BALDWIN CITY, Kan. – The No. 15 ranked Baker University football team welcomed No. 6 Grand View into the Heart of America Athletic Conference with a 20-15 victory on Saturday afternoon inside Williams Stadium, as this marked the first-ever game in the Heart for the Vikings.
Baker opens up 2015 1-0 and moves to 106-78 since 1998 and captured its first-straight season opener in a game that was aired worldwide on ESPN3.
Grand View scored first with a 39-yard field goal by Ben Hurley with 5:40 to go in the first quarter.
Baker responded just before the end of the first quarter with a 71-yard punt return for a touchdown by newcomer Damon Nolan. He raced past the entire Viking punt team to put Baker up 7-3.
Then Clarence Clark nailed a 55-yard field goal to put the ‘Cats up 10-3 with 10:22 to go in the first half.
The Wildcats weren’t done scoring in the first half yet, as Nick Marra connected with Ladai Shawn Boose on a 50-yard touchdown reception to put Baker up 17-3 entering halftime.
The third quarter went scoreless for both teams, then Clarence Clark connected on another field goal, this time from 26-yards out to put the ‘Cats up, 20-3.
Grand View inched closer with a 36-yard field goal by Hurley and then a 29-yard touchdown run by Derek Fulton.
The final points of the game came when Grand View received a safety, as BU punter Jacob Thompkins tried to run out the clock in the back of the end zone with five seconds to go, but was knocked out of bounds.
Baker then kicked off to Grand View and the clock ran out on the Vikings, as Baker captured its first-ever win in its first-ever game over Grand View.
Akim Francis led Baker in tackles with 7.5 and the Wildcat defense picked off Fulton twice, one by Darrian Winston and one by Hayden Jenkins.
Quarterback Marra went 17-of-30 for 229 yards and one interception and one touchdown and Dalton Buehler led the team in rushing with 89 yards rushing and a long of 79 yards.
Baker will look to move to 2-0 next week, as they travel to Canton, Missouri to face Culver-Stockton at 12 p.m.