With an explosive eight-minute stretch in the third quarter, the Baylor Red Raiders made the most of their opportunities Friday night in a 42-28 win over visiting Tyner.
“We know we have to take advantage of our chances when we have them,” Baylor quarterback Jacob Huesman said. “You definitely feel like you have to make the most of each possession.”
Huesman and the Baylor offense was relegated to watching for most of the first half. Tyner had a 40-15 edge in offensive plays in the first two quarters, and Rams quarterback Travis Jones ran for one score and threw for one to De’Drick Calloway.
Despite the early dominance on the stat sheet — Tyner had a 13-6 edge in first downs and gained 60 more yards than Baylor in the first 24 minutes — the teams were tied at 14 at the half thanks in large part to Baylor’s Russell Burton recovering a Tyner fumble in the end zone for the game’s first touchdown .
“They are very athletic and they did a great job keeping it out of our hands,” Baylor coach Phil Massey said. “Defensively we have to tighten down, especially on third down, and find ways to get the ball back.”
Sparked by freshman George Porter’s 48-yard kickoff return to start the second half, Baylor turned touches into touchdowns in a dizzying flurry that derailed the Rams.
“We hit a bad stretch in the second quarter last week against Ooltewah,” Tyner coach Wayne Turner said after his team gained more than 200 yards more than Baylor in total offense, “and we hit a bad stretch tonight in the third quarter.
“It’s done us it both times, and when the floodgates opened, they put 28 on us really quick.”
After Porter’s return, Baylor needed four plays before John Mackey scored his second touchdown of the game to give the Red Raiders the lead for good.
But the Raiders (2-0) were far from finished and Huesman was just getting started. Tyner fumbled the ensuing kickoff at its 19, and Huesman scored three plays later. After Baylor’s Landry Taylor intercepted a pass on the next Tyner possession, Huesman covered 52 yards on the next snap, and following another Tyner fumble, Huesman scored on a 4-yard run to stretch the lead to 42-14.
“I definitely wanted the ball in my hands, because our guys were opening some lanes,” said Huesman, who finished with 11 carries for 132 yards and completed 6 of 8 passes for 52 yards.
Tyner’s Jones had 200 yards passing and a team-high 84 rushing, but the turnovers and the Red Raiders’ quick-strike ability was too much for the Rams to overcome.
“It can get away from quick,” Turner said after his team fell to 0-2, “but our guys keep fighting and hung in there after those mistakes.”
Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...