FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 16, 2017
Contact: Tyler Price, Assistant Director of Athletics | Communications
No. 6 Baker to Host No. 12 Georgetown (Ky.) in NAIA-FCS First Round
BALDWIN CITY, Kansas – The No. 6 ranked Baker University football team will host No. 12 Georgetown (Ky.) this Saturday, Nov. 18 at 1:07 p.m. inside historic Liston Stadium in the First Round of the NAIA Football Championship series.
The game will be broadcast worldwide on the ESPN App/ESPN 3 and locally on KSMO-TV. Fans can watch the game live, by clicking here.
The 10-1 Wildcats and 8-1 Tigers will meet for the first time ever. The match up is between two of the winningest programs in NAIA football history, as Baker is No. 2 all-time in wins with 599, while Georgetown is No. 7 with 510 wins.
This marks the 21st appearance in the NAIA-FCS for Georgetown, which is the most of any team competing in the Playoffs this season, while Baker is competing in its 16th.
Georgetown has appeared in five NAIA National Championship games, winning three, in 1991, 2000 and 2001 and finished as the NAIA National Runner-up in 1999 and 2002.
BU has played in two NAIA National title games (1986, 2016) and is in search of its first crown.
The Tigers only loss the season came at No. 4 Lindsey Wilson on Saturday, Nov. 4 on the road, 37-14.
Baker’s only loss came on the same day, at Missouri Valley, 27-22. BU was able to move past that loss and defeat No. 23 Evangel last week, 26-6, to capture its third-straight Heart South Division Championship.
Georgetown brings with them from Georgetown, Kentucky the No. 3 ranked rushing defense in the country, as they allow just 78.3 rushing yards per game.
They has also allowed just 141 first downs on defense, which ranks No. 3 and they have allowed just 286.1 total yards per game, ranking No. 6.
Kishawn Walker leads the Tigers in interceptions with five and Jordan Nicoll is the team leader in tackles with 65.
Dustin Haraway leads GC in tackles for loss with 10.5 and has 5.5 sacks. The Tiger defense has picked off 12 passes.
Offensively, the Tigers are led by Riley Hall who has thrown for 1,618 yards and 12 TD’s, while Daric Pugh is the teams leading rusher with 641 yards and 11 TD’s, he averages 5.9 yards per carry.
The ‘Cats feature one of the premier offenses in the NAIA and have done so the past four seasons.
Leading the way in that group is senior wide receiver Clarence Clark and freshman JD Woods.
Clark is the NAIA’s all-time leading scorer and has three seasons of 1,000 yards receiving or more in his four seasons with the ‘Cats.
This season he has 58 catches for 1,085 yards and 10 TD’s. He is Baker’s all-time leader in receptions with 243, yards with 4,130 and receiving TD’s with 44.
Woods is No. 1 in the NAIA in total scoring this season with 150 points and is the nations No. 2 leading rusher with 1,592 yards.
His 24 rushing TD’s this season are tied with teammate Cornell Brown for the most in a single season in Baker history.
Woods broke Baker’s all-time record for most rushing yards in a game with 313 yards against CMU on Oct. 28.
Defensively, Baker has accumulated 32 sacks, which ranks No. 7 in the country and allows just 112.1 rushing yards per game which in No. 13 in the NAIA.
The ‘Cats allow just 21.1 points per game, ranking No. 19 in the country. Indie Allen leads the Wildcats in tackles with 103 and Josh Kock ranks No. 7 in sacks with seven and has 29 in his career.
Nate McLaurin leads Baker in interceptions with five and safety Grant Elston is right behind him for the team lead in picks with four.
Reigning Heart Special Teams Player of the Week Abram Garcia, leads the kicking game with eight field goals made this season and he nailed four field goals in the win over Evangel last week.
Clark splits the kicking with Garcia, as he has successfully made seven field goals this season. Elijah Gastelum has punted all 55 of Baker’s punts this season for an average of 36.5.
This year’s field includes 12 automatic qualifiers – one from each conference – and four at-large selections. Automatic berths were given to teams that won their conference regular-season title and were ranked within the top 20 of the final regular-season NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25 Poll announced Sunday.
At-large bids were given to the next highest ranked teams that did not claim an automatic spot.
The 62nd annual NAIA Football National Championship is scheduled for Saturday, December 16 at 6 p.m. EST in Daytona Beach, Fla.
The City of Daytona Beach hosts the event at Municipal Stadium for the fourth-straight season. For fan and visitor information, click here.