By Gerry Steele
ONTARIO - Baker's three-year run as Greater Oregon League football champions came to a crashing end Friday at Ontario.
Ben Turner scored four touchdowns, and Mike Hussey two to lead the Tigers to a 41-12 win over Baker, claiming the GOL crown in the process.
Ontario (3-0 in the GOL and 4-4 overall) now draws a bye this week.
Baker (2-1 in the GOL and 4-5 overall) will host Cascade Friday or Saturday in a Class 4A play-in game. The winner will advance to the first round of the playoffs in two weeks.
A week earlier the Bulldogs had trouble stopping Mac-Hi's running game. That problem continued against Ontario.
Turner, Hussey and Jason Haueter combined to run for 355 yards against the Bulldogs.
"It certainly didn't turn out the way we wanted. They took care of the football," said Baker coach Dave Johnson.
"We didn't have many answers for their off-tackle stuff. It was just pound, pound, pound."
Ontario hit the scoreboard for the first time with 10:35 left in the first quarter on a 33-yard touchdown run by Hussey.
Baker made a bid to tie the game on the ensuing drive. Quarterback Thomas Hamilton completed his first five passes to drive the Bulldogs to the Ontario 14. But Hamilton's first incomplete pass, on fourth down, ended the drive.
Ontario added two more scores, on TD runs by Hussey and Turner, in the second period to take a 21-0 halftime edge.
Baker finally found the end zone on the opening drive of the third quarter. Hamilton did the honors on a 1-yard scoring run.
"We had a couple of great drives going in the first half and again in the second half," Johnsn said.
"We just didn't capitalize on the first, but we did on the second one."
Then, leading 21-6, Ontario added 20 unanswered points to build its lead to 41-6.
Hamilton connected on a 5-yard TD pass to Keaton Bachman to complete Baker's scoring.
"We'll regroup this week," Johnson said.
"It's on to the second season. It will be fun to play at home. We'll give it our best shot."
Baker -0 0 6 6 - 12
Ontario - 8 13 0 20 - 41
O - Hussey 33 run (McDermott pass from Hussey)
O - Hussey 6 run (Kick failed)
O - Turner 2 run (Haueter kick)
B - Hamilton 1 run (Run failed)
O - Turner 18 run (Haueter kick)
O - Turner 1 run (Pass failed)
O - Turner 1 run (Haueter kick)
B - Bachman 5 pass from Hamilton (Run failed)