The developments Friday at Baylor's Red Etter Field won't erase the memories of what happened in early December of last year, but judging by the crowd's celebration, it wasn't a bad alternative.
Seeking retribution against the team that gave them their only two losses in 2010 -- the last in the Division II-AA state-championship game -- Baylor's Red Raiders paid back Ensworth in a big way in the form of a 42-14 victory.
Baylor coach Phillip Massey admitted to being excited with the victory but cautioned that his team had five games remaining -- four within the East/Middle Region the Red Raiders (5-0, 3-0) currently lead.
"Certain wins help kids mentally with their inner confidence," Massey said after winning for the 100th time as a head coach. "It gets them to believe in themselves, and believe in what we're trying to do as a coaching staff. Hopefully we can feed off of this win. This is what we're capable of. They need to know anything less is unsatisfactory."
Baylor graduated its quarterback from last year's team, Mr. Football winner Jacob Huesman. This year's quarterback, Matthew Oellerich, put up some Huesman-like statistics Friday, but it was a performance all his own.
Oellerich took the blame for some overthrows as Baylor sputtered offensively in the first quarter, but he ended up 8 -of-15 for 121 yards and a touchdown to go with 16 carries for 113 yards and four touchdowns. Huesman met his successor on the field afterward and the two shared a man-sized bear hug.
"We understand how hard each other has worked," Oellerich said. "It was nice to be able to knock off the team he wasn't able to last year. I feel like I owed it to him."
Ensworth (4-1, 1-1) scored first, driving 80 yards for a touchdown in six plays on its second possession. Corn Elder accounted for all but the 20-yard pass from Andrew Bowers to Cory Batey that capped it. He went 26 yards with a screen pass, converting a third-and-2, and ran four times for the other yardage.
The Red Raiders' initial first down on something other than a penalty didn't occur until midway through the second quarter came on a fake punt with upback Colton Jumper passing to Reggie Upshaw, taking the ball across midfield to the Tigers' 36.
Baylor tied the game on that possession and took the lead on Deosha McColley's touchdown catch on a fade route with 28 seconds to go in the half.
"I think it was a turnaround and gave us the momentum we needed to finish out the first half on a positive note," Massey said of the fourth-down play.
Elder, who ran for 387 yards in two games last year against the Red Raiders, finished with 69 yards on 19 carries.
"I don't think it was any one play, or any one given thing," Ensworth coach Ricky Bowers said. "I think it was a series of situations. They came up with every ball every chance they had, and we didn't. Every time they had an opportunity to come up with a loose ball, they did."
Kelley Smiddie is a sports writer who has worked at the Times Free Press for 12 years. He covers high school sports and softball. Kelley’s hometown is Chattanooga, and he graduated from Brainerd High School and graduated Chattanooga State and UTC. Contact Kelley at 423-757-6653 or email@example.com.
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