September 29, 2012

Baker's 491 Passing Yards Leads Becker Over Husson

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LEICESTER, MASS. - Becker quarterback Robert Baker (Monroe, Conn.) passed for a school record 491 yards as the host Hawks defeated Husson, 34-7, on Saturday evening at Alumni Field in ECFC football action. Baker surpassed Anthony Wargo's September 25, 2005 record against Mount Saint Ida that had been at 420 yards.  Baker also took part in all five Becker touchdowns, throwing for four and running for another. The Hawks of Becker are now 2-2 with a 1-0 mark in conference standings while the Eagles of Husson drop to 1-3 with a 0-1 record against ECFC opponents.

On the opening drive, the Becker defense forced Husson into a three-and-out, taking over at their own 41 yard line after the punt return by Kyle Gregg (Charlotte, N.C.). But the Eagles' Godfrey Taylor (Hollis, N.Y.) sacked Baker on third down for a loss of nine, and the Hawks had to punt it away.

On the ensuing drive and facing a third down, the Husson quarterback Kash Keezer (Veazie, Maine) ran for 21 yards on an option, taking the Eagles to midfield. Three plays later, Melvin Booker (Roxbury, Mass.) and Snider Saint-Vil (Palm Coast, Fla.) combined to burst through for a third-down sack, once again forcing Husson to punt it away. Facing a third-and-thirteen deep in their own territory, Baker found receiver Luis Sanchez (Springfield, Mass.) for an 18 yard gain to the Becker 42 and a first down for the Hawks. But the drive stalled from there, and three plays later Becker would be forced to punt it away.

Taking over at their own 16, Husson would stay with their ground game, slowly chewing up yardage and taking the clock to the end of the first quarter. The defense would hold once again, but excellent special teams play by the Eagles stranded the Hawks at their own six yard line.

 It would take Baker only a single play to change the complexion of the game, as he found Sanchez open over the middle for a 94 yard touchdown, the third-longest pass completion in Becker's history. After the missed extra point, the Hawks took a 6-0 lead just 26 seconds into the second quarter. 

On the ensuing kickoff, Husson's Taquan Broadway (Bridgeport, Conn.) had a 40 yard return to Becker 42. It took the Eagles just three plays to tie the game, as Ryan Dorso (Farmingdale, Maine) found Devin Sherman (Benton, Maine) wide open in the corner of the endzone for a 20 yard touchdown pass. With the extra point, Husson took a 7-6 lead.  

Becker began a promising drive on the next possession, getting a first down at the Husson 37. But a fumble by Gregg was recovered by the defense, and appeared to have left the Hawks' efforts wasted. On the Eagle's next play, however, Danielle Reyes (Loxahatchee, Fla.) made a huge play, forcing the runner to fumble behind the line which was pounced on by Booker. Becker suddenly had new life with a first down at Husson's 27. Two players later, Baker found an open Shaun Llewellyn (Bloomfield, Conn.) for a 27 yard touchdown, as Becker went up 13-7 with the extra point.

The defense held again on the ensuing drive, and the Hawks got the ball back at their own eight with 7:59 left in the half. The Hawks drove 64 yards before a fourth-and-five from the 28 fell short, giving the ball back to the Eagles. After a three-and-out, Becker got the ball back with 3:22 left on Husson's 48. It took 56 seconds for Baker to find Corinthian Bostic (Jacksonville, Fla.) for a 19 yard touchdown pass, as the hosts went up 20-7. With the same intensity they had shown all day, the Becker defense forced another three-and-out, giving the ball back to Baker with 1:32 left from their own 39 yard line.

The junior quarterback slowly carved up the Eagles' defense, converting a fourth-and-one with a 12 yard pass to Sanchez with 18 seconds remaining. Skillfully using his timeouts, Becker Head Coach Mike Lichten set his team up for a field goal attempt with 1.8 seconds remaining in the half. The kick was blocked at the line, however, and the teams went into halftime with Becker leading 20-7.

Becker opened the second half with excellent field position at their 46 after a 37 yard kickoff return by Gregg. Baker went back to work, moving the ball 45 yards before the drive ended with another blocked field goal. Taking over at the 20 after a touchback, Keezer used a 36 yard pass to Sherman to push the Eagles deep into Hawk territory. The Eagles would reach the eight with a first and goal, only to be sacked on back-to-back snaps. After a short rush, Husson was forced to settle for a 47 yard field goal attempt that went wide left.

On the next play from scrimmage, Baker hit Sanchez over the middle for a 36 yard gain that tied Becker's all-time receiving yards in a single game at 241, tied with Jakar Turner from a September 22, 2007 season game, also against Mount Saint Ida. Later in the drive, Baker used a 12 yard pass to Carlos Deleon (Manchester, Conn.) to break the Becker passing record, and two plays later, Baker took it in himself, rushing eight yards to the end zone as Becker went up 27-7.

Husson drove into Becker territory again, but could not break through for a score. Forced to go for it on fourth down from the Hawk 33, Husson would be flagged for intentional grounding to end the drive, as the Hawks took over to start the fourth quarter.      

On Becker's fourth play of the drive, Baker found Bostic over the middle for a 51 yard touchdown pass, Bostic's second touchdown of the day and the fourth strike thrown by Baker. The Hawks lead extended to 34-7.

After another three-and-out, Husson downed the ball at the Becker one-yard line. With Baker coming out of the game, the Hawks were soon forced to punt from their own end zone. But Becker punter Christopher Silva (Amawalk, N.Y.) took advantage of a botched play, rushing for 13 yards and a first down. Husson wouldn't get the ball back until there was 7:46 left in the game at their own 48. Five plays later, the Eagles turned it over on downs. Afte ran exchange of punts, Becker took over with 1:31 left, running out the clock.  

Baker's performance ranks second in passes completed (30), tied for second in touchdown passes (4), tied for third in completion percentage (.667) and fourth in passing yards per attempt (10.9). In addition to tying the record for yards receiving at 241, Sanchez had the third longest pass reception in the program's history with 94 yards. He also finished second all-time for a single game in passes caught (11). Bostic's two touchdown receptions tied also tied for second all-time.

Dominick Whitley (Springfield, Mass.) led the Hack defense with ten total tackles. Christopher McCarthy (Deer Park, N.Y.) had seven with a sack, while Saint-Vil and Booker finished with seven and six, respectively, sharing a sack. Saint-Vil had 2.5 tackles for loss on the day. 

For Husson, Dorso ran 17 times for a game-high 66 yards, with one pass attempt for a 20 yard touchdown. Keezer passed for 96 yards on ten completions, while Sherman pulled down three receptions for 60 yards and a touchdown. Byron Jackson (Bridgeport, Conn.) ran for 30 yards on seven attempts while Keezer finished with 18.

Stephan Dance (New London, Conn.) had a team-high nine tackles for the Eagles, including a sack. Ben Dalecki (South Berwick, Maine) finished with two sacks and five tackles. Bryant Wade (Fairfield, Maine) and Ronald Robbs (Plainfield, N.J.) turned in eight and seven tackles, respectively.

Up next for the Hawks, the team will travel to Throggs Neck, N.Y. on Saturday, October 6th to play the Maritime Academy of New York. Kickoff is set for 1pm. Husson will host Gallaudet, also on Saturday, in a 12pm game.

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