Ida Baker sinks Mariner 25-3 in season opener
Ida Baker scored 25 unanswered points on their way to an opening night victory over Mariner Friday night at Tony McKenna Field.
After Mariner (0-1) opened the scoring with a field goal on their first drive, the Bulldogs (1-0) put forth an unrelenting effort on the defensive side of the ball and the offense flashed with young talent.
While Ida Baker second-year head coach Chuck Faucette said he hopes for a more complete effort in future games, he’s always happy to get into the win column, especially in the team’s first game after the passing of coach Mike Urraro. Faucette said the Bulldogs are playing this year for the late Urraro and have stickers on their helmets in memory of the coach.
“It means everything to us,” Faucette said of getting their first win in Urraro’s memory. “He meant a lot to these kids, he coached more than half of this football team and that was a tough loss. Our season is really for him this year (and) our kids are playing for him and his family.”
Owen Osgood knocked home a 37-yard field goal in the first quarter to give the home team a 3-0 advantage.
Early in the second, both teams traded fumble recoveries before Bulldog junior Zach Malpica forced his way into the end zone from 3 yards out. On the ensuing Mariner drive, Malpica picked-off Triton quarterback Kole Williamson, setting up Ida Baker in the opponent’s territory.
Ida Baker sophomore Levontai “Bo” Summersett then made the first of two unbelievable catches in traffic, this time coming down with a tipped ball in double-coverage to convert a fourth down. A few plays later, junior running back and workhorse throughout the game, Kaleb Staple, found the end zone on a 3-yard run to put Baker up 13-3. Staple carried the ball 15 times for 121 yards and a score on the night.
On the Bulldogs’ next possession, quarterback Eric Swanson (5-for-7, 117 yards) lofted a pass into triple (nearly quadruple) coverage down the right sideline and Summersett somehow came down with the rock for a big gain and another goal-to-go chance for the road team.
“Young talent,” Faucette said of Summersett. “He’s got some things he has to work on but I’ll tell you what, he’s only a sophomore so I’m happy that we have that kind of talent on our football team that we can go to and do some things with. We have some weapons on offense.”
Malpica would again put his head down for a 2-yard score to put Ida Baker up 19-3 just before the half.
“I was very excited to come out tonight and play with these boys,” Summersett said of his Bulldog debut. “We worked our butt off all summer with coronavirus going around. To be playing with them — I’m just happy.”
The sophomore stud finished the night with over 100 total yards of offense, including four receptions for 82 yards and five rushes for 25 yards.
“I’m an offensive player, so wherever (coach) wants to put me at, I just go out there and do my best,” Summersett said. “Whatever I have to do, I just go out there and play.”
Malpica capped off a great night on both sides of the ball with his third rushing touchdown in the third quarter, once again being the goal line back of choice for Faucette all evening.
While the offense was well organized for the Bulldogs most of the night, it was the defense that carried the load. Ida Baker forced three Triton turnovers, put together multiple sacks and constantly swarmed Mariner ball carriers. Faucette was pleased with the victory but wants to see them clean up their mistakes.
“We’ll always be happy for a win, but we’re in year two now, and we’re going into the season expecting to win games,” Faucette said. “We were a little sloppy offensively, we have a lot of young kids. Our defense played well when it had to, and I’m pretty pleased with the intensity that we’re playing with. We just have to stop making mistakes.”
As for Mariner, their first-year head coach Josh Nicholson was disappointed with the game’s result but was happy with his players’ effort.
“The kids played tough,” Nicholson said of his first game at the helm. “We definitely need to execute better offensively and on special teams. We’ll be ready to work on Monday.”
Nicholson praised his defense in their home opening defeat.
“The defense was definitely on the field too much but those kids never gave up all the way to the end,” he said. “It’s all about how we respond. I told the kids that this loss doesn’t define them, it’s how they respond when things don’t go your way.”
Baker will host Dunbar in their home opener next Friday while Mariner heads across town to visit Island Coast on Thursday.
–Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj
1 2 3 4 F
Ida Baker 0 19 6 0 25
Mariner 3 0 0 0 3
M- Owen Osgood 37-yard field goal
IB- Zach Malpica 3-yard rush (Joseph Napoli kick miss)
IB- Kaleb Staple 3-yard rush (Napoli kick good)
IB- Malpica 2-yard rush (kick blocked)
IB- Malpica 2-yard rush (2-pt fail)