Prep football October 4Notre Dame water girl Kenzie "Z" Campbell, 10, adjusts her plastic mustache as the Irish get ready to play the Signal Mountain Eagles Friday at Signal Mountain.
In a rivalry of red and blue, the second-half green that Baylor ran for left McCallie the same shade with envy for a sixth straight meeting.
Boosted by 255 second-half rushing yards, Baylor's state-third-ranked Red Raiders scored 21 fourth-quarter points to pull away for a 38-14 Division II-AA victory over the Blue Tornado.
"We felt like at halftime we were starting to grind on them with our running game, so we wanted to stick to that in the second half," Baylor coach Phil Massey said. "We put it on the shoulders of our offensive line and George Porter, and they really stepped up for us."
On 15 carries matching his total in the first half, Porter ran for 138 of his 183 yards and two of his three touchdowns after halftime.
"George was giving second and third effort on a lot of runs, especially in the second half, and that just tells you what kind of competitor he is," Massey said. "We also did a great job defensively. We knew we couldn't match their speed, but our kids played assignment football and kept them from getting the big plays."
The Red Raiders opened the second half with an impressive eight-play, 80-yard drive. Quarterback Nick Tiano accounted for 72 of the yards before Porter capped it with a 3-yard scoring run.
One series later, the Raiders drove to the McCallie 16, but just as it appeared they were about to put the game away, Sam Viscomi intercepted a pass in the end zone for the Blue Tornado.
McCallie used the momentum swing to drive 80 yards in nine plays with JaVaughn Craig's 3-yard run cutting the deficit to 17-14.
But three plays later, on third-and-1, Porter changed the momentum back in Baylor's favor for good. The senior speedster disappeared into the line, spun off a defender and raced 61 yards for a TD.
"I don't even know what happened there," a beaming Porter said afterward. "I bounced off somebody and just took off. I thought [McCallie sprinter] C.J. Fritz was behind me, so I just kept running hard and then looked back and didn't see anybody closing in.
"This win means everything to us because the seniors can say they never lost to McCallie. Even if other people didn't believe in us tonight, we believed in ourselves."
After the Blue Tornado went three-and-out on their next series, Baylor added a 63-yard drive, all on the ground, capped by Tiano's 2-yard TD to end all doubt.
"I think sometimes when you start trying harder to make things happen it only gets worse," McCallie coach Ralph Potter said. "We had some youth that really showed tonight. We got out of position, and once the emotion of the game went against us, I think sometimes young guys have a hard time recovering.
"This rivalry is so hard to flip. They believe they're going to win right now, and I think they only got more confident as the game went on."
Contact Stephen Hargis at email@example.com or 423-757-6293.
Stephen has covered local sports in the tri-state area for more than 24 years, having been with the Times Free Press since its inception, and has been an assistant sports editor since 2005. Stephen is among the most decorated writers in the TFP’s newsroom, winning numerous state, regional and national writing awards, including seven in 2013 and a combined 12 in the last two years. He was named one of the top 10 sports writers ...