Baker City herald. (Baker City, Or.) 1990-current, March 09, 2021, Page 5, Image 5

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    TUESDAY, MARCH 9, 2021
Baker routs Nyssa
By Corey Kirk
Baker falls short in
first game since 2019
■ Two special teams miscues in the third quarter prove costly in 21-12 loss at Vale
By Corey Kirk
With the Friday Night
Lights fi nally illuminating
the fi eld, the Baker Bulldogs
started their abbreviated
football season with a 21-12
loss on Friday, March 5 at
It was Baker’s fi rst game
since a Class 4A playoff
quarterfi nal loss at Banks in
November 2019.
“That game did not go as
expected for us,” Baker coach
Jason Ramos said of Friday’s
loss to the Class 3A Vikings.
After two weeks of practice,
Ramos said he was confi dent
as the Bulldogs took the fi eld
at Vale.
“We had seen them on fi lm
and we’ve prepared all week
for what they were going to
do,” Ramos said. “It’s always
diffi cult in the fi rst game of
the year to know what to
expect from the opponent
since we haven’t seen them
yet. What we saw is what we
expected to see.”
One thing Ramos didn’t
expect to see was his starting
quarterback, senior Kaden
Myer, go down with a shoul-
der injury early while playing
Ramos had to turn over the
signal-calling duties to senior
Gabe Gambleton, and fresh-
man Paul Hobson, for the rest
of the game.
“We are still trying to fi g-
ure out how to move forward
without Kaden, it’s going to
change some things, right
now we are kind of undecided
with thinking which guys
are going to get which reps,”
Ramos said.
After Vale took a 7-0 lead,
Baker closed the gap when
Gambleton led the Bulldogs
on a scoring drive that he fi n-
ished with a two-yard sneak
into the end zone late in the
fi rst quarter.
The PAT failed and Baker
trailed 7-6.
There the score remained
at halftime, and Ramos was
optimistic about the second
“We knew if we fi xed a
couple of things and if we
kind of got some momentum
in the second half we knew
we were going to be fi ne,” he
Those hopes were dashed
during a brief sequence in the
middle of the third quarter.
After failing to convert on
Pat Caldwell/Malheur Enterprise
Baker running back Gauge Bloomer tries to run out of the grasp of Vale’s Tanner Steele
during the Bulldogs’ 21-12 loss at Vale in the season opener Friday, March 5.
is fi xing some errors, getting
some kids just tuned up a
little bit better.”
The loss didn’t diminish the
Bulldogs’ excitement about
playing in an actual game for
— Baker football coach Jason Ramos
the fi rst time in more than 15
“We are happy to be play-
third down, Baker punted.
though, and neither team
ing, that’s for sure, I’m prob-
Vale junior John Wolfe ran scored thereafter.
ably going to be continuing to
the kick back for a touch-
Ramos said that despite the say that every week,” Ramos
down, and the Vikings led
disappointment of a loss, he
was impressed with Baker’s
Baker will return to the
On the subsequent kickoff, offensive line.
road this week, traveling to
Baker couldn’t secure the ball
“Our front line, we are big
Prineville to take on North
and Vale took advantage with and athletic and experienced, Bend at Crook County High
its second touchdown in less
we are going to have to lean
School Saturday, March 13 at
than a minute.
on that moving forward,” Ra- 2 p.m.
The Vikings led 21-6.
mos said. “When we executed
Baker’s fi rst home game is
“The two special teams
well during the fi rst half those scheduled for Friday, March
miscues just kind of killed us,” guys blocked well, Gauge
19 against Nyssa at 7 p.m.
Ramos said.
(Bloomer) ran the ball well
Nyssa routed Ontario 46-
Baker didn’t give up,
and ran hard.”
14 on March 5.
Bloomer led Baker running
6 0
0 — 12
The Bulldogs got back into backs with 80 yards on 13
7 0 14 0 — 21
the game on a play that could carries.
foreshadow the next few
The biggest factor in the
years for Baker.
game — aside from the two
Hobson found fellow
special teams gaffes that led • Passing: Hobson, 4-6,
90 yards, 1 touchdown;
freshman Hudson Spike on a to 14 of Vale’s 21 points —
25-yard touchdown pass near was Baker’s struggles on third Gambleton, 4-13, 26 yards
the end of the third quarter.
down. The Bulldogs converted • Rushing: Bloomer, 13 for 80
The PAT failed again, but the just one of nine such opportu- yards; Kaden Myer, 3 for 17
yards; Gambleton, 7 for 15
Bulldogs trailed just 21-12
yards, 1 TD
with more than a full quarter
“We have some things to
work on,” Ramos said. “We do • Receiving: Gambleton, 2 for
49 yards; Spike, 2 for 41 yards,
Baker couldn’t sustain the need to execute better on of-
momentum from the Hobson- fense, so I think that’s going to 1 TD; Delarosa, 3 for 20 yards;
Spike scoring connection,
be a big focus for us this week Hobson, 1 for 6 yards
“It’s always diffi cult in the fi rst game of the year to
know what to expect from the opponent since we
haven’t seen them yet. What we saw is what we
expected to see.”
Baker’s young and shorthanded girls varsity soccer
team had a strong start to its pandemic-shortened sea-
son, routing Nyssa 9-1 on Saturday in a road match.
“It was a great start,” Baker’s fi rst-year coach, Eric
Layton, said. “It was a huge confi dence booster, it felt
really good, a lot to feel proud of.”
Sydney Pearce and Brooklyn Jaca led the offensive
onslaught, each scoring three goals for an individual
hat trick. Daphne Thomas added two goals, and Skye
Smith had one.
Baker raced to a 6-1 lead after the fi rst half and
added three goals, while keeping Nyssa out of the net,
in the second.
Layton was especially impressed by Baker’s per-
formance considering his concerns about the team’s
With just 12 players available, Layton had only one
“We actually thought we weren’t going to have any
subs, but we had one extra show up at the last minute,”
Layton said. “We were really worried about fi tness
because we just started two weeks ago.”
Looking ahead, Layton expects to have no more than
14 players for any match.
“Some girls decided to work, some girls decided that
the weather wasn’t an exciting prospect, and I don’t
know some of the rationale of the others,” Layton said.
“We also didn’t get the North Powder girls to join us
that I thought we would, we are just going to be a small
team this year.”
Although he was excited about Baker’s dominat-
ing win, Layton said he saw ways the Bulldogs can
“We are going to focus big time on possession, so
maintaining possession and also just honing that fi rst
touch — we had a lot of clumsy fi rst touches when we
would give the ball away a lot earlier than I would like
to see,” Layton said. “That’s them not having a lot of
weeks under their belt.”
He also pointed out that Baker is a young team, with
only one junior.
“We are mostly freshman and sophomores,” Layton
said. “So the kids that are out and active are all quite
young, and are new to the varsity level game, so that
was really encouraging to get them a win.”
Baker travels to Boardman today to take on the
Riverside Pirates. The Bulldogs’ fi rst home match is set
for Wednesday, March 10 when the La Grande Tigers
arrive for a 5 p.m. match at the Baker Sports Complex.
The match will be shown live on the Baker Bulldog Na-
tion Facebook page.
Bulldogs top Ontario
By Corey Kirk
Baker’s volleyball team rebounded from a tough
opening week to beat league rival Ontario in four sets
on Saturday, March 6 at Ontario.
“It was a collective effort,” Bulldogs coach Ali
Abrego said.
The win improved Baker’s record to 1-3. The
Bulldogs lost last week to Burns in fi ve sets, Powder
Valley (three sets) and Union (four sets).
The Bulldogs started strong on Saturday at On-
tario, winning the fi rst two sets by identical scores of
The Tigers stayed alive with a 25-23 win in the
third set.
“We missed too many serves and had a few hitting
errors, but we battled the whole time,” Abrego said.
Baker regained the momentum in the fourth set,
winning 25-10 to claim the match.
Abrego said she was impressed by the grit her team
showed out on the court to secure their fi rst victory of
the season.
“The last set, our mentality was spot on, we were
hungry, and were able to fi nish it,” Abrego said.
She was impressed with all the Bulldogs, citing
in particular the play from reserves Macey Moore,
Campbell Vanderwiele and Gretchen Morgan.
“The subs contributed great when they came in off
the bench,” Abrego said.
Baker played host to another Greater Oregon
League rival, La Grande, Monday evening, March 8.
Baker boys soccer squad looking for its first win
tor Benites said of Saturday’s loss
at Nyssa.
Week one is in the books for
Due to the COVID-19-condensed
Baker’s boys varsity soccer team,
season, Benites had only two out-
and the Bulldogs are still looking for door practices before starting the
their fi rst win.
season at Ontario, and he said the
Baker dropped a tough match to lack of preparation showed.
Nyssa, 3-1, on Saturday, March 6.
“I can tell that we were a little
Baker lost to Ontario 4-0 in its open- bit out of shape, we needed more
ing match March 2 at Ontario.
conditioning but in the second game
“It was a really good game, the
(Nyssa) we did better conditioning
second half we really came out and wise,” Benites said.
played our game,” Baker coach Vic-
The Bulldogs’ roster is made up
By Corey Kirk
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mostly of underclassmen, with a to-
tal of seven juniors and seniors. Two
juniors missed Saturday’s match at
Nyssa, and Benites said their expe-
rience could have been pivotal.
“It would have been a different
game if I would have had those
two kids I do believe, because we
really needed all the players to play,”
Benites said.
Nyssa took an early lead and
never relinquished it.
About 20 minutes into the second
half, Baker scored its fi rst goal of
the season when freshman Gia-
como Riguiero passed to sophomore
Diego Quintela for the score, cutting
Nyssa’s lead to 3-1.
But Baker couldn’t turn Quin-
tela’s goal into a rally.
Benites said the Bulldogs have
plenty of room to improve on de-
“My defenders, we just have to be
able to fi nish up front, but we will
get there,” he said.
Imagine The Difference You Can Make
Baker plays its fi rst four matches
on the road, traveling to La Grande
on Friday, March 12 to take on the
Tigers at 4 p.m. Benites expects a
tough match.
“A couple of players that I know
from La Grande are good, if we can
just contain those players I think we
will be OK,” Benites said.
Baker travels to Idaho to play
Four Rivers on March 16, then has
its fi rst home match on March 18
against Ontario at 4 p.m.
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