Carlisle QB Gunner Baker Shakes Off Injury to Lead Indians to 20-13 Win Over Cayuga [VIDEO]
[By Anthony Hawthorne, Special to ETSN.fm]
PRICE -- Carlisle head coach Rocky Baker knew he would have a hard time keeping his injured quarterback -- and son, Gunner Baker -- off the field Friday night with an injured ankle.
He was right, as Gunner Baker wasted little time getting back on the field to lead Carlisle to a 20-13 victory over Cayuga on Friday night at Arrowhead Stadium.
After a string of 14 straight incompletions, the Wildcats were successful on a 41-yard catch and run by Chantz Holland, putting the ball at the Indians 13. Rigdon found Holland again on the next play in the back corner of the endzone to make things interesting at 20-13.
A Wildcats onside kick attempt with 25 seconds remaining was unsuccessful.
Baker came into the game on the first drive and on his first snap of the night fired a 30-yard strike for a touchdown to Dylan Sanders, capping an eight-play drive and giving the Indians a 6-0 lead. The extra point was no good.
Cayuga struggled to move the ball throughout the first half, but was aided by seven Carlisle penalties. The Carlisle defensive front put pressure on all night, despite missing leading tackler freshman Michael Savala.
Coach Baker was pleased with his defense, especially the front four.
“They were unbelievable, we worked on getting pressure all week long. We put in a lot of different stunts and they executed great," he said after the game.
Cayuga’s first points of the night were put up after Wesley Rigdon stepped in front of a Baker pass for an interception, giving the Wildcats excellent field position.
Two runs by D’onte Jackson put the ball at the 5-yard line, from where QB Chandler Rigdon ran it in to even the score up at 6-6.
Carlisle responded on the ensuing possession with a drive of its own. With the ball at midfield, the Indians moved the ball down the field behind a Jared Poncho catch and runs by Gustavo Martinez and Tiburcio Garcia. Facing a fourth-and-goal at the one, Garcia went behind right tackle for the score to give the Indians a 13-6 lead.
Cayuga got a bit of a break in the third quarter when Baker fumbled the ball at the goal line with the Wildcats recovering.
On a third-and-long, however the Indians brought pressure. Rigdon was forced out of the pocket, and his pass down the right sideline was picked off by Shadow Sanders, who ran the ball in untouched from 18 yards out to give the Indians a 20-6 advantage.
The Indians turned up the pressure throughout the second half. After allowing only two completions the first two quarters, they allowed just three in the second half, all of which came on the Wildcats final drive.
The Wildcats (3-1), who have an off week next week, were led by Jackson on the ground with 12 carries for 103 yards. Rigdon finished the night 4-of-22 passing for 89 yards and a TD.
Carlisle (4-0) was led by Baker both through the air and on the ground. The senior finished the night 7-of-15 passing with 116 yards and a score while rushing for 53 yards.
The Indians close out non-district next week at home against Overton, where Coach Baker’s main concern is getting healthy.
“We’d love to go into district 5-0 but if don’t come out of next week healthy we wont have a chance in our district," Baker said.