BAKER - Five turnovers and a tough time moving the ball buried the Baker High early.
The Buffaloes never recovered as Brusly secured an easy 26-6 victory Friday night at Wedge Kyes Stadium.
“We are not used to being 2 and 0,” Brusly coach Eric Willis said afterward. “This team is progressing really well. Even though it’s only about a 30-minute drive, it’s nice to come on the road and get a win.”
Brusly junior quarterback Jay Christophe completed only 6 of his 17 pass attempts, but he completed two first-quarter touchdowns to pace the Panther offense, which outgained the Buffaloes by 112 yards.
“We have been hobbled by injuries on the offensive side of the ball,” Baker coach Robert Raines said. “But Brusly has a good defensive front and we really could not get much going against them. Hats off to them, they executed their game plan well.”
A fumbled punt by Baker’s Darius Neff gave Brusly the ball at the Buffaloes’ 31-yard line for their second possession. It took one play for the Panthers to find the end zone as Christophe hit senior wide receiver Sherrod Patterson down the sideline for an early touchdown.
After the Brusly defense held Baker to a second straight three-and-out, Christophe made quick work of the opposing defense again, connecting with junior DiMario Jackson on a quick slant. Jackson made one move to avoid a tackle and sprinted the rest of the way for a 35-yard touchdown.
“We didn’t get as many completions as we wanted to, but we had some big plays,” commented Willis. “This offense has a lot of options with the playmakers we have. We like how we are progressing.”
A missed extra point by Blake Manola kept the score at 13-0.
The Buffaloes (0-2) committed their second turnover midway through the second quarter when the snap never reached the hands of freshman quarterback Treylon Anderson and it was recovered by Brusly linebacker Cameron Willis.
Three plays later on third and long, Patterson took a delayed handoff from Christophe, found a wide-open seam, and took it into the end zone from 45 yards out untouched.
The turnover bug again bit Baker when the ball squirted out of senior fullback Kensley Septs’ hands at the Buffaloes’ 20-yard line. Panther linebacker Cullen Prejean scooped up the loose ball and scored to send Brusly into halftime with a comfortable 26-0 lead.
“We really shot ourselves in the foot,” said Raines, whose team lost four of six fumbles. “We have really had some trouble with turnovers this year. The weather was clear and dry so you expect not to put the ball on the ground.”
A focal point of Brusly’s game plan was to contain the burly Septs and it panned out as they held him to only 59 yards on 16 carries. However, it was Septs who got Baker’s only points on the board with a 10-yard run up the middle for a touchdown.
It appeared it would another quick three and out for the Buffaloes but on fourth down, punter Herbert Bell picked up a bad snap and ran 27 yards down the sideline to revive the drive.
It was Baker’s longest play of the game as the Panther defense stifled them for only 130 yards of total offense.
“Our defense did a lot of good things,” Willis said. “Septs scared us coming in but we were able to hit him hard and push him back. Those are the kinds of things you like to see early.”
Both Willis and Raines agreed that it was a sloppy game as the two teams combined for 19 penalties to the tune of 180 yards.