Baldwin falls to Fowler
FOWLER – Baldwin returned to the high school football playoffs on Friday night for the first time since 2006. The Panthers traveled to Fowler to face the Eagles in the Division 8 first round clash.
The visitors claimed the West Michigan D League Title with a 5-0 record while finishing the regular season at 6-2 overall.
But Fowler, looking for its 9th straight win, ended the Panthers’ season with a potent ground attack and a tenacious defense en route to a 42-0 triumph.
The host Eagles jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the opening period when Tyler Koenigsknecht scored from one yard away. Koenigsknecht made the score 12-0 with 33.9 seconds left in the first stanza with an 8-yard scamper. Quarterback Dustin Wirth found Kevin Koenigsknecht in the end zone for the two-point conversion and Fowler was ahead 14-0.
The Eagle defense shut down the Baldwin offense to start the second quarter. The home team kept momentum in their favor offensively and made the score 21-0 on a 28-yard touchdown run by Koenigsknecht with 11:02 left in the half.
“We just were not strong enough to match them (Friday),” said Baldwin head coach Doug Bolles. “We are a young team and we need to hit the weight room. Fowler is a powerful team.”
Fowler ended the first half with Austin Feldpausch scoring a touchdown on a 2-yard run and Wirth tossed a 12-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Koenigsknecht for a 35-0 halftime advantage.
Kevin Koenigsknecht scored on a 46 yard gallop for the only scoring in the the second half. He finished the game with 12 carries for 161 yards and four touchdowns. Feldpausch added seven carries for 74 yards and a score.
Baldwin was led on the ground by Andon Ware with six carries for 39 yards. Ware left the game with an injury in the first half and did not return. The injury was a major hit to the Panthers’ offensive attack, Bolles said.
“When Andon went down we kind of had a let down. He is our star player and highlight maker,” Bolles said. “It was unfortunate to have a senior go down like that. He was really playing well.”
Qaurterback Brandon Childress tried to carry the load for the Panthers. He was 7-for-15 passing for 59 yards and one interception.
“We played our hearts out but they were the better team tonight and the stronger team,” Childress said. “The scoreboard did not show what kind of team we really are. We knew Fowler would after us and they did. They are aggressive.”
Baldwin finishes the season with a 6-3 overall record while Fowler improves to 9-1.
“Our line has been playing real well on both sides of the ball,” said Fowler head coach Craig Koenigsknecht. “They have been doing well all season for us. If we can get a seam then thing go well for us.”
The Eagles will host the winner of the Vestaburg/Muskegon Catholic Central contest.
“I am real proud of our kids,” Bolles said. “They have to keep working hard. This is just the foundation for good things to come.”