A disappointing football season closed on a positive note for Baker High on senior night on Friday.
Senior wide receiver Luke Endsley caught a 27-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Toby Noland with 1:50 to play to lift the Bulldogs to a 45-42 victory over rival Island Coast.
The loss snapped a four-game losing streak for the Bulldogs (3-7, 1-4) and earned them their first District 6A-10 win of the season.
“That is what a rivalry game is all about,” Baker coach Brian Conn said. “No matter what the seasons are like for both teams both teams are going to fight. It was fitting that our guy Luke Endsley caught that last touchdown.”
Island Coast senior quarterback/kicker Kory Curtis had a hand (or foot) in 36 of the Gators’ 42 points as he had three rushing touchdowns, two passing touchdowns, four extra points kicked and a 2-point conversion pass to senior Marlon Gaymon.
Island Coast (1-9, 1-4) took a 42-38 lead on Curtis’ 1-yard touchdown run with 6:37 to play and had an opportunity to take it back after Endsley’s go-ahead touchdown but saw its drive stall at midfield with just over a minute to play.
“I will give it to (Baker), they played well,” Island Coast coach John Schwocow said.
The Bulldogs led 28-20 at halftime before Island Coast tied the score at 28 apiece with 7:05 to play in the third quarter after a 1-yard touchdown run by Curtis and the 2-point conversion pass from Curtis to Gaymon.
Baker then scored 10 unanswered points thanks to a Shomari Mason 1-yard touchdown run and a Nick Jacobs 28-yard field goal to take a 38-28 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Bulldogs had the ball early in the fourth looking to extend their 10-point lead but lost a fumble near midfield. That led to Island Coast trimming its deficit to just three as Curtis connected with Gaymon again for an acrobatic touchdown in the back of the end zone that made the score 38-35 with 8:37 to play.
A few plays later junior Cameron Howitt made the big defensive play the Gators needed as he intercepted a pass and returned it 57 yards to the 1-yard line with just over six minutes to go. Curtis plunged into the end zone on the ensuing snap to give the Gators a 42-38 lead.
The Bulldogs did not panic however and methodically drove 53 yards from their own 20-yard line before Noland found Endsley, who broke a tackle and scored from 27 yards out with 1:50 left to give Baker back the lead at 45-42.
Island Coast could not manage to get a first down on its next drive and the Bulldogs survived.
“We found a way to make enough plays at the end,” Conn said.
Mason finished the game with 203 yards on 30 carries for Baker.
IC 0 | 20 | 8 | 14 — 42
B 7 | 21 | 10 | 7 — 45
Baker: Luke Endsley 8 pass from Toby Noland (Nick Jacobs kick), 8:00
Island Coast: Kory Curtis 2 run (kick failed), 10:26
Baker: Shomari Mason 82 kick return (Jacobs kick), 10:13
Island Coast: Marlon Gaymon 33 pass from Curtis (Curtis kick), 8:46
Baker: Mason 1 run (Jacobs kick), 3:27
Island Coast: Jerry Cambric 70 kick return (Curtis kick), 3:15
Baker: Endsley 43 pass from Noland (Jacobs kick), 2:11
Island Coast: Curtis 1 run (Gaymon pass from Curtis), 7:05
Baker: Mason 1 run (Jacobs kick), 4:06
Baker: Jacobs 28 FG, 2:21
Island Coast: Gaymon 11 pass from Curtis (Curtis kick), 8:00
Island Coast: Curtis 1 run (Curtis kick), 6:37
Baker: Endsley 27 pass from Noland (Jacobs kick), 1:50
Passing—IC: Kory Curtis 9-22, 93 yards, 2 TD; B—Toby Noland 11-25, 190 yards, 3 TD, 2 INT, Shomari Mason 0-1, 0 yards
Rushing—IC: Kory Curtis 4-(minus 6), Jerry Cambric 18-121, Marlon Gaymon 1-3; B—Shomari Mason 30-203, Luke Endsley 3-20, James Stewart 2-8, Josh Nina 1-(minus 7), Toby Noland 2-3
Receiving—IC: Marlon Gaymon 4-66, Smith Joseph 3-16, Drew Lusk 2-11; B: Luke Endsley 8-139, Josh Nina 1-27, James Cuttino 1-24, Shomari Mason 1-5