The Baker University football team lost a heartbreaker to No. 8 MidAmerica Nazarene University Saturday by the score of 33-30.
The Wildcats jumped out to an early 3-0 lead on a 32-yard field goal from freshman Andrew Kimrey.
The Pioneers responded quickly, though with a 59-yard drive that was capped off by a 23-yard touchdown pass from Sean Ransburg to Branden Phillips.
Baker then dug deep into the playbook and executed a double-pass play that resulted in sophomore Xavier Lewis throwing a 38-yard touchdown pass to junior Jake Green.
The ‘Cats’ offense continued to roll in the second quarter as senior John Babb ran the ball into the end zone from 12 yards out to make to give BU a 16-7 lead.
After the Wildcats’ defense forced MidAmerica Nazarene to punt after just three plays, sophomore Jake Morse led BU down the field again for another touchdown. Morse connected with 6-foot 8-inch junior Joel Murphy for the 5-yard touchdown pass.
Baker appeared to have momentum going into halftime, but the Pioneers cut the ‘Cats lead to 23-13 just before the break.
MidAmerica Nazarene continued to close the gap by scoring on its first drive of the half with a Ransburg 10-yard touchdown run. It was then the Pioneers turn to use some trickery when they recovered their own onside kick.
The Pioneers drove down the field to take a 26-23 lead after a 1-yard touchdown run from James Tillman.
The Wildcats would not back down, though, as they regained the lead early in the fourth quarter with another 5-yard touchdown pass from Morse to Murphy.
Despite knocking Ransburg, running back Greg Gates and wide receiver Juan Redman out the game and winning the turnover battle 3-0, Baker could not respond after MidAmerica took the lead 33-30 on a 9-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Herl to Brett Houchen.
The Wildcats are 3-3 on the season and 2-3 in the HAAC. BU will look to bounce back against Avila University at 1 p.m. Saturday in Kansas City, Mo.