Baldwin City, Kan. — The Benedictine offense had a rough afternoon Saturday at Liston Stadium.
The Ravens struggled to gain any momentum in their 30-10 loss at Baker that effectively ends their chances at another playoff run.
“Offensively we were just out of sync and part of that was because of injuries,” Coach Larry Wilcox said. “Unfortunately that’s just part of football.”
Raven senior quarterback Shaefer Schuetz was questionable throughout the week with an ankle injury and played the entire first half but seemed to not be on the same page as receivers on some passes.
The offense only gained 255 yards on the day and almost half of that was from senior running back Marquis Stewart who had 119 yards on 12 carries before exiting the game late in the first half on a non-contact injury.
“He’s been the best player we’ve had in some time,” Wilcox said. “He’s a game changer and was really our offense up to that point.”
Going out with an injury to Baker is a potentially inauspicious way for Stewart to possibly end his career as a Raven considering how close he was to breaking a number of career and season records in the program.
Senior running back Charlie Nihart returned to action this week but only managed 33 yards on 14 carries.
The Benedictine defense did put up more than a fighting chance for most of the game until Baker delivered a backbreaking 75-yard touchdown on third and 37 when junior quarterback Marco Aguinage hit junior running back JD Woods down the middle of field to make the score 20-3 with just two minutes and fifty-four seconds left in the third quarter.
The electrifying catch and run was the biggest play of the day for Woods as the highlight of the day for the Ravens was how they contained one of the top five rushers in the nation.
“Their passing game was on today and we didn’t respond like we needed to,” Wilcox said. “Our run defense was fantastic against one of the top rushers in the nation.”
Junior quarterback Garrett Kettle entered the game in the second half and threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Alex Blake on fourth and seven that brought Benedictine to within 20-10 with twelve minutes and forty-six second remaining in the game.
However, Kettle would end the game by throwing two interceptions in the final minutes.
Wilcox said Kettle performed admirably with the hand he was dealt when he entered the game.
“That’s a lot of pressure to come try and bring your team from behind against such a good team, Wilcox said. “I was pleased with his performance and I think he’ll end being a guy for us.”
The Ravens will finish off the regular season Saturday 1:30 p.m. at Missouri Valley.
Wilcox said his team is still motivated to finish this season on a high note even with it most likely ending without a playoff berth.
“Perhaps the season as a whole hasn’t worked out the way we would’ve liked but we want to finish with a win,” Wilcox said.” This would be the thirty win for this senior class.”
The game will be the final time long time wide receiver coach Dennis Murphy will take the field with the Raven coaching staff before he retires.
“He’s been sort of everything to the football program for a 41 year period,” Wilcox said. “Whatever I’ve needed he’s been there to do it. When you say the word loyalty his picture comes up immediately.”
It’s still unknown as to whether Schuetz will be able to play against the Vikings but Wilcox is hopeful the third all-time leading pass can finish his career on the field.
“I’d like to see Shaefer finish his regular season career on the field,” Wilcox said. “He’s been sort of the poster boy for football program for several years and he’s done a lot of great things like provide fabulous leadership.”