Vikings fall 20-15 in season opener

Jordan Cheatem, #2 junior running back, escapes the grip of Baker’s defense before being running out of bounds. Photo by Meghan Gerke.

The Grand View football team battled Baker University for the season opener on Saturday, August 29. With two top-15 teams (Grand View at 6 in the country and Baker at 15) the game was well anticipated. Grand View and Baker played on Grand View’s home field where roughly 1,000 fans packed the stands. In a tough battle, Grand View fell 15-20 against the Baker University Wildcats.

Head Coach Mike Woodley had high hopes going into the game and knew his team was in for a challenge.

“Going into the game we always feel confident,” he said, “but we had some things happen that we didn’t expect, and we had to rebuild our offensive line with some young and inexperienced guys and that really showed.”

Throughout the first quarter both teams had strong defense to keep a no score game, until Senior kicker, Ben Hurley scored a 39-yard field goal to bring the score to 3-0, Vikings. But Baker fought back with a 71-yard punt return to put the score at 7-3, Wildcats.

“It was a tough game,” Woodley said. “We had some big yardage loss which we usually don’t have.”

Early in the second quarter, Grand View had a punt return touchdown by Senior, Jacob Stacy, but a penalty off the touchdown. By the end of the first half, Baker added a touchdown and field goal to take a 17-3 lead.

Grand View came out with fire in the third quarter, and the defensive line led the way to a scoreless quarter.

“Overall, I thought our defense played exceptionally well,” Woodley said. “We gave up a couple of plays, but that’s college football.”

Grand View came back 20-13, to start the fourth quarter. Finally, the Vikings were showing some fight. Sophomore linebacker, Jake Shoultz, caught an interception in the last few minutes of the quarter and brought every Viking fan to their feet. But, a false start cost Grand View a touchdown by Senior quarterback, Derek Fulton.

Derek Fulton, #18 senior quarterback, throw the ball down field in hope of gaining some yards. Photo by Meghan Gerke.

“The first game didn’t go as well as we hoped, but luckily we’ve got a week to get better and fix mistakes that happened,” Fulton said. “This is the first time Grand View has lost its opening game so it’s a new experience, but it doesn’t change our mindset of getting better each day.”

With two minutes left in the forth quarter Baker caught a fourth down interception to claim the win. But the biggest loss in Saturday’s game came in the form of injury.

Senior defensive back, Nick Busch, could be out for the season due to a broken foot, and his back-up, sophomore, Josh Kirk, broke his arm on the last play of the game. The Vikings may also lose offensive lineman and Senior, Mike Livingston, after he fractured his foot.

“The injury bug sure got us quick in this first game,” Woodley said. “But that’s football and we’ll bounce back.”

By keeping positive with a lot of season left to play, Grand View takes on Central Methodist in Fayette, Missouri next Saturday. Kick-off is at 2:30 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN3.

“The first game is tough,” Woodley said. “We made some mistakes on the offensive line and in our kick return, but they are all things that can be corrected. We’ve got some new faces in the line-up and they’ll step up and do their part.”

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