Consider this scenario – the Tigers faced a fourth-and-4 at their own 39 midway through the third quarter Friday in a tie game on the road against Evergreen Conference rival Black Hills, and they ran the ball with Baldwin right up the middle.
Baldwin, like he’s done all season, delivered, breaking a few tackles and running for 10 yards to give the Tigers fresh set of downs.
Four plays later Baldwin danced his way into the end zone for his second touchdown of the quarter.
There’s no mystery what Centralia’s going to do offensively – its just that no one’s figured out how to stop it yet.
Baldwin ran for more than 200 yards for the third consecutive game, finishing with 216 yards and three touchdowns to power Centralia to a 39-14 victory over the Wolves at Tumwater District Stadium.
“This team just keeps fighting out there,” Baldwin said. “We were down at half. It was a physical game, but we just keep pounding away at it.”
Baldwin, who set a school single-season rushing record as a sophomore in 2008 with 1,754 yards, is on pace to shatter that mark.
The senior has rushed for 755 yards through three games this season, including a school-record 336 yards last week against North Kitsap.
“He’s just a very good back,” Centralia coach John Schultz said. “He just keeps getting better each game.”
Baldwin got limited carries in the first half as Black Hills (0-3) held a distinctive advantage in time of possession, but exploded for 122 yards on the ground in the third quarter alone, helping the Tigers score 20 points to erase an early 14-point deficit.
After watching Baldwin score on runs of 56 and 13 yards in the third, the Wolves’ defense committed to stopping him, and the Tigers took to the air as Ryan DeLuc hit a wide-open Michael Stuart for a 52-yard touchdown pass.
Stuart also caught a 50-yard touchdown from DeLuc in the second quarter.
Black Hills’ Tom Turner, who scored eight rushing touchdowns in the previous two games, ran for 117 yards on 20 carries.