The Baylor Red Raiders have become accustomed to slow starts.
Friday night another slow start became a long and painful loss to Brentwood Academy.
"The last three weeks we have started so slow," Baylor coach Phil Massey said after his team fell 34-16 on senior night. "It's been a big hurdle that until tonight we had been able to overcome.
"But when you're playing a team with that much talent, it makes it doubly tough."
Baylor at times battled both teams with red-and-white uniforms. The Red Raiders committed 12 penalties and four turnovers, dropped a sure-fire TD on a fake field goal and had two kicks blocked by super-recruit Jalen Ramsey.
"We've got some bell cows that we count on to make plays for us," BA coach Cody White said. "It's certainly not the way we wanted to play coming out of an open week."
For Griffin Cole and the rest of the Eagles fans who made the long trip from Nashville, the traveling band of playmakers did not disappoint. Ramsey, a five-star prospect, touched the ball eight times -- four catches for 47 yards and a score, a rush, an interception and the two blocked kicks, one on a point-after try and one on a punt that resulted in a 30-yard score for Derek Barnett.
There was Florida-pledged quarterback Max Staver, who was 11-of-18 for 179 yards and a score and rushed for 93 yards on 11 carries. And D'montre Wade added 60 yards rushing and three scores, and senior safety Conno Johnson had two interceptions.
It was more than enough against the sputtering Raiders, who turned to backup quarterback Nick Tiano for a spark. Tiano delivered in spurts with 119 passing yards, including a 6-yard score to Reggie Upshaw.
George Porter added 149 yards rushing, Rafael Gaglianone hit a 50-yard field goal that grazed the crossbar and Landry Taylor capped the scoring with a dazzling 80-yard punt return for a touchdown.
"We're probably pretty fortunate the score wasn't worse," Massey said. "We have to do a better job coaching and executing and playing with discipline."
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 ...
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