Michael O'Connor made his American high school football debut for Baylor on Friday.
The junior transfer from Canada combined with starter Nick Tiano to help lead the Red Raiders to a 44-7 win at Soddy-Daisy.
The strong-armed duo repeatedly attacked the Trojans secondary with a combination of deep routes, including the backyard play -- everybody go deep.
It didn't work that often but helped open plenty of space for junior running back George Porter, who scored four touchdowns and rushed for 194 yards on 12 carries.
"I have a bond with both of the quarterbacks," Porter said. "They're both good at what they do, and it's almost like they're the same person. I think our line dominated tonight."
The quarterbacks alternated series. Sometimes they connected, such as on Tiano's 42-yard touchdown strike to Reggie Upshaw that set up a 7-7 tie in the first quarter.
Sometimes they missed. Soddy-Daisy defensive tackle Gavin Moody intercepted an attempted middle-screen pass by Tiano.
The 6-foot-6 O'Connor also showed the ability to run. He had a 72-yard sprint called back for holding.
"It was a lot of fun -- crazy," O'Connor said. "I had a lot of fun but I have a lot to work on. I have to work on my reads. I thought I threw the ball well, but that doesn't matter how well you're throwing the ball if you're not throwing it to the right person."
Tiano finished the night 2-for-8 for 69 yards with two interceptions. O'Connor completed two of seven passes for 35 yards.
The Red Raiders (1-0) led 21-7 at halftime. They scored 23 points in a span of less than three minutes in the third quarter.
A Soddy-Daisy snap sailed out of the end zone. Porter scored from 28 yards out. Russell Burton returned an interception 22 yards. Then following a second interception of Trojans quarterback Brett Standifer on his next play, Porter scored from 6 yards out less than 45 seconds later.
"We ran out of gas and it snowballed," Soddy-Daisy coach Kevin Orr said. "They have a lot of depth and it showed. We ran out of gas."
David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...
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