ROSENDALE, Mo. — During its last home game of the regular season, in the midst of commemorating the seniors on the team, North Andrew football found a way to add a 68-32 win over Albany to its season total.
Prior to the Friday matchup, both teams stood a chance to claim sole possession of third place in the Grand River Conference. North Andrew (5-2) had more to prove than just moving up in the conference with a defeat of Albany (4-3); the program had a chance to send its 10 seniors out with a win on a night where they were recognized for their efforts — and they did.
“It was a big deal for us,” Cardinals coach Dwayne Williams said. “These guys have worked hard. … To finish out with a victory in their last home game is pretty special to them and I know how hard they’ve worked to earn it.”
The high-scoring affair started out with a North Andrew touchdown courtesy the legs of junior running back Carson Thomas when he managed to reach the end zone for the 48-yard score with 7:50 left in the first quarter.
From that point on, it was all Cardinals.
Senior quarterback Jaden Baker had his fair share of contribution, both on the ground and through the air. The gunslinger combined his efforts for four touchdowns in the game, one passing and three rushing.
“It’s great to be able to score like we do,” Baker said. “I love all of (my teammates). Like coach says before every game, ‘Do your part and the game will be in your hands.’ I think we did that tonight and I’m glad we were able to come out with a win.”
Albany showed bright spots throughout the second half, most of which coming against the Cardinals’ second team. Either senior running back Dawson Butterfield or junior quarterback Tryce Floyd accounted for all of the Warriors' points on the night. Late pushes in the third quarter brought the game as close as 30 points, but that would be as close as it would get.
Butterfield’s counterpart, Thomas, accounted for three touchdowns of his own to spearhead the charge in the run-game for North Andrew. The ground attack served as the main way of life for a Cardinals’ offense that boasted 68 points onto the scoreboard.
The completion of the game leaves the seniors, specifically Baker, with a bittersweet memory for his last game on his home field.
“This was a great way to go out,” Baker said. “Just having the win together as a family just meant a lot to us. Coach has only been here for two years but it feels like he’s been here an eternity and it means a lot to me and the rest of the team.”