Baldwin bids return to winning path
BALDWIN — Baldwin's football team took it on the chin for the third straight week as injuries continue to be a haunting factor for the Panthers.
On Saturday, the Panthers traveled to Pickford to take on two-time defending state champion Powers North Central at a neutral site.
Both teams entered the game with 1-2 records. But North Central prevailed 76-6. In previous weeks, the Panthers lost 54-8 to Mesick and 44-28 to Bear Lake. Baldwin won its opener 70-0 over Grand Traverse Academy.
North Central held Baldwin to 16 total yards, all 16 on the ground on 28 attempts.
Baldwin scored its lone TD early in the fourth quarter on an 85-yard kickoff return by Ahmad Goram.
The Jets gained 468 yards, with 221 via the ground. Travis Bentley had 116 yards on 11 carries, with Trenton Schaff getting 49 rushing yards and a touchdown and quarterback Hunter Riley collecting 50 yards.
Riley was 12-of-15 in passes for 190 yards, threw three touchdowns and rushed for another. while Bentley ran for two scores and caught a touchdown pass.
Another North Central quarterback, Brady Eichmeier, completed all five of his passes for 57 yards, threw one touchdown and caught one. Also for North Central, Lucas Dombrowski had a 29-yard fumble return and Austin Poupore had a 1-yard run for touchdowns.
“They said they were shorthanded but they got everybody back for our game,” Baldwin coach Bob Watkins said. “They got key players back but we didn't get ours back.”
Blake Dockery, Scott Abscomb, Ryan Kolenbrander, Armando Jennings and Divante Ponder were among the injured for Baldwin.
For this week, “we might get Ryan back,” Watkins said of his No. 1 quarterback. “He had to take two weeks off. He's trying.”
Daniel McCarthy has been Baldwin's quarterback in Kolenbrander's absence.
“The trip was fun,” Watkins said. “Coach (Mike) Anderson solicited money from the community. We had money to pay for everybody's breakfast and had money leftover to pay for dinner. For some of them, it was their first time across the (Mackinac Bridge). We were introduced to state championship quality football.”