-(-21).

     Passing — Baker: Phillips 11-20-0-169. Pendleton: Johnson 22-34-3-262.

     Receiving — Baker: Stinson 4-88, Dolby 3-11, Bachman 2-31, Baxter 1-34, Cline 1-5. Pendleton: Polhamus 10-177, Hancock 6-43, Rivera 3-27, Holcomb 3-15.


Mac-Hi edges Baker girls soccer

By Gerry Steele

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Baker started strong, but Mac-Hi finished stronger Saturday in a Greater Oregon League girls soccer match at the Baker Sports Complex.


Bulldogs rout Vale

By Gerry Steele

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It’s almost a fantasy world when a team can lead an opponent 28-0 midway through the first quarter after running just four offensive plays.


Baker boys 12th at Bob Firman

By Gerry Steele

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Baker finished 12th in the boys race, and 15th in the girls race in Division II of the  38th annual Bob Firman Invitational cross country race at Eagle Island State Park near Boise Saturday.


Bulldogs spike Mac-Hi

By Gerry Steele

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Baker opened Greater Oregon League volleyball play at Mac-Hi Tuesday by handing the Pioneers a 25-19, 25-10, 25-15 defeat.


Baker boys third at Catherine Creek

By Gerry Steele

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Baker tied Greenleaf Academy for third place in the boys standings at the annual Catherine Creek Scamper cross country race Friday near Union.


Badgers roll past Union

By Gerry Steele

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Powder Valley picked up its first football win of the season Friday, stopping Union 46-26 in the non-league game at Union.


Fruitland stops Bulldogs

By Gerry Steele

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Baker continues to struggle with the Fruitand Grizzlies on the football field.


Baker girls soccer tops Weiser

By Gerry Steele

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Baker displayed more offense in its first girls soccer game of this season than the Bulldogs showed most all of last season.


Baker routs Payette

By Gerry Steele

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Baker needed a minor wakeup call against Payette Friday before rolling to a 56-14 victory in a non-league football game at Payette High School.


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