Baldwin football falls to Frankfort 56-32

FRANKFORT – In a battle of Panthers, Baldwin came up short, falling to Frankfort 56–32 in the opening round of the football playoffs Friday night.

Overall, Baldwin coach Doug Bolles said he was pleased with the way his team fought and complimented Frankfort on being the better team.

Baldwin came out swinging early. After Frankfort’s failed onside kick gave them good field position, Da’ron Copeland led Baldwin down the field through the air, connecting with Blake Dockery to take an early lead.

“Copeland’s just done a phenomenal job for us,” Bolles said. “He’s pretty poised in the pocket and he made some nice reads.”

All would soon go south though – to the tune of 42 unanswered points. Baldwin nearly stopped that scoring run, when Copeland led it into Frankfort territory in the second quarter, but he was intercepted by Brandon Coxe.

On the next play from scrimmage Frankfort scored on a 66–yard screen pass to running back Kole Hollenbeck.

Bolles said the defense just gave up too many big plays to win, attributing several of those plays to poor tackling.

“We knew we had to tackle and didn’t do it,” Bolles said.

“When they’re making us work on offense and we’re giving it back and they’re scoring on one play, that was frustrating.”

With a halftime deficit, it looked like Baldwin might let its coach down and roll over, but Copeland was having none of that.

“He whipped the guys at halftime,” Bolles said about Copeland. “He said, ‘I’m going to leave it on the field.’ That’s all we ask. He lit a fire under us a little bit and we played hard and left it on the field. Da’ron set the tone for us.”

Besides his halftime speech, Copeland came out with a couple big hits on defense and forcing a fumble that would lead to a touchdown when he connected with Ryan Kolenbrander in the end zone.

Later in the half he added one rushing touchdown and two more through the air.

For the game,Copeland was 33 of 61 passing for 338 yards and four touchdowns.

Looking back on the season, Bolles said he’s just happy to have made the playoffs, having lost many of his stars from a year ago.

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