Playing at home for the second straight Friday, the Baker Bulldogs dismantled Ontario 41-8 on Senior Night March 26 at chilly Baker Bulldog Memorial Stadium.
Baker improved to 2-2 on the abbreviated season. Ontario fell to 1-3.
Wide receiver Carlos Delarosa was among the Baker seniors playing for the final time at home. He celebrated with a big night, catching five passes for 91 yards and two touchdowns.
“It felt great. We had a lot of energy and I am just happy to be out here,” Delarosa said.
Coming off a big win in overtime March 19 against Nyssa, Baker coach Jason Ramos said he emphasized the need to maintain momentum.
“Now that we’ve gotten into a place where we’ve gotten some things going, now we are getting better with high energy, and it’s showing and we are making those improvements,” Ramos said.
It didn’t take long for the Bulldogs to show the improvements against Ontario.
Just 15 seconds into the game, Baker senior quarterback Gabe Gambleton ran 55 yards for a touchdown.
Ontario responded almost as quickly. On the Tigers’ first possession they took an 8-6 lead on a 20-yard touchdown pass and two-point conversion.
Ontario’s first, and last, lead didn’t last long.
The Bulldogs retaliated soon after with a pair of Gambleton touchdown passes, the first, of 30 yards, to senior Kaden Myer, the second going again to Delarosa.
Ramos said he was pleased with his wide receivers.
“They’re getting better, they’re running good routes, and catching the ball and they’re doing exactly what we are asking them to do,” he said.
To finish the half, Gambleton got to the end zone again, scoring on a one-yard run to push Baker’s halftime lead to 27-8.
Gambleton finished with 89 yards on seven carries to lead all Baker rushers, to go along with 169 passing yards.
Having a versatile quarterback is a boon to Baker’s offense, said Delarosa, who accounted for 91 of Gambleton’s passing yards.
“It’s great because he was able to run, he’s able to do everything,” Delarosa said.
Going into halftime with a commanding lead, Ramos said he didn’t need to make any major changes, just a bit of tinkering on defense.
“There were a couple of things on defense, how we needed to attack certain things they were doing,” Ramos said.
After a quiet third quarter in which neither team scored, Baker struck again early in the final period as Gambleton again found Delarosa, from six yards out.
“Just trusting our quarterback, trusting the reads, and holding out blocks,” Delarosa said. “It was great, felt awesome to score a touchdown.”
Meanwhile the Baker defense, thanks in part to recovering three fumbles, kept Ontario off the scoreboard.
“It was awesome, we did a great job capitalizing,” Delarosa said.
Junior Dylon Freeman capped the scoring with a 21-yard touchdown run.
Ramos said he was proud of the 14 seniors who were honored before kickoff, which was about 45 minutes late due to a delay in the officials arriving.
“Disappointed obviously that their senior year is what it is. I want it to be better, we had high expectations coming back from last year with all those kids coming back,” Ramos said. “We are beyond that now, we are just trying to finish strong and give them a positive experience going forward and we’ve done that. Our two games at home were good games for our seniors to have that experience and hopefully we can get a couple more.”
The final game on Baker’s schedule at this point is this Friday, April 2, when the Bulldogs travel to Pendleton to take on Pendleton/Nixyaawi (3-1) at 7 p.m.
Ontario 8 0 0 0 — 8
Baker 13 14 0 14 — 41
B — Gabe Gambleton 55 run (kick fails)
O — 20 pass (two-point conversion)
B — Kaden Myer 30 pass from Gambleton (Zellars kick)
B — Carlos Delarosa 13 pass from Gambleton (Zellars kick)
B — Gambleton 1 run (Zellars kick)
B — Delarosa 6 pass from Gambleton (Zellars kick)
B — Dylon Freeman 21 run (Zellars kick)
Individual statistics (Baker only)
Rushing — Gambleton 7-89; G. Bloomer 13-50; Freeman 4-32; D. Bloomer 3-22; Delarosa 1-5.
Passing — Gambleton 9-18-169; Hobson 1-2-25.
Receiving — Delarosa 5-91; Myer 3-90; Spike 1-4.