TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — There is no denying that both Baker (14-0) and Hawthorne (10-3) left everything in Tallahassee for the Class 1A State Championship. Unfortunately, there can only be one winner, and tonight, the Baker Gators won the title; their first since 1993.

Game Recap

Hawthorne WR Terrell James broke off on a run and took it to the house. A two-point conversion made the score 8-0.

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Then, the Hornets recovered a Baker fumble.

But the Baker Gators got the ball right back after Hawthorne committed a fumble of its own. A defensive dogfight ensued, with neither team really getting much burn on their respective offenses.

Finally, Baker RB Joe Brunson got the Gators on the board for the first time.

It looked like Hawthorne was about to get a touchdown late in the second quarter. And quarterback Chaz’ Mackey did throw to the end zone; The ball was just intercepted.

A second Mackey pick on the next Hawthorne drive would lead to another Baker score before the half. A failed extra point only gave the Gators a five-point lead.

Running back Seth Baska did not like the sound of that and put up a third Gators score.

20-8, Baker. One more Gators touchdown and this game is pretty much over.

However, Hawthorne was reluctant to let Baker run away with it. The Hornets scored first and scored last.

The final score was 27-14 in Class 1A. This is Baker’s fifth state title.

Quotes

Baker Head Coach Matt Brunson

  • “It was awesome. This group’s been amazing and to finish it like this and with my son has been awesome.”
  • “Baker’s a special place. We work extremely hard and at a high level. I wouldn’t trade these guys for anybody.”
  • “Our defense has gotten better and better here in the playoffs, and they played lights out tonight. They did an awesome job.”

Baker running back and coach’s son Joe Brunson

  • “It means so much. It means the world to me. I mean, playing for my dad for four years has been incredible.

Players of the Game

Baker RB Kayleb Wagner rushed for 152 yards and a score. RBs Joe Brunson and Seth Baska each added a touchdown on 40 and 37 rushing yards, respectively. Brunson was the go-to guy heading into the game, but Hawthorne kept him from consistently. gaining yards. Receiver Ethan Edge rounded out the scoring box for the Gators. Quarterback Brody Sharpe went 4-of-5 for 32 yards and a touchdown.

Hawthorne’s Mackey went 20-of-29 for 219 yards and 2 touchdowns, caught by receivers Camren Cohens and Terrell James. Mackey also had 2 interceptions.