Paola tops Baldwin
By Mike Lavieri PrepsKC staff writer
Paola High seemed sluggish on its first defensive drive giving up a touchdown on a 7 minute, 24 second Baldwin High drive, and then the Panthers went into lockdown mode in their 34-6 victory Friday night.
Paola (5-1) forced six three and outs, intercepted Baldwin (2-4) quarterback Joel Katzer on the second play of one drive, and didn’t allow the Bulldogs to cross midfield after their touchdown drive until there were less than five minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Panthers’ coach Mike Dumpert said Baldwin came out in a formation that the Panthers didn’t expect. He thought it was his team thinking too much and not reacting enough on that first drive.
“I’d be lying to you if I didn’t say I was concerned,” Dumpert said.
Dumpert said the adjustments were credit to defensive coordinator Todd Weaver and the coaches that were in the booth.
He said it’s one thing to draw up plays, but another to execute.
“(Linebacker) Dunkan Watrous had a hell of a game,” Dumpert said. “He was all over the field. We matched their physicality and we know that you don’t beat Baldwin if you’re not physical.”
PHS quarterback Ryan Gleghorn, who began the game wearing number 18 had to change to number 13 because he cut his ear on a play where he wasn’t tackled. He’ll end up getting stiches soon.
Once he returned to action with the new number, he threw for one touchdown, and added one with his feet.
Gleghorn was a tad nervous switching to the unlucky number because he said he’s superstitious.
“I’ve been 18 for a while now and it’s been pretty lucky to me,” Gleghorn said of changing numbers. “Number 13 did me well tonight.”
Running back Nathan Staats scored on touchdown runs of 15 yards and 31 yards. Dalton Rankin’s touchdown in the second quarter was all the Panthers needed.
As districts begin next week, Gleghorn will have a few targets taller than 6-foot-6 to throw to in addition to 6-foot-7 tight end Alex Wilson who was on the receiving end of the touchdown pass.
Things started off well tonight for Baldwin with a 77-yard, 14-play drive that resulted in a touchdown by Justin Howard.
“We have a team that has confidence, and we came out the last two weeks and played a great first quarter, and then we sputter from there,” Berg said. “As a coach, I have to figure out what’s causing that.”
Berg said tonight, Paola was sending its linebackers and making good reads on the pulling guards.
Berg said that going into districts with a win would be nice, but said Paola showed what some of the Bulldog’s weaknesses.
There are some coaches that like districts and some that don’t. Baldwin coach Mike Berg in recent years was probably on the opposition side, but this year he likes it with his team winning only 33 percent of its games.
“It’s going to give us a chance to regroup and show teams that we’re capable of putting a good football team on the field,” Berg said.
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