Ida Baker held off a second-half rally by Key West for a 26-20 win Friday night at Tommy Roberts Memorial Stadium.
After a 40 minute delay due to the Bulldogs arriving late for the JV game scheduled for 4 p.m., the Conchs managed to slow down quarterback Sage Attwood and the Bulldogs the first two series, but Baker scored on their third possession for a 6-0 lead. The extra point attempt was no good.
Baker (2-0) capitalized on a Key West QB Andrew Freeman interception to take a 12-0 first-quarter lead when Attwood found Alex Feebles open for the TD.
The Conchs finally put some points on the scoreboard with a drive starting at the 7:28 mark in the first. Senior Deonte Stemage, who racked up 126 yards rushing, and sophomore fullback Mekhi Sargent, with 146 on the ground, both had big runs to help Key West make it a 12-6 game.
The conchs gambled to score their first touchdown. On 4th and 5 from the Bulldogs’ 30-yard line, Freeman connected with Deonte Sargent, who rumbled all the way to the 1-yard line before being brought down. Freeman kept the ball on the next play and scored with 2:29 left in the half to make it 12-6.
It took Baker five plays to go up by a 14 on a keeper by Attwood, and the two-point conversion with 1:42 left in the second quarter put the Bulldogs up 20-6 at the half.
Key West scored on its second possession of the second half to pull within seven. Sargent broke free for 65 yards and into the end zone for the score. Mock’s kick was good for a to make it 20-13 game with 5:59 left in the third.
Just three plays later, Attwood threw another TD pass but the point after was no good for a 26-13 Ida Baker advantage.
Freeman was hurt on the next Key West series. With Trevor Pike in the game to replace Freeman, the senior handed the ball off to Sargent who ran it 69 yards to the 1-yard line. Two plays later, the Conchs scored, but the extra point was no good. They would get no closer.
Key West’s defense stepped up in the second half, thwarting the Bulldogs (2-0) twice from entering the end zone on goal line stands.